Cops Clamp Down on So. MD Drivers w/Aid of Federal Funding

On June 19, 2006 members of the Calvert County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police Barrack "U" conducted a joint traffic operation in Calvert County. Members of both agencies worked in five separate stop teams along Calvert's main artery in an effort to deter motorists from speeding. Similar initiatives were conducted along main corridors in Charles County and St. Mary's County.

Deputies and Troopers issued 108 citations and 105 warnings during the three hour initiative. The warnings and citations ranged from seatbelt violations to speeding violations. The enforcement initiative was conducted as part of the "Smooth Operator" program. The "Smooth Operator" program is an enforcement initiative implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Maryland Highway Safety Office, in an effort to battle aggressive driving behaviors.

The NHTSA summarizes the "Smooth Operator" program as follows:

Smooth Operator is a regional traffic safety program established to reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes resulting from aggressive driving. Since 1997, the program has been focused in the Washington Metropolitan area of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In 2002, the program was expanded to encompass the entire State of Maryland. The program has four major components:

1. Annual targeted one-week periods of special emphasis enforcement during the four summer months.
2. A public education and media campaign to stigmatize aggressive driving and gain public support for safe driving.
3. A driver improvement program implemented with the support of the VA, MD, and DC motor vehicle administrations.
4. Program evaluations to assess progress with achieving program goals and objectives.

To maintain and operate the program, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia resources have been provided through highway safety grants, Federal Motor Carrier Safety project funds, in addition to special category funds provided by Congressional appropriations. An executive committee comprised of representatives from the private and public sector provides direction for the grant program. Grants management and staff support has been furnished through contractual agreements to aid in the coordination and administration of the regional program.

The Calvert County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police will continue to conduct enforcement initiatives throughout the summer months in an effort to deter aggressive driving. Sheriff Evans stated that the Sheriff's Office will continue to assure the safety of Calvert County citizens is not compromised while traveling along our roadways. He added that the Sheriff's Office will continue to conduct stop teams on major roadways as well as conduct residential area speed enforcement at irregular intervals.


Smooth Operator Program Website

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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