An Anne Arundel County police officer who was hit and bruised by a car while on traffic patrol this week said he will ask state officials to lower the speed limit on the road where the accident occurred.
Officer Anthony Mills had stopped the car for speeding on a strip of East Ordnance Road, also known as Route 710. Police have stepped up patrols along the road to enforce the 40 mph limit that went into effect in January. They say the patrols will continue until drivers observe the speed limit.
"People don't know how to drive, plain and simple," said Officer Mills, the department's Northern District traffic analyst.
Police said numerous accidents have occurred along East Ordnance Road because of speeding and drivers who don't yield the right of way. There was a fatal crash in January, said Capt. Gary Barr, commander of the Northern District. In 1992, 16 accidents occurred at the intersection of Blades Lane, near where Officer Mills was hit.
Officer Mills said he expects to ask the State Highway Administration (SHA) to adjust the speed limit on Ordnance Road so that it is 40 mph in both directions. It is currently 45 mph for eastbound traffic on East Ordnance Road.
Police also are considering asking the agency to look into installing traffic lights at the end of the exit ramps from Route 10 on East Ordnance Road and at the entrance to Price Club Plaza.
An SHA spokeswoman said the agency has not conducted traffic studies on the area, but usually does a study within a month of receiving a request.
Motorists use East Ordnance Road to get to Price Club Plaza, while trucks and other large vehicles use the road to go to and from Bay Meadows Industrial Park and other businesses. In the half an hour before he was hit near Blades Lane Monday morning, Officer Mills and Officer Steven Brown stopped eight cars for speeding on the strip between Route 10 and the Baltimore City line. The average traffic speed was about 52 mph.
A 16-year-old was charged in the accident involving Officer Mills. The youth's car was going less than 10 mph when it bumped Officer Mills, causing a bruise. Police searched the car and reported finding a loaded .25-caliber automatic handgun under the passenger seat. Zia Marie Ellis, 18, of the 500 block of Patapsco Ave. in Baltimore, and the youth were also charged with possession of a handgun, according to a police report.