BEL AIR, Md. - There has been more than four times the number of traffic fatalities compared to homicides over the past five years in Harford County. Sheriff Jesse Bane says it's time to give more attention to the roads.
"Traffic fatalities -- they'll get upset about them but they don't attach the same significance to the traffic fatalities that they do homicides," said Sheriff Bane.
There's no doubt driving is often dicey.
"A lot of texters, a lot of people just ignoring red lights. That's a fun one," said Deanna Rice of Abingdon.
So many cars mixed with people in a hurry who are talking or texting is often the problem. Sheriff Bane isn't proud to be fourth in the state for the number of traffic fatalities so far this year. It far surpasses the murder rate.
"So we're switching the emphasis and doing a little bit of public education on Harford County roads," said Sheriff Bane.
A traffic task force will be announced on Tuesday, mixing deputies with officers from Bel Air, Havre de Grace, and Aberdeen, along with state troopers. Every week will be a new focus based on the crash reports.
New mom Deanna Rice says four-month-old Megan made her a better driver.
"I'm turning off the radio. I'm making sure to be more proactive in how I drive because of how precious she is with me in the car," said Rice.
But the sheriff says it shouldn't take an adorable face to put yourself in the driver's seat of your own habits behind the wheel.
"People are hard to change. And just information really won't do it. It's got to be reinforced behavior," said Laura Selway.
The traffic task force will work one day a week with no warning. We will not know where they're setting up or what they'll be enforcing. It's an effort to keep drivers on alert around the clock.
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