Council Member Warned for Driving 100 MPH in 55 MPH Zone: Police | NBC4 Washington

Council Member Warned for Driving 100 MPH in 55 MPH Zone: Police

Council member cited for unsafe lane change



    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012)

    A Prince George’s County Council member was stopped by police after reportedly driving almost twice the speed limit last week, police said.

    A Prince George’s County officer cited Council member Karen Toles for an unsafe lane change about noon Wednesday on the Capital Beltway near Branch Avenue, police said. She also received a warning for excessive speed.

    Police sources said she was driving her county-issued Ford Edge almost 105 mph in a 55 mph zone, which generally carries a $500 fine and five points on a license.

    In a statement released Tuesday, Toles said she was leaving a meeting and was late for another appointment.

    PG Council Member Caught Speeding 105 MPH on Beltway

    [DC] PG Council Member Caught Speeding 105 MPH on Beltway
    Prince George's Councilwoman Karen Toles was clocked driving a county SUV 105 mph on the Beltway. Police confirm the councilwoman was ticketed for an unsafe lane change but only given a warning for speeding. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.
    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012)

    "I was leaving a meeting and was late for my next appointment. I consider moving violations serious matters and I regret the incident," the statement read. "I intend to pay the appropriate fine for these traffic violations."

    The officer’s in-cruiser camera recorded the traffic stop, which is under review, police said. A police executive review panel will be held next week.

    The excessive speed warning issued is consistent with the usual discretion regarding speeding motorists, police said. They said she didn't get a speeding ticket because police didn't believe they could prove, not because she's on the council, News4's Pat Collins reported.

    The officer who stopped Toles is a 14-year veteran and an administrator who doesn't usually make traffic stops. His camera shows him following Toles at 105 mph, but his speedometer was not calibrated and he didn't have time to pace Toles.

    "We don't believe this police officer afforded anyone any special treatment, and in fact, we do know that he issued a $90 citation to the council member for her unsafe lane change," Prince George's County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis said.

    Apologizing again Wednesday, Toles said she will not drive a county-owned vehicle until she completes a driver improvement course.

    According to court records, Toles was ticketed in September 2010 for driving off road to pass another vehicle, in March 2010 for an unsafe lane change, and in May 2009 and June 2009 for child safety seat violations,

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