Traffic detail aims to crack down on speeders on Capital Beltway, I-270

Authorities in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland have joined forces in an effort to target speeders and other dangerous drivers on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270.

The new effort, announced Monday, includes a traffic enforcement detail of 35 law enforcement personnel, including Maryland state troopers from the Washington Metro Troop; members of the Montgomery County and Prince George’s County police departments, and the Virginia State Police, according to a news release from the Maryland State Police.

The Maryland State Police is leading the effort. On Monday — the first day — state troopers, alone, issued 228 citations and 196 warnings, state police said in a tweet. In addition, troopers made one arrest on an warrant and five drug arrests.

The effort will run through August with once-a-month operations focused on targeting excessive speeders and aggressive and impaired driving. The effort will concentrate on the Capital Beltway and I-270, with a goal of reducing crash deaths in Maryland’s two largest counties.

All told, more than 17,100 crashes were reported last year in Prince George’s County, and more than 9,700 in Montgomery County, according to Automated Crash Reporting System data provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Maryland State Police said previous efforts to crack down on dangerous driving on the Beltway and elsewhere in the area over the past few years have paid off, bringing the total number of crashes in the Washington Metro Troop region from more than 6,600 in 2018 to just over 5,000 in 2020.

However, as traffic volume plunged last spring amid the coronavirus pandemic, concerns grew about “super speeders” on quieter-than-usual roads.

An effort to crack down on aggressive driving between September and November led to nearly 400 traffic citations and warnings.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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