BOWIE, Md. - Maryland State Police have begun an aggressive crackdown on speeding drivers in Prince George's County in response to a growing number of fatalities on Crain Highway (Route 301).
Since the beginning of 2018, there have been seven fatalities on Route 301. Three of them involved pedestrians crossing the roadway.
On March 28 on Route 301 at Trade Zone Avenue in Upper Marlboro, a 79-year-old man was killed after he was involved in a minor crash and was later struck when he got out to inspect the damage.
On April 12 on Route 301 and Mill Branch Road in Bowie, a person was killed and two others were injured after six vehicles collided on the highway.
Maryland State Police said they have conducted 1,722 traffic stops on Route 301 in the first three months of the year. Last year, there were only 543 traffic stops during the same time last year. Troopers handed out 833 citations since Jan. 1, which is 435 more issued during the same time period last year.
"We are doing a mixture of everything,” said Maryland State Police Capt. Dan Pickett. “We’re not just doing speed enforcement. We are also focusing on distracted driving. We are doing a good combination of everything. We also have our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division out there focusing on commercial motor vehicles trying to get them to slow down, trying to make sure their vehicles are in good, safe operation. We are using all resources available.”
Troopers are very concerned with the number of people who are struck crossing the highway.
On New Year’s Day, 16-year-old Derrick Staton was struck and killed on Crain Highway at Chadds Ford Drive in Brandywine by a Metro Transit Police officer in a marked cruiser.
"Pedestrians are crossing the roadways during low light hours and have been wearing dark clothing, not using a crosswalk and jaywalking,” said Capt. Pickett. “So again, when we are out here and we see a pedestrian jaywalking, don't be surprised if a trooper stops you.”