Accident-prone Route 30 gets close enforcement

November 04, 1992|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

The large number of serious accidents on Route 30 has prompted state police and local police from Baltimore County and Hampstead to conduct an intensive speed enforcement program on that highway this month.

"Due to the high volume of traffic on Route 30, this road has been selected for intensive enforcement, and signs indicating that have been posted," said Cpl. Al Friedman, of the Baltimore County Traffic Resource Management office.

"It is a high-accident-rate road," he said.

Corporal Friedman said the two-lane highway, popularly known as Hanover Pike, carries nearly 21,000 vehicles per day north of Fowblesburg -- many of them owned by Carroll countians in Hampstead, Manchester and surrounding areas -- and more than 15,000 per day on the 7.4-mile section that extends from Reisterstown to Fowblesburg.

Five persons have been killed on the Carroll County portion of the road since 1990.

The latest victim was Henry Clay Wheeler, Jr., 34, of Westminster, who died Oct. 28 when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer at Bachmans Valley Road.

During the last five years, 12 people have been killed in 188 reportable accidents on the Baltimore County section of the highway between Reisterstown and the Carroll County line, Corporal Friedman said.

Some 116 of those accidents, or 62 percent, involved injury or death.

The posted speed limit between Reisterstown and Hampstead ranges from 40 mph to 50 mph.

A recent survey in areas where the posted speed limit is 40 mph showed that the average speed is 6 mph to 10 mph over the limit and that a small percentage of motorists are driving 11 mph to 16 mph faster than the law allows.

Single-vehicle accidents account for 35 percent of all collisions on Hanover Pike, with rear-end accidents in second place in the statistics.

Some 12 percent of all reportable accidents on the highway have involved heavy-duty trucks or road tractors, according to an analysis of all the accidents.

The primary causes for the large number of accidents are lane violations, excessive speed and failure to grant right of way, Corporal Friedman said.

Five percent of the collisions listed alcohol or drugs as a secondary cause.

Other units joining in the enforcement project include the Baltimore County DWI Task Force and truck inspection unit, which is to be equipped with scales to check for overloaded vehicles.

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