Ocean City Police Campaign Focuses on Holiday Highway Safety

first_imgOfficer John Porreca stands ready to enforce highway safety as part of the Ocean City Police Department’s holiday campaign. By Donald WittkowskiTwo big road signs that served as bookends on 29th Street between West and Bay avenues made one thing very clear to truck drivers: Stay out of this neighborhood.“No trucks,” they warned. “Local traffic only.”If the signs weren’t enough, Officer John Porreca parked his Ocean City police sport utility vehicle on 29th Street on Monday in a highly visible spot. He was ready to issue tickets to any truck driver who ventured through the residential neighborhood.The not-too-subtle signs and Porreca’s presence were part of a police safety campaign that began Monday and will continue until New Year’s Day. Dubbed “Safe for the Holidays,” the program will target a different type of roadway danger each week in hopes of getting the message out that there will be “zero tolerance” for distracted, careless or reckless driving.“We’re trying to get people to think when they’re driving,” said Capt. Steven Ang. “When you’re behind the wheel of a car, that’s what you should be doing all the time.”This week, police will focus on truck-route violations. Ang said trucks are supposed to follow designated main routes, such as West Avenue, Bay Avenue and Battersea Road, that generally keep them out of residential neighborhoods while they are making their deliveries.Truck route violations will be a focus this week by police. A sign at the corner of 29th Street and Bay Avenue warns trucks to stay out of the residential neighborhood.Police also plan to beef up patrols this week to watch for impaired drivers. Ang noted that Wednesday night is expected to be a time of heavy drinking because it is the day before Thanksgiving. With college students coming home on school break and other people enjoying time off for the holiday, the night before Thanksgiving traditionally is popular for drinking and partying.“Wednesday night is a big drinking night,” Ang said. “It’s a very big night in the bars.”Although Ocean City is a “dry” town that has no bars or liquor stores, police will be on the lookout for drivers coming from other cities that do have taverns and nightclubs, Ang stressed.“Our roads lead to those areas,” he said.Ang urged anyone who drinks to use a designated driver or call a taxi or a ride-sharing service such as Uber.“We want you to have a good time. But we also want you to be safe,” he said.Moving into the week of Nov. 28, the “Safe for the Holidays” campaign will target distracted driving and cellphone use.During the week of Dec. 5, police will concentrate on inspection violations, such as faulty headlights, brake lights, turn signals and other malfunctioning equipment. They will also focus on commercial vehicles for anything that might be unsafe, including construction equipment that is not properly secured.For the week of Dec. 12, the safety campaign will target seatbelt and child-restraint violations. Police will focus on stop sign violations during the week of Dec. 19. For the campaign’s final week of Dec. 26, there will be a crackdown on speeders.Ang explained that the holidays are a good time for police to pay extra attention to highway safety because drivers often are not. Many times, motorists are focused on their holiday shopping rather than the rules of the road, he noted.“It’s that time of year,” he said.last_img

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