Prince George’s County, Maryland Councilwoman, Karen Toles was stopped by police this weekend after she was observed going nearly double the speed limit on the 495 beltway. Toles, traveling between meetings in a county SUV, was reportedly driving at 105 miles per hour. Initially ignoring police attempts to pull her over, Toles was ultimately pulled over, police with guns drawn, and cited for an unsafe lane change and simply warned regarding her excessive speed.
As for why there was no speeding or reckless driving charge against Toles, Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis indicated to CBSBaltimore that “the police officer didn’t have enough time and space to establish the pace of the car.” David further indicated that the officer’s patrol car speedometer was not calibrated. Put simply, based on the incident the
Avoiding a Speeding or Reckless driving charge saved Toles a significant amount of money and legal trouble. Exceeding the speed limit in Maryland can result in fines of up to $500. Reckless driving charges can be much higher. Just like in Virginia, where reckless driving fines can reach $2,500, both types of charges in Maryland can lead to multiple demerits on a driver’s record. These demerits can lead to the suspension of a driver’s license.
According to CBS, Councilwoman Toles has received six traffic violations in Maryland since 2009, including failing to have children properly restrained on more than one occasion, passing a car on the shoulder as well as a previous “unsafe lane change.”
Initially the councilwoman refused to speak Toles released a statement about the incident in which she took, “full responsibility for my actions,” adding, “In addition to paying the appropriate fine, I will not be driving a county owned vehicle until voluntarily completing a driver improvement course.”