Maryland Traffic Deaths Increased From 2015 to 2016 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Traffic Deaths Increased From 2015 to 2016

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(Image: MGN) (Image: MGN)

LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. - The number of people who died in crashes on Maryland's roadways increased from 2015 to 2016, the Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

According to MDOT, preliminary data shows there were 523 traffic-related deaths last year, and 521 the year before. Across the country, more than 40,000 people died in crashes in 2016, an increase of more than six percent from 2015, preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council show.

Wednesday's announcement was part of a statewide effort to reduce roadway fatalities by 50 percent over the next two decades. An emphasis was placed on increased seat belt use.

"About 91 percent of drivers and passengers wear their seat belts on our roads," said MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Hogan's Highway Safety Representative Christine Nizer.  "However, if we were able to obtain 100 percent seatbelt usage, 60 people killed in fatal crashes in 2016 would be alive and be with their families today."

Other roadway safety concerns the state is trying to address include preventing impaired, distracted and aggressive driving and improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.

"Our motorists need to do the simple things like buckling up, always driving sober, and never driving distracted," stated MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones. "When that doesn't happen, officers are writing tickets or worse, responding to a deadly crash. Our traffic laws are in place to save lives."

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