Bumper to Bumper: Police on ICC issue hundreds of speeding citations, warnings -- Gazette.Net


Police officers on the Intercounty Connector issued about 10 speeding citations and warnings per day during the past three months, according to data from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The 18-mile tolled freeway is patrolled by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who enforce laws around the state at sites such as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the World Trade Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Montgomery County Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg said he heard from several constituents that “police officers are ticketing speeders aggressively” on the ICC.

Sgt. Jonathan Green, public information officer for the MDTA Police, said it was difficult to tell if the number of speeding tickets issued on the ICC could be considered high or low because many factors influence traffic.

“The reality is, it’s a unique environment,” Green said.

Weekday traffic on the ICC averaged about 22,000 trips per day in December, according to MDTA data. That exceeded MDTA’s projected number of trips, 20,598. From October through December, 887 citations and warnings were issued for speeding on the ICC.

Few roads compare to the ICC in the Washington, D.C., area. On the 15-mile Dulles Toll Road in Virginia, about the same length as the ICC, traffic numbers are higher.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson Rob Yingling said about 100,000 tolls are registered on the road daily. Drivers are tolled twice if they enter the road from the Beltway, then take an exit; they are tolled once if they enter the road through a ramp and then take an exit. Individual vehicle traffic is not measured, Yingling said.

And while the MWAA police force mainly patrols the Dulles Toll Road, Fairfax County and Virginia’s state police also may enforce laws there. Montgomery County and Capital Park Police use the ICC frequently, but only the MDTA Police issue warnings and citations, Green said.

Local officials, including Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, have called for the state to raise the speed limit on the ICC from 55 to 60 mph. The MDTA is performing an initial evaluation to determine whether raising the limit would be safe.

After the authority studies single-vehicle accidents on the ICC, it will release the evaluation to the public in early February, MDTA spokesperson John Sales said.

Riders and drivers of Montgomery County: stuck in congestion on your morning commute? Seeing major delays on the Red Line? Send me a note at bumper@gazette.net.