Every month I have an emergency preparedness article in the local newspaper (ChevyChase.Patch.com). Here’s the link to my May article. I’ve also copied it below:

Since Maryland passed its mandatory seat belt law in 1997, the annual number of traffic-related injuries in Maryland has decreased by more than 26 percent (MD State Highway Administration).

The famous security guard statue at the intersection of South Park Avenue and The Hills Plaza is getting some company this summer—in the form of uniformed police officers from the Montgomery County Police Department.

As part of the Maryland “Click It or Ticket” campaign, residents may notice police officers standing outside their parked patrol vehicles—especially at the intersection of South Park Avenue and The Hills Plaza in Chevy Chase, where officers have established a checkpoint several weeks in a row. Police officers are monitoring passing vehicles for seat belt use and are conducting traffic stops when they spot violations.

Montgomery County police officers are targeting certain intersections for approximately two hours at a time. In Chevy Chase, officers say they prefer the intersection near the the security guard statue because it offers clear lines of sight for seeing if drivers are
wearing their seat belts, and vehicles are traveling at slower speeds than on larger roads, such as Wisconsin Avenue.

According to Charles County, MD’s traffic website, seat belt fines are $25 but can be more if minors in the vehicle are not buckled in. Throughout May and June, Maryland law enforcement officers will be aggressively enforcing Maryland’s seat belt laws.

Todd Jasper is a federal emergency manager and has been happy to call Chevy Chase home since 2008. His emergency management blog is www.toddjasper.com.