County police give MTA ticket-writing authority

April 14, 1992

The Baltimore County Police Department has authorized Mass Transit Administration police to fine people who drive around lowered gates at the two light-rail crossings in the county.

In recent weeks, the gates at the Timonium Road and Seminary Avenue crossings reportedly have lowered when the track was clear. Drivers would stop and, growing impatient, steer their cars around the gates and over the tracks.

Lawrence M. Engleman, acting chief of the MTA police, last month asked Baltimore County police Chief Cornelius J. Behan to give his police the authority to ticket. Mr. Behan gave his approval April 1.

MTA police can now write a $40 ticket to any driver who interferes with traffic control devices, railroad signs or signals, fails to stop at certain railroad crossings or moves heavy equipment at a crossing.

The MTA has asked the Baltimore Police Department for similar authority at the Howard Street light-rail crossing. So far, city police have not responded to the request, said an MTA

spokeswoman.

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