Distracted driving can ruin your day or take your life

Distracted Driving

For drivers who believe that they can multitask safely while on the road — they're wrong.  It is universally known driving while distracted is dangerous. Study after study has shown distracted driving is unsafe.  In Florida, distracted driving crashes make up more than 12 percent of all crashes, and half of those crashes will result in injury or death.  Safety campaigns around the world reiterate the fact that distracted driving kills, yet still, drivers continue to reach for the cellphone, look down at their navigation system, turn around to talk to passengers in the vehicle, apply mascara or eat lunch while driving.  In South Florida alone, there were more than 10,400 distracted driving crashes in 2015.  In Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties 31 people were killed and 7,850 people were injured from crashes where a driver admitted to being distracted.  Preliminary numbers show that last year the Florida Highway Patrol worked one of the highest number of fatal crashes in Florida in the department's history.  Distracted driving crashes are increasing every year, and every day we read about tragic, preventable crashes on Florida roads.  When operating a motor vehicle, driving should always be your only focus.  In that split second that you look away from the road, take your hands off the wheel or stop focusing on driving, you don't see the family that just stepped into the crosswalk.  You don't see the light in front of you that just turned red.  You don't see the car in front of you that has come to a quick stop.  Statewide, more than 200 people were killed from distracted driving crashes last year.  That is 200 families changed forever.  We all see those drivers weaving around the lane as they text and drive, reading the newspaper, putting on makeup or dancing to the song on the radio as they race to their destinations.  They make us less safe on the road.  Driving distracted can not only hurt you and your passengers, but can greatly influence driving behavior of others, especially young, impressionable drivers.  Teens make up 4.5 percent of licensed drivers, yet in 2015, they were responsible for almost 12 percent of distracted driving crashes.  In fact, drivers under the age of 30 accounted for the highest rate of distracted driving crashes in 2015 and more than 12,000 crashes last year were caused by just being inattentive — not being focused on driving.  This April, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reaching out to remind motorists the focus should always be on driving and getting to your destination safely.  Every day there are more than 125 distracted driving crashes across our state, more than five crashes every hour. Focus on driving, Florida.  Model good driving behavior and talk with kids about responsible driving to keep us all safe on the road.



The fastest Mississippi runner in this year's Boston Marathon was Thomas Witter of the Mississippi Highway Patrol

MSP finishes first of other MSP trooper in marathon

The fastest Mississippi runner in this year's Boston Marathon was a 31-year-old man from Columbus.  Thomas Witter crossed the finish line in 3:02.20 on Monday, which put him No. 1,701 overall and first among those from the Magnolia State.  Another finisher, Bret Beauchamp of Oxford, was caught by an Associated Press photographer helping a runner cross the finish line.  Here's a list of the 27 finishers from Mississippi:

Thomas Witter (31, male, Columbus): 3:02.20

Kindle Jones (35, m, Mathiston): 3:09.24

Dan Vega (41, m, Hattiesburg): 3:10.24

Jim Brown (38, m, Tupelo): 3:14.30

Bryan Chase (42, m, Brandon): 3:15.12

Charles Wambolt (52, m, Long Beach): 3:15.44

Bret Beauchamp (42, m, Oxford): 3:25.40

Clayton Marshall (24, m, Vancleave): 3:29.19

Joe Mitchell (53, m, Biloxi): 3:34.43

Amy Chandler (36, female, Corinth): 3:35.52

Kevin Preston (54, m, Perkinston): 3:36.10

Erin Ball (37, f, Oxford): 3:40.36

Robby Callahan (53, m, Guntown): 3:41.59

Kristi Hall (38, f, Vicksburg): 3:44.23

Mary Krapac (52, f, Vicksburg): 3:48.20

Esther Sanders (47, f, Belden): 3:49.04

Lauren Jackson (32, f, Kiln): 3:50.40

Apryl Handy (31, f, Perkinston): 3:50.40

Lee Jones (41, f, Madison): 3:51.33

Jessica Ferguson (39, f, Hernando): 3:51.43

Kayleigh Skinner (24, f, Jackson): 3:55.52

Dawn Gregory (55, f, Gulfport): 3:57.45

Melanie Freeland (46, f, Brandon): 4:15.16

Jane Kersh (51, f, Hattiesburg): 4:24.36

Beverly Thompson (40, f, Oxford): 4:25.48

Susan Dobson (41, f, Petal): 4:53.10

Kenneth Williams (75, m, Corinth): 4:57.37



New Hampshire State Police troopers run in Boston marathon to raise money for charity

NHSP run Boston Marathon

New Hampshire State Police had many members of the Division run the 121st Boston Marathon on Patriots Day April 17, 2017.  All together, they raised a total of $8,735 for the amazing children’s charity "Cops for Kids with Cancer" that will be donated to a New Hampshire family in their time of need.  If you were among those that supported the team’s goal that was exceeded by nearly $4,000 this year, thank you! #NHSP



Fast-acting trooper made the link that cracked a murder case


A quick-thinking state trooper who reported spotting a driver who matched the description of the suspect in Vanessa Marcotte’s slaying is being credited with coming up with the all-important “break in the case” after he scrawled the license plate on his hand and followed up at the man’s home address.  “It goes to the job these people do every day,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said of trooper Robert Parr, who was working an unrelated detail in Worcester in mid-March when he noticed a man matching the suspect description driving a dark SUV and quickly wrote the license plate number on his hand.  After a visit to the driver’s address turned up empty, Early said, Parr left his card and asked for a return phone call.  When he didn’t receive a phone call, Early said, Parr stopped by again the following day and obtained an oral swab test from Angelo Colon-Ortiz, whose DNA would later be matched to a sample retrieved from Marcotte’s hands.  And though investigators thanked the public for the more than 1,300 tips provided by the public, Early noted that Parr was the one who delivered the “break in the case.”  State police Col. Richard D. McKeon also praised Parr, saying he “exemplified that trait that all good detectives have: to be always on the case, looking for the one piece of information to break it open, even when in the middle of other duties.”  “His mind, and the minds of his fellow detectives, were always on this case,” McKeon said, “and because of that we are in a position tonight to speak for Ms. Marcotte.”



Hard working trooper is named Maryland State Police trooper of the year

 MDSP Trooper of the Year

Maryland State Police Trooper Charles Tittle was named trooper of the year, after his just second year as a patrol trooper.  His statistics are impressive.  Last year, he made 1,010 traffic stops and issued 1,400 citations last year.  He was named the barrack t Trooper Tittle also arrested 60 impaired drivers and arrested 109 people wanted on warrants.  He responded to almost 2,000 calls for service and recovered seven firearms during traffic stops.  He was the primary trooper on eight heroin overdose cases and assisted on two others.  He personally administered Naloxone to nine overdose victims, including two who were unconscious in the same residence.  Each of the nine victims treated by Trooper Tittle recovered.  He was also injured when a drunk driver hit his police car.