Carroll County Times Opinion

Awareness reduces accidents [Editorial]

The just completed state police initiative designed to increase awareness about pedestrian safety was a positive step after two deaths on Md. 140, but more needs to be done to help reduce accidents involving both pedestrians and bicyclists along our roadways.

The short time period of the initiative and the fact that it occurred over a holiday weekend probably diminished the effectiveness of the campaign, which began Tuesday and ended on Sunday. During the campaign, violators received a brochure of driving and pedestrian violations with their violations checked off.


Two pedestrians have been killed crossing Md. 140 in the past three months. We aren't the only region impacted by an increase in accidents in the summer.

Police in Annapolis have been investigating a series of accidents involving bicyclists and have been looking at similar ways to improve awareness of the laws.


Motorists sharing the road with bicyclists is always a concern, especially in areas like Carroll where space along the side of the road is often limited, and the twisty two lane country roads mean that pedestrians, joggers or bicyclists can appear seemingly out of nowhere around a blind corner.

Putting up illuminated signs telling drivers to be careful, and increasing enforcement patrols can be helpful, but especially in the summer months when traffic volume is lower the reach of these programs is less than it might be at other times of the year.

The state police should consider other options, including even partnering with businesses along high-traffic routes to put some of the brochures in lobbies where the driving, biking and walking public may see them.

They could also partner with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Between new drivers, drivers coming in to renew licenses and others doing business there on any given day, having the brochures prominently displayed and workers highlighting the awareness campaign might be a way to get the word out to even more people.

At the end of the day, we all share the responsibility for safely sharing our roadways. That applies whether you are in an auto, on a bicycle or motorcycle or whether you are a pedestrian.

More people are out and about in the summer months, and they utilize our roads in a variety of ways. Using a little extra caution, knowing and obeying the rules of the road can help reduce the chance of accidents or injuries along our roadways.