Suspicious photographers merit a phone call to police

TRAFFIC TALK

September 25, 2005|By JODY K. VILSCHICK

As Marc LeGoff was driving to work on U.S. 32 west just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, he noticed a couple of men wearing orange road worker vests on the right shoulder. One started walking closer to the road, and LeGoff noticed he had something in his hands.

"Call me paranoid, but I'm pretty sure it was a silver camera and could have sworn that he took a picture of the back of my car as I drove by. Have you heard of anything like this before or am I imagining things?" he asked.

He noted that it really seemed like the camera was directed toward him and not toward the island between westbound and eastbound lanes.

He wondered whether the two men were plainclothes police officers or State Highway Administration workers. He discounted the possibility that the two men were prison inmates who work along our highways.

The same thing happened the following day. But that time, he noticed that the two men were not too far away from a vehicle on the shoulder that could have been an unmarked police car. He e-mailed me that morning. "I didn't see a radar gun or a silver camera this morning (but then again maybe that's because I wasn't speeding today)," he said.

According to Howard County police Sgt. Frederick von Briesen, the police would be in uniform if they were doing any radar enforcement.

"We are not aware and have no knowledge of who is there in the morning or what the people were doing," he said.

SHA also knew nothing of the men.

"We checked with our SHA contacts in construction, maintenance, utilities, plats and surveys, traffic and our statewide operations center," SHA spokesman Dave Buck said. "We are not aware of any SHA personnel in the area nor would any SHA personnel be authorized to take pictures of vehicles."

"Maybe I am just being overly suspicious or paranoid," LeGoff said, after I filled him in on my findings.

And here's my answer: No, you're not being too suspicious. In this day and age, you really can't be.

The next time you see something like that, call the police, von Briesen recommends.

If a motorist sees anything suspicious, he should call the police nonemergency number, and an officer will be dispatched to investigate, he said.

In Anne Arundel County, that number is 410-222-8610

Road work

If you're headed to Baltimore-Washington International Airport via Interstate 195 through the end of the year, be alert for nighttime lane closures for the installation of traffic signs.

Also, through mid-December, be alert for nighttime lane closures on Route 2 southbound between College Parkway and the U.S. 50 eastbound on ramp. There are other long-term projects involving Route 2 farther north in Severna Park, so look for lane closures through the end of November between Carlyn Road and White's Road for utility work.

On Route 10 between Route 710 and Route 648, be alert to daytime, nonrush-hour lane closures through mid-October for bridge repair and maintenance.

Through mid-October, expect periodic nighttime lane closures for construction and maintenance on Route 70 in both directions between Taylor Avenue and Admiral Drive and between North Bestgate Road and Calvert Street.

On Route 100 in both directions, expect nighttime lane closures in both directions at Route 174 for bridge repair.

What's your traffic trauma? Contact Jody K. Vilschick at traffictalk@comcast.net, send faxes to 410-715-2816 or mail letters to Traffic Talk, The Sun in Anne Arundel County, 60 West St., Suite 400, Annapolis 21401. Please include your full name and contact information or your comments will not be published or receive a response.

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