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Maine State Police: More strict enforcements coming amid surge in dangerous driving

Statewide, Maine State Troopers say they have seeing a disturbing trend over the past year.
Maine State Police to get back to strictly enforcing rules of the road after grace period that...
Maine State Police to get back to strictly enforcing rules of the road after grace period that started when the pandemic did.(WABI)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - State Police are working to raise awareness about dangerous driving in Maine.

They announced plans today for a stricter enforcement approach than what has been practiced during the pandemic.

The message from Maine State Police, and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety was clear at todays press conference.

They are getting back to their normal business of enforcing the rules of the road.

”Collectively, we’re going to get back to business so we can save lives,” said Lt. Patrick Hood, Maine State Police.

Statewide, Maine State Troopers say they have seeing a disturbing trend over the past year.

“We have seen significant concerns on the roadway as it relates to distracted driving, higher speeds, impaired driving,” said Lt. Hood.

They say complaints about these dangerous driving behaviors are increasing as well.

Maine State Police say in a year when there were less drivers on the road due to the pandemic, there were actually more fatal accidents, which they believe is directly attributed to these dangerous driving behaviors.

“Fatal crashes went up to 165 in 2020. I don’t have the exact reasons why, but speed, distracted driving, and impaired driving are likely a big cause of that,” added Lt. Hood.

“Just since January 1st of 2021, 665 distracted driving crashes have occurred,” said Lauren Stewart, Safety Director, Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.

To combat this dangerous driving, State Police and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety will conduct targeted enforcement details over the next several months.

“On the law enforcement front, you’re going to see uniformed troopers on regular patrol enforcing distracted driving. We are also going to be looking for speed, that’s both on the interstate patrols and the turnpike, and also rural patrol,” said Lt. Hood.

At the beginning of the pandemic, minor infractions like expired registrations and inspection stickers were curtailed.

They say that is ending now.

The ultimate goal, keep Maine drivers safe.

State Police are also asking Mainers to continue alerting them to dangerous driving behavior when they witness something.

“With us all working together, we will lower these numbers for fatalities throughout the state for 2021,” said Lt. Hood.

April is distracted driving awareness month, so you can expect more from the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety on ways to stay safe on the road.

“We want everybody to survive their drive and enjoy their spring and summer, thank you very much,” added Stewart.

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