Although Harford County is considered the fifth safest county in the state in terms of crime, the same cannot be said for safety on its highways.
At a town hall meeting at the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company hall Saturday morning, Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane told more than 100 people in attendance that his agency will be focusing on more traffic law enforcement in the coming weeks because of the high number of fatal accidents
Last year, the county had the fifth highest number of fatalities in the state and is tied for fourth this year, Bane said.
"You will see us more aggressively focusing on traffic in this county than we ever have before," the sheriff added.
This includes working with other local police agencies as part of the traffic task force and analyzing crash rates and areas where accidents have occurred in Harford County.
Some of those areas are near the Dublin/Darlington region, Bane said. One of Harford's 17 fatal accidents since the start of the year was in late February, when a Whiteford resident died in a motorcycle accident on Route 440.
State Police say 17 people have died on Harford highways this year. An 18th death that occurred recently, more than two months after the victim was injured in a motorcycle accident, is not being counted statistically as a fatality, according to State Police.
Traffic safety also dominated the community concerns portion of Saturday's meeting,
Resident Dave Barringer requested more police presence on Route 543 and Route 440. Barringer, who lives off of Route 440, said he sees police around the Hickory Park and Ride, but not typically on north 543.
He suggested a heightened presence there, especially in light of Thursday's tandem dump truck accident on Route 543 at Chestnut Hill Road, where the truck overturned and the driver was seriously injured.
Another resident, Craig Davidson, brought up traffic concerns on Deerfield Road where he lives. Like several others, Davidson offered his driveway for use by the sheriff's patrol to run radar, if necessary.
The Darlington United Methodist Church has offered police the use of its parking lot to help discourage people from speeding on Shuresville Road off of Route 161, according to resident Jonathan Hanna.
The Sheriff's Office is holding town hall meetings every quarter in different areas of the county to discuss crime trends and hear community concerns. Spokesperson Monica Worrell said 103 citizens attended Saturday's meeting in Darlington, which she said was an excellent turnout.