ACCOKEEK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Prince George’s County police set up a DUI checkpoint on Indian Head Highway (Rt. 210) Thursday night, part of a larger effort to improve safety on one of the most dangerous roads in the region.
After three children were killed in a December crash in Oxon Hill caused by an alleged drunk driver, police and lawmakers vowed to take action.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Thursday that just in the first 37 days of the new year, police made 25 arrests – 10 for drunk driving – and issued more than 3,000 traffic citations on the highway. That doesn’t include numbers from Thursday.
To put that in perspective, there were around 10,000 citations in all of last year.
Prior to the crash that killed the three children, Yasmin Duncan’s daughter, Samira Jenkins, was also killed on Indian Head Highway in Oxon Hill.
The 24-year-old was crossing the road from her home to catch the bus to a job interview.
Duncan says she was devastated to learn that another family had suffered such loss.
“My heart goes out,” Duncan said. “I think about the parents all the time and pray for them. I know what they’re going through, but to lose all three of their babies -- I can’t imagine.”
She says while there were improvements made to the intersection where her daughter was hit, Duncan doesn’t feel enough was done to improve safety after her daughter’s death. She believes steps being taken now are overdue.
This week, the Prince George’s County council made Indian Head Highway a top priority for transportation projects. The county has requested state funding to create more interchanges along the road to improve congestion.
Del. Kriselda Valderrama (D-Prince George’s Co.) co-sponsored a bill that got the first speed camera on the highway, and she’s now sponsored a new bill that would put multiple speed cameras on the road. The bill has passed its first committee hearing and is up for a second hearing on Friday.
“I think definitely the speed cameras are probably one of the most significant things that can help to reduce speed,” Duncan said.
She hopes that more people will join the fight.
“Please become aware. Reach out to your Senators, your Congressmen, your councilmen to try to make changes,” she said. “I know there’s so many dangerous roads in Maryland, but 210 is truly, truly just a death highway and we need support of our Maryland residents to make changes.”