Maine State Police welcome 8 new troopers
Maine State Police welcomed eight new troopers Friday. They received their badges at a graduation ceremony at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. After eighteen weeks of training required of all police students, Maine’s newest troopers completed an additional ten weeks of specialized State Police training. There are currently 19 vacancies in the department. The graduating class honored tradition of paying tribute to fallen state troopers. The State Police Chief administered the oath of office and discussed the changing society in which these graduates will be working. “You do not have to look far throughout the country to see that we are divided and that each side has little tolerance for the opposite’s opinions or viewpoints. There is less self-responsibility today than ever before. It’s always somebody else’s fault. I don’t know how this has happened to our society but we seem to thrive on conflict. This is why we have invested huge amounts of time, energy, and money into providing you the best training possible, because you are a pivotal part of bringing calmness to the chaos,” said Col. Robert Williams. The new troopers will be partnered with veteran troopers before patrolling on their own.
To watch video, go to: https://wabi.tv/2017/04/07/maine-state-police-welcome-eight-new-troopers/
R.I. State Police: Man's road rage led to fatal crash 'that should have never occurred'
Numerous 911 calls from other drivers helped the state police piece together the events leading to the “road rage” crash that killed Erik Salazar — a 22-year-old Brooklyn man who was driving on Route 295 in Johnston last week. Mitchell Savard, 41, was driving north in the high-speed lane of Route 295 when he switched lanes, cutting off a tow truck driver at about 9:50 a.m. on March 30. The driver of the tow truck honked at Savard, state police said. Savard, of Woonsocket, then began to “continually apply his brakes,” Capt. Matthew Moynihan said at a news conference at state police headquarters Wednesday. This behavior is “indicative of road rage,” he said. After doing the “brake dance” for a few minutes Moynihan said Savard stopped his car in the center lane of the highway. The driver of the tow truck — 28-year-old Trevor Armstrong — slammed his brakes. Armstrong, of Bristol, Connecticut, suffered minor injuries. A third vehicle, the box truck driven by Salazar, crashed into Armstrong’s truck. Moynihan said Salazar’s view of the road was obstructed by another vehicle that swerved out of the way. Salazar was driving with 23-year-old Andy Salgado, also of Brooklyn, in the passenger seat. Salgado remains in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital. Savard did not report injuries, the police said. “We are upset about this tragic event,” Moynihan said. “This crash should’ve never occurred. It was completely avoidable.”
Maryland State Police to crack down on distracted driving
Maryland State Police plan to aggressively ticket motorists who are caught using their cellphones or doing other things that pull their attention from the roadway. Capt. Michael Fluharty, commander of the state police barracks in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties, said troopers are going to work overtime to look for people who are breaking distracted-driving laws, such as using their cellphones, putting on makeup and reading maps. "We don't like to write the tickets," he said. "But it's the best way to get the message across." He said the tickets will cost $83. The initiative started across the state on Saturday to kick off Distracted Driving Month. Fluharty said motorists still will be allowed to change radio stations and speak on their cellphones via Bluetooth. He said the push against distracted driving is timely, considering 13 senior citizens were killed in Texas last week when their church bus was struck by a driver who a witness alleged was texting. It has been estimated that a person texting takes his or her eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. That is like covering the length of a football field while driving blindfolded at 55 mph, according to a state police news release. Motorists often are unaware that diverting their attention from the road can unconsciously lead to unsafe driving behavior, such as failure to drive in a single lane, following too closely or failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash. Drivers should eliminate any activity while driving that diverts their eyes from the roadway, their hands from the steering wheel or their awareness of the traffic conditions around them, the release said. The Maryland Highway Safety Office determined that distracted driving causes crashes that result in more than 31,100 injuries across the state each year. Under Maryland law, also known as Jake’s Law, a driver causing serious injury or death while talking on a handheld cellphone or texting could receive up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. These are primary offenses, and police officers can stop drivers when those activities are observed, regardless of the presence of other violations. How to prevent distracted driving as a passenger: Request that the driver put down the cellphone while behind the wheel. Offer to send a text or make a call for the driver, so he or she can focus on the road. Offer to help watch the road. As a parent: Be a good role model and practice what you preach. Do not call or text your child if you know he or she might be driving. As a driver: Turn off your cellphone while you are driving. Pull off to the side of the road to send a text or make a cellphone call. If you think you will be tempted to check your cellphone, avoid the temptation by putting it in the trunk or the back seat.
Louisiana State Police get 46 new troopers
Louisiana has 46 new state troopers. Louisiana State Police held a graduation ceremony Wednesday for its latest cadet class, the 95th in their history. Graduating troopers got gold boot badges at a ceremony in Baton Rouge. The new troopers will participate in a 10-week field training program under the supervision of a senior trooper and then will be deployed around the state. The troopers have been in training for 22 weeks since November. Sixty-four potential candidates started the training, and 46 finished it. Training areas include physical fitness, crash investigation techniques, emergency vehicle operations, impaired driving detection and traffic incident management.