As deadly crashes have reached an epidemic level along MD Route 210 or Indian Head Highway, the calls for more safety measures are also multiplying. On Tuesday, a Prince George’s County group gathered to demand changes.
“Some of us are driving much too fast – aggressively, distracted, impaired and putting everyone’s life in danger,” one man said at the gathering.
In the last 11 years, there have been 45 deaths along the roadway in from the Charles County line to the Beltway. While there is evidence that recent safety changes, like speed cameras, are helping slow drivers down, the deadly crashes keep happening.
“I moved here some time ago because I loved what I saw. The only way you can make change is to be a part of it,” another man said.
One of those fatal crashes occurred a little more than a week ago, when a driver slammed into the back of another car, killing a person in the struck vehicle.
The advocates said one of their main concerns is that the fines from the speed cameras are just not strong enough. Whether drivers are going 12 miles per hour over the speed limit or 30, the penalty is the same. (For reference, the top speed recorded by one of those cameras was 161 miles per hour.)
And the cameras could actually go away if lawmakers don’t renew them next year.
Reverend Dr. Robert Screen has been a lead safety advocate for years along Indian Head Highway. He called the group together.
“This needs to change,” he said. “It has gotten better…As I pointed out in my presentation, we started out with between 5 and 6,000 infractions per 30 day period. We are down to about 2,000 or 2,500. So I mean, that’s still a lot, but it is an improvement.”
Screen added that deadly crashes are also trending downward, but he and other advocates want to keep pushing the gas on safety improvements, and they’re calling for the Maryland State Police to step up human patrols along the road.