AAA Says Maryland Drivers Are Slowing Down
AAA Mid-Atlantic says more Maryland drivers are slowing down in highway work zones, except for one trouble spot on the Beltway. The 365,000 speed tickets issued by mobile speed camera units in Maryland work zones is a significant improvement from the nearly half a million tickets issued last year, though AAA Mid-Atlantic did say fewer large-scale construction projects likely had a lot to do with that number. On the stretch of the Beltway in Silver Spring between New Hampshire Avenue and University Bouelvard, 41,641 speeding tickets were issued from January through the end of November. That's in addition to the 30,986 speeding tickets issued there from August 2011 through December 2011. The state was working on the Northwest Branch bridge with a posted 55 mph speed limit. Vehicles traveling 12 mph over that limit were subject to the $40 citations. Still, AAA Mid-Atlantic said there was a noticeable percentage decrease in the number of drivers speeding in work zones. The group says its analysis of state figures shows fewer than two out of every 100 drivers were caught speeding. The state began issuing speed tickets in work zones three years ago. Since, AAA Mid-Atlantic's John Townsend says work zone fatalities have declined 67 percent, crashes are down 16.8 percent and the number of injured persons is down almost 12 percent. The State Highway Administration has two Bethesda-area projects underway (the Jones Bridge Road/Connecticut Avenue widening and the Wisconsin Avenue/Cedar Lane intersection improvement). More are on the way, including Walter Reed-related projects at Jones Bridge Road and at West Cedar Lane and Old Georgetown Road.