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Complaints lead to increased speed patrols on George Washington Parkway

(WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — The nice weather has more drivers out on the road and more people heading out to local parks.

But it also has more police officers catching speeders.

“You’re going to see an enhanced presence on the south end of the George Washington Parkway,” Sgt. Anna Rose told NBC 4, speaking about the stretch of the parkway running from Alexandria south to Mount Vernon. “We’ll be looking for people speeding.”

The speed limit through that area ranges from 35 to 45 miles per hour and there are many pedestrians crossing the road to get to the park along the Potomac River.  But Rose says people are often going well above that limit, putting themselves and pedestrians at risk.

“We see a lot of car crashes involving property damage, minor injuries, even a fatality last year,” Rose explained.

Police will be out along the parkway using radar to check the speeds of drivers.  Rose said the effort is more about deterrence than about actually pulling over drivers, but fines will be issued to excessive speeders. “That can go up over $300 very quickly,”  she added.

Police said they are stepping up the patrols after residents complained about commuters traveling too quickly down the parkway.