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MDOT SHA: Give a gift of good health--don't travel

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

“This holiday season we are asking everyone to ‘Give the Gift of Good Health’ to their families, friends and coworkers by staying home,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “For those who must travel, our frontline team will continue to keep the roads safe and maintained.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is joining Governor Larry Hogan and health officials in urging citizens to stay “Home for the Holidays” to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Motorists are asked to travel for essential trips only and remember to carry a face mask and hand sanitizer and to maintain social distancing. The Maryland Department of Health has issued a travel advisory strongly recommending residents curtail nonessential trips to other states.

MDOT SHA’s Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) emergency patrols will be fully staffed to respond to breakdowns and incidents. Increased patrols will be mobilized along major routes including Interstate 95, I-495 and US 50.

For Christmas week, MDOT SHA will suspend non-emergency construction lane closures from 5 a.m. Wednesday, December 23, through 9 a.m. Monday, December 28. For New Year’s, work is suspended from 5 a.m. on Wednesday, December 30, through 9 a.m. Monday, January 4.

If you must travel, remember the following safety tips:

  • Buckle up. It’s the law. Make sure all passengers are buckled up.

  • Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.

  • Don’t drive impaired. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Pay attention. Avoid driving distractions such as cell phone use.

  • Be patient. Travel off peak and allow time for delays. Have a backup plan for an alternate route.

  • Be prepared. In case of emergency, dial #77 on a cell phone to reach Maryland State Police. Check your vehicle’s tires and fluids before leaving, and make sure you have an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, supplies and other items.

  • Move over for emergency vehicles, tow truck drivers and service and utility vehicles on the side of the road. If you can’t move over safely, slow down.

  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, move as far as possible from travel lanes to a safe location on the side of the road. Call #77 or 911 in an emergency (when it’s safe to make the call).

MDOT SHA wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season. Plan ahead and visit for live traffic cameras, weather information, real-time roadway conditions, active incidents and more.


-compiled from MDOT SHA press release