People with smooth stories and good excuses may have to start putting up cash in place of double talk when stopped for speeding in Crofton.
Town Manager Jordan Harding says he's tired of people racing down residential streets. He says drivers caught going even a few milesover the 25-mph speed limit will face fines rather than warnings.
"We write a considerable amount of tickets," said Harding, addingthat police used to give breaks to people exceeding the limit by 5 to 8 mph. "This is going to change. I am serious about speed. The limit will be pretty rigidly enforced. This is in responseto a growing number of citizen complaints."
Crofton Police Sgt. Deborah French doesn't believe speeding problems have grown and says no serious accidents have occurred recently. But in the last two weeks, officers have written 21 citations and issued 34 warnings. "That's quite a bit," she said.
Crofton, bounded by routes 3, 424 and 450, has about 10,000 people living in primarily residential neighborhoods. The only roadthat does not have a speed limit of 25 mph is a three-quarter-mile stretch on Crofton Parkway in front of the Village Green, where the limit is 30 mph.
Harding said many of the people caught going too fast "don't live in Crofton, but in Gambrills, Bowie and Davidsonville."
Harding said motorists are cutting through Crofton to avoid bottlenecks at the intersection of routes 3 and 424.
"I know of a large commercial truck that runs at high speed -- 45 to 50 mph -- on Crofton Parkway," he said. "That's fast for a car, let alone a cement truck. I have asked the police to step up on radar. I don't want one kidkilled. And now that it is summer, there are basketballs flying in the middle of the road."
French said that police usually step up radar checks in June when school is letting out. She said police run checks on every road every shift, hitting areas with the most frequent complaints.
She said the average speed one evening in the 1700 block of Crofton Parkway was 40 to 43 mphduring a one-hour period. During morning rush hour in the same location, the average speed was between 25 and 34 mph.
During morning rush hour on Terrytown Road last week, the average speed was 33 mph; two motorists were ticketed for speeds of 42 and 38 mph.
Harding also said drivers are now prohibited from parking on a one-quarter-mile stretch of Crofton Parkway fromthe Prince ofPeace Church to the tennis courts near the Crofton Country Club.
"It is a used-car lot," he said. "I counted six or sevenautos parked along the side one day with for sales signs in the window. Now there will be no parking there at all times."
Harding saidhe also will crack down on people who repair cars in their drivewaysand residents who leave unregistered or unusable cars on their lots -- violations of covenants and county ordinances.