MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - More and more traffic related deaths are happening on Maryland roads as traffic returns to how it used to be pre-pandemic, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA).
In Montgomery County, traffic safety experts said, Fourth of July weekend happens to be one of the deadliest when it comes to motorist and pedestrian safety.
County officials said, motorists can expect to see stepped up patrols as they monitor the roads to make sure anyone participating in Fourth of July festivities, get home safe from your holiday festivities.
Officials said, the county is also continuing to push its Vision Zero campaign to bring traffic fatalities to zero by 2030.
"Triple-A projects that over 880,000 Marylanders will be driving somewhere for the Fourth of July holiday as we are near pre-pandemic numbers," said Wade Holland, coordinator of Vision Zero.
"We expect the roads to be very busy and one of the dangers that comes with that during the Fourth of July holiday is people tend to drive impaired," said Holland.
Holland said that, year over year the county has been noticing an uptick in deaths for both pedestrians and cyclists.
"Partially that is the return of traffic patterns that we have seen from pre-pandemic and especially compared to the early parts of 2021," Holland explained.
"We have projects throughout the county specifically targeting some of our roadways with known high crash risks."
Some of the areas of concern where Vision Zero is being implemented include:
New Hampshire Avenue between Northampton and the Beltway in Silver Spring.
Old Georgetown Road between the I-270 spur and I-495 in North Bethesda. That is also where back in early June a young bicyclist was hit and died from his injuries.
The initiative has been making progress in protecting pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
There is a new protected intersection with dedicated bike lanes and bike stop light at Bethesda and Woodmont Avenues.
There is also a pedestrian hybrid beacon installed at East West Highway and the entrance to Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
Holland says while the county continues to find ways to increase traffic safety they hope drivers will also be more vigilant especially during the busy holiday festivities.
"We want to encourage people before even getting in the car to speak up if you think someone is driving probably when it’s not safe to drive to say something because that could probably change the outcome," said Holland.