Sheriff ticketing stop sign scofflaws Parents' complaints prompt monitoring of intersection

October 01, 1995|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The Harford County Sheriff's Office has begun to crack down on motorists running four-way stop signs at Brookside and Top View drives and Fountain Rock Way in Edgewood after 20 parents complained about the scofflaws, a sheriff's spokesman said.

In a 90-minute span Monday, two deputies from the Harford County Sheriff's Office issued 12 tickets and one warning to motorists who failed to stop at that intersection, said Sgt. Edward Hopkins, the spokesman.

"Deputy 1st Class Dave Betz wrote four more citations in 40 minutes at the corner on Wednesday," Sergeant Hopkins said.

"Maryland law requires motorists to come to a complete stop," Deputy Betz said last week. "What I observed wasn't even close to a complete stop."

Cpl. Leonard Agnello of the sheriff's community policing division said, "We already are monitoring that intersection for the short-term, but we will study it for long-term solutions as well."

Since receiving the Edgewood parents' complaints, Sergeant Hopkins said he ran a computer check of traffic violations at that intersection for the last year.

Sheriff's deputies issued more than 9,000 citations countywide since September 1994, he said. About 75 tickets were issued at, or very near, the intersection, he said.

"Twenty-two citations involved stop-sign violations at Brookside Drive, Top View Drive and Fountain Rock Way," he said.

A half hour spent at the intersection clearly supports parents' concerns.

In 30 minutes on a recent weekday, 85 vehicles traveled through the intersection, and 68 stopped. Four motorists drove through the stop sign on Brookside Drive without slowing -- including one driver who did so three times. The posted speed limit is 25 mph.

Debbie Orr, 44, of Fountain Rock Way said cars regularly run the stop signs. She comes to the intersection to meet her children.

"Not every mother is blessed to be able to stay home and watch their children get on and off the school bus every day," she said. "Many of these children are unattended."

Chuck Jamack, 32, of Top View Drive meets his daughter each day at the bus stop. He said he saw a car recently drive right by a stopped school bus, which had on its emergency flashing lights on as it unloaded the young passengers.

Sergeant Hopkins said the parents have every right to be concerned. "We'll try to do a better job of responding to their concerns."

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