FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
FOR MARYLAND, THE FATALITY COUNTDOWN IS ON
Toward Zero Deaths Aims To Eliminate Fatalities on Maryland Roadways
Beltsville, MD (August 9, 2012) – Every 18 hours a person was killed on Maryland roadways in 2011, totaling 486 deaths for the year. Preventing such daily tragedies from striking Maryland families is why Maryland law enforcement agencies are joining together for a statewide campaign called Toward Zero Deaths.
From speeding to seatbelt compliance to driving while impaired, Toward Zero Deaths is focused on reducing highway mortality. The effort will focus on the causes of highway fatalities with public health efforts, communications outreach and other elements. This initiative brings together law enforcement, highway safety officials, emergency medical responders, and champions in the community in an effort to change the perception of safety on the roadways. Airplane, railway and ocean liner deaths are not acceptable. Why are motor vehicle deaths accepted as part of the cost for driving on our roadways?
Prince George’s County Police is proud to join in the Toward Zero Deaths campaign, which kicked off August 1. “For too long, we as a society have accepted highway mayhem as a tragic but unremarkable aspect of modern life,” said Chief Mark Magaw. “Toward Zero Deaths is about fundamentally changing the way we look at blood shed on the highway.”
“Every state jurisdiction has a highway safety strategic plan but there is not a singular effort to unite these plans. Towards Zero Deaths is the national strategy that has been adopted to unite the efforts and to drive towards a common goal. When you think about it, a highway safety plan’s goal is to reduce the fatalities on our roadways and when you evaluate the final goal, it has to be zero fatalities,” said MVA Administrator and Governor's Highway Safety Representative, John Kuo.
“The chiefs of police across this state are fully committed to doing everything we can to drive Maryland highway fatalities ‘toward zero deaths.’ Motorists need to slow down, buckle up, pay attention to the rules of the road, and make smart decisions before getting behind the wheel. If they fail to do so, police officers throughout Maryland will pull them over,” said Maryland Chiefs of Police Association President William McMahon, who currently serves as the chief of police for the Howard County Police Department.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the last six months of the year are the deadliest on the state’s roadways. Over a five year span, there were 13 percent more fatalities on the roads in Maryland from July to December than during the first six months.
About Toward Zero Deaths
Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety is a data-driven effort focusing on identifying and creating opportunities for changing American culture as it relates to highway safety. The effort focuses on developing strong leadership and champions in the organizations that can directly impact highway safety through engineering, enforcement, education, emergency medical service (EMS), policy, public health, communications, and other efforts. The intent is to develop a mechanism for bringing together a wider range of highway safety stakeholders to work toward institutional and cultural changes. For more information, visit www.towardzerodeathsmd.com.