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Dangerous driving during the pandemic

Some motorists threaten the safety of others
Posted at 4:29 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:21:24-04

PIKESVILLE, Md. — At first glance, the Baltimore Beltway may seem the same, but safe drivers know something is different.

“You’re doing 60 and people… right up on your bumper,” said Robert Castle of Hampden. “If you have to hit the brakes, that’s it. You’re either going into the barricade and they’re going with you or you’re going to flip over the barricade and take lives.”

It’s not just the beltway that’s turned into a speedway, and many now fear for their safety.

“Absolutely,” said Danita Allen of Northeast Baltimore. “Especially if I have my kid in the car. You know I have to be here for him and I don’t want him to get hurt or anyone else and I’ve seen multiple accidents where people are just… if the day is nice, we’re still in restrictions, but they’re abusing it.”

Maryland State Police have noticed it too, and last weekend, over a three-day period, they conducted more than 500 traffic stops and issued more than 400 citations across the state, cracking down on lead-footed drivers.

“A lower volume of traffic out there we believe has certainly contributed to people who feel that they can violate everyone else’s safety or endanger everyone else’s safety by driving any way they want,” said Greg Shipley of the Maryland State Police. "And one thing that certainly has not changed during this time of restriction are the traffic laws.”

In fact, troopers stopped one driver recently who was allegedly driving drunk and traveling more than 100 miles per hour.

It’s enough to make law-abiding people think twice about getting out on the road… even for the essentials.

“Even on my Saturday, if I have to go to market runs, people are just driving extremely crazy with the speeding or cutting you off, the failure to give right of way,” said Allen. “It’s just been horrible.”

With the Memorial Day weekend quickly approaching, Maryland State Police say you can be guaranteed their troopers will be out there making sure people mind the rules of the road.