BALTIMORE, MD - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police are stepping up enforcement in an effort to educate motorists about distracted driving. April 8 16, the MDTA Police will conduct a traffic-safety initiative at MDTA toll facilities statewide.

"Distracted driving continues to cause vehicle collisions on our nations highways, "said MDTA Police Chief Col. Michael T. Kundrat. "Our goal with this initiative is to reduce the number of crashes caused by distracted driving and to educate motorists about its dangers."

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a persons attention away from the primary task of driving. MDTA Police officers will focus on handheld cell phone use, including phone calls and texting while driving. The fines for using a handheld phone while a vehicle is in motion range from $83 for the first offense to $160 for the third offense.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, 3,154 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involv­ing distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. Unfortunately, approximately 424,000 people were injured, which is an increase from the 421,000 people who were injured in 2012. For additional information, visit distraction.gov or the Maryland Highway Safety Office at mhso.mva.maryland.gov.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian law-enforcement professionals. MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTAs highways, bridges and tunnels, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore.


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