GREENBELT, Md. (August 05, 2011)—Maryland State Police in the Washington Metro Troop are warning weekend Capital Beltway drivers ahead of time that almost two dozen additional troopers will be saturating the interstate tonight in a concentrated effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on one of the most heavily traveled sections of highway in the country.
Troopers will again be deploying Operation Centipede beginning tonight and extending into the early morning hours of Saturday along the entire length of the Capital Beltway in Prince Georges County. At least 20 additional troopers will be added to the regular patrol force in that area tonight. Troopers in marked and unmarked vehicles will be focused on finding aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, speeding drivers, inattentive drivers, and others operating in a reckless or negligent manner. The State Highway Administration will be using overhead signs to inform drivers they are in a speed enforcement zone and there will be no warnings. Some of the additional troopers will be on overtime funded by state and federal highway safety money.
Our goal is a simple, but very important one, Captain Clifford Hughes, Washington Metro Troop Commander said. We want to save lives and reduce injuries resulting from crashes on the Capital Beltway. Traffic crashes just dont happen. Each traffic crash has a cause and usually that cause is the result of a drivers aggressiveness, negligence, or inattentiveness. Our enforcement efforts tonight will be abundant and effective.
Operation Centipede is an ongoing traffic enforcement program implemented periodically along the Capital Beltway. A National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study showed speed and alcohol use were factors in a majority of traffic fatalities on this section of the Capital Beltway, with most fatalities occurring between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Maryland State Police are continuing their investigation into a six vehicle crash that killed two people and injured two others on the Capital Beltway near Ritchie Marlboro Road early Tuesday morning. A driver involved in the crash and suspected of driving under the influence was taken into custody and released without charges pending the outcome of the investigation and a review by the county states attorneys office.
Troopers did take the individuals drivers license and, as required by law, issued a temporary license that will be valid for 45 days or until a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration hearing is held. Charges against the driver are pending.