MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND TOWN OF OCEAN CITY REMIND VISITORS AND RESIDENTS TO WALK SMART, DRIVE SMART AND BIKE SMART

MDOT SHA Logo

MDOT SHA Logo)

​Safety Campaign Featuring the Iconic Cheswick the Crab Lifeguard Aims to Keep Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Motorists Safe this Summer

(May 17, 2022) – With vacation season getting underway in Maryland’s largest beach town, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office are partnering with the Town of Ocean City on a summer campaign to promote safety for everyone using our roadways – motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and others.

Cheswick the Crab lifeguard — the name and face of the Walk Smart, Drive Smart, Bike Smart campaign since 2015 — will share safety messages throughout the resort town this summer to remind visitors and residents that we all must look out for each other and follow the rules of the road.

“Cheswick Says” beach-friendly safety messages will be seen and heard throughout Ocean City, including on transit buses, boardwalk trams, roadway billboards, boat billboards, aerial banners, social media platforms, in print publications and radio advertisements. Additionally, free copies of Cheswick the Crab and the Smart Summer paperback book will be available at the Ocean City Convention & Visitors Bureau (4001 Coastal Highway) while supplies last.

Cheswick Says Drive Smart Walk Smart Bike Smaryt 

“As MDOT SHA improves the safety of our roadways infrastructure for all users, we need everyone to focus and follow important safety basics to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on roads like Coastal Highway,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith. “About 50,000 vehicles a day travel during the summer months on a multi-lane highway, and those roadways are shared by pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Cheswick reminds visitors and residents of all ages what they must do to keep everyone safe.”

Cheswick reminds pedestrians to Walk Smart with the following tips:

  • Press the crosswalk button before crossing Coastal Highway.
  • Cross at and within marked crosswalks.
  • Look, pay attention, then cross.
  • Follow all traffic signal signs and lane markings.
  • Make eye contact and be seen by drivers.

Cheswick reminds drivers to Drive Smart:

  • Drive sober: Never drive a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. It’s the law in Maryland.
  • Slow down. Watch for pedestrians and yield to pedestrians, especially when turning.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • Avoid all distractions. It’s illegal to text and use hand-held devices while driving.
  • Share the road with bicyclists and give 3 feet of space when passing.
  • Check your rearview and/or side mirror for bikes in the bike lane before turning right.
  • Avoid driving in bus lanes.

Cheswick also reminds bicyclists to Bike Smart:

  • Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic flow.
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk. It’s illegal and dangerous.
  • Ride sober. Never ride a bicycle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid distractions and pay attention.
  • Use bike lights if riding after dark.

“We are proud to partner with MDOT SHA and the town of Ocean City for this important campaign,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “We are reminding all road users that it’s a shared responsibility to ensure everyone makes it to their destination safely. Follow the rules of the road, avoid distractions and make a plan for a sober ride home if you’re impaired.”

Developed in 2013 by MDOT SHA, MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office, the Town of Ocean City, Ocean City Police Department, Peninsula Medical Center and other local agencies and businesses, the Walk Smart, Bike Smart, and Drive Smart campaign harnesses the four “E’s” of safety – engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services – to turn the tide on pedestrian-involved crashes occurring in Ocean City.

The campaign originally featured “Crab the Lifeguard” before being renamed Cheswick as a tribute to Matthew Cheswick, a young pedestrian who was struck and killed by a vehicle while walking along Coastal Highway in 2012. For additional safety resources or to view an online version of Cheswick the Crab and the Smart Summer, visit www.oceancitymd.gov/oc/walksmart.

Editor’s Note

From intersection improvements to widening and new interchange construction, MDOT SHA is investing in projects to enhance the commute and daily travel for millions of Marylanders.  MDOT SHA maintains more than 2,500 bridges and 17,000 miles of non-toll state roads – the interstate, US and state numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties.

###