Maryland State Police step up holiday enforcement

Maryland State Police step up holiday enforcement (ABC7)

Before you pass the sweet potatoes, First Sergeant Vinson Smith with Maryland State Police is making sure you don’t go past the speed limit.

“The speed limit is 55. I’m pacing this car. We’re well over 70 mph,” said First Sgt. Smith.

So, he stopped the driver on I-495 in Prince George’s County.

Nicole Queen’s reason for speeding got her out of a ticket.

She agreed to talk to us.

“I thought I was in a 65 miles zone,” said Queen.

First Sergeant Smith wrote a warning, hoping she slows down.

“I just think the more presence that we have, the more safe we are in the streets,” said Queen about MSP’s stepped-up enforcement.

We went on a ride along to see what State Police calls stepped up enforcement.

“It has worked. Our collisions on Route 50 between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. have significantly declined,” said First Sgt. Smith.

In the area on Route 50 from the Beltway to the D.C. line, crashes are down 44 percent from January through October, compared to the same time last year.

First Sgt. Smith is looking for distracted drivers and ones who are aggressive.

“When we’re driving and we see a police car, our natural reaction is pay more attention to our driving,” said First Sgt. Smith.

On this Thanksgiving eve, 20 additional troopers will be out after 10 p.m. tonight in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, focusing on DUI enforcement.

First Sgt. Smith showed us a damaged cruiser that was hit during a traffic stop about two weeks ago by a suspected drunk driver. The trooper had minor injuries.

He reminds drivers of the move over law, which requires drivers to move over one lane for law enforcement or slow down.

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