Prince George’s County leaders are demanding more speed cameras and promising intensified law enforcement on the deadly highway where three children were killed by a suspected drunk driver early Sunday.
“It is not business as ususal on Rt. 210,” vowed Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks as she mourned the deaths of 5-year old twins Alexander and Rosalie Mejia and their 1-year old brother Isaac.
The children were killed and their parents were critically injured when the sedan they were riding in was rear-ended by a suspected drunk driver as the family’s car slowed for a traffic light at the intersection of Kerby Hill Road and southbound 210, known as Indianhead Highway.
But authorities face frustrating statistics. From 2016 to 2018 traffic stops by county police nearly doubled to 6400. Even so, the high accident rate actually rose slightly in 2018 to 354. Five people died on the road in 2018.
Police Chief Hank Stawinski promised enforcement efforts would continue to intensify with a focus on speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving and interdicting groups of motorcyclists known to stage high-speed racing and stunts on the road.
Rt. 210 is a state highway where it takes an act of the state legislature to approve the installation of speed cameras.
One camera was installed in October. Delegate Kris Valderrama promised to push for changes in the law to allow the camera to become portable, and to seek additional cameras.
Valderrama and other officials also vowed to demand additional highway funding to increase the pace of safety improvements to the road, which state officials say is at its capacity of more than 75,000 vehicles per day.
A $116 million interchange is currently being construction that will eliminate the traffic light where the Mejia children were killed. The overpass project affecting Kerby Hill Rd., Livingston Rd. and Wilson Bridge Drive is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2020.
In the meantime authorities appealed to motorists to change their behavior when using Rt. 210.
“Slow down. Put the phone down,” said Chief Stawinski.