Ocean City and Maryland Department of Transportation Officials Remind Visitors and Residents to Walk Smart, Drive Smart, and Bike Smart This Summer 

Ocean City, MD (May 1, 2024) –  Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials joined Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan and Ocean City Police Department Chief Ross Buzzuro today to officially kick off the 2024 summer season and remind residents and visitors to Walk Smart, Drive Smart, and Bike Smart this summer!

“We appreciate Mayor Meehan and Chief Buzzuro for welcoming us back again to help kick off the 2024 summer season with the essential reminders that all residents and visitors need to remember,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative. “A visit to the beach should be fun, carefree and perhaps an escape from reality, but everyone must remember the rules of the road still apply – even on vacation.”

Today, MDOT launched the 2024 Ocean City Walk Smart, Drive Smart, Bike Smart safety campaign with a press conference at the Boardwalk Entrance. The campaign features the iconic “Cheswick the Crab” mascot and amplifies safety messages that heighten a commitment to the “four Es” – engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services – to save lives and prevent injuries on MD 528 (Coastal Highway) and other heavily used roadways in Maryland’s largest beach town.

Ocean City Police Department Chief Ross Buzzuro, Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan, State Highway Administrator Will Pines and MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer
Ocean City Police Department Chief Ross Buzzuro, Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan, State Highway Administrator Will Pines and Motor Vehicle Administration Administrator Chrissy Nizer

“The State Highway Administration is proud to partner with Ocean City to keep visitors and residents safe during peak vacation season and throughout the year,” State Highway Administrator Will Pines said. “We’ve made substantial safety improvements in Ocean City over the years and it’s vital we continue to look out for one another – whether we’re in cars, on motorcycles, on bicycles or on foot.”

The State Highway Administration has made substantial engineering safety improvements in Ocean City over the years to protect vulnerable users. The department constructed 2.7 miles of median wave fencing on MD 528 (Coastal Highway) between Convention Center Drive and 62nd Street to deter mid-block crossings and added  LED street lighting to enhance illumination of the entire roadway.

Other improvements include updating and adding highly visible crosswalks along Coastal Highway, between 17th and 67th Steet, reconstruction of sidewalk ramps and medians at the MD 528/118th Street intersection, retracing existing crosswalks and stop bars on Coastal Highway and improving the pavement MD 378 (Baltimore Avenue) between North Division Street and 15th Street.

In December, it was announced that the Town of Ocean City had been named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. While improvements made by the State Highway Administration and the Town of Ocean City are a great start, the safety of vulnerable road users remains a top priority for all stakeholders. "The Town of Ocean City is proud to partner with the Maryland Department of Transportation to remind visitors to Walk Smart, Drive Smart and Bike Smart. Let's prioritize safety for all pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists, ensuring everyone can enjoy our beautiful city responsibly," said Ocean City Mayor Meehan.

Each summer, the weekend population in Ocean City swells from 6,900 residents to more than 300,000 people. Town officials want those visiting to have a memorable time – which starts with having a safe visit.

“As we head into the busy summer season, we ask that you please put safety first. The goal of the Walk Smart program is to keep EVERY SINGLE PERSON safe – a feat that could only be accomplished through our great partnership with our state partners and the many community members and businesses throughout our town,” said Chief Ross Buzzuro of the Ocean City Police Department.

Ocean City law enforcement, and law enforcement throughout the county and state, want everyone to be safe. This starts with every road user taking responsibility for their actions both on and off the road, as emphasized in the Cheswick the Crab campaign.

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 and 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 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 mirrors 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. 

Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at or on Facebook, Twitter/X and Instagram​ at @ZeroDeathsMD.


Anna Levendusky, MDOT MVA​