No Radar On Police Car That Pulled Over PG Councilwoman For Driving 105 On Beltway
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TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (CBSDC) — Prince George’s County councilwoman Karen R. Toles allegedly drove at speeds in excess of 105 miles per hour on the Capital Beltway, but was not issued a speeding ticket when stopped by police.
Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis said Wednesday Toles was not issued a ticket because police cruiser that tried to pull her over was not equipped with radar and its speedometer was not calibrated. A method called “pacing” would have been the only method to determine Toles’ actual speed.
“Because the violator’s vehicle exited the beltway at a point in time that was before the officer had an opportunity to establish that good pace,” Davis explained during a press conference. “That’s why the officer felt he did not have enough probable cause to issue the violator a ticket for her speed.”
His entire press conference can be viewed below.
An executive review panel will convene next week to review the incident and could recommend further tickets or citations for the infraction.
Toles issued her own statement saying she was speeding because she was late for a meeting, but declined to speak with the media.
Authorities did issue her a citation for an unsafe lane change, which Toles said she will pay. The citation carries a $90 fine.
Around noon on Feb. 22, a Prince George’s County Police cruiser tried to pull over Toles’ county-issued vehicle after witnessing it drive at unsafe speeds on the Beltway near Branch Avenue. A brief pursuit ended with the vehicle being surrounded by officers, some of whom had their guns drawn, according to WJLA.
The councilwoman reportedly identified herself and was belligerent toward officers at that time.
The posted speed limit for the Beltway in the area she was traveling area is 55 mph.
“The issuance of a warning citation for the speed is consistent with the typical discretion applied by police officers to speeding motorists,” PG County Police said in a statement. “The traffic violations were captured on the police officer’s in-car camera, and the incident will be subject to command review. At the moment, the video is evidence in a pending District Court traffic case, and will not be released. “
Toles has a history of traffic infractions. In March of 2010 she was cited for an unsafe lane change. Later that year she received a citation for “driving off a roadway while passing another vehicle.”
Toles, D-District 7, was elected to her first four-year term in 2010.