The Washington Post

Karen Toles, Prince George’s council member, was driving more than 100 mph, sources say

A Prince George’s County Council member who was ticketed last week for making an unsafe lane change on the Capital Beltway was going more than 100 mph, according to three law enforcement sources.

Council member Karen R. Toles (D-Suitland) was traveling near Branch Avenue about noon Feb. 22 when a Prince George’s police officer saw her county-issued Ford Edge veer across lanes of traffic, the sources said. Toles was exceeding the 55-mph speed limit, and the officer turned on his lights and sirens and followed her car, the sources said.

The officer caught up to Toles after she exited on Branch Avenue, the sources said. She was given the ticket for an unsafe lane change — a violation that carries a $90 fine — and a warning for speeding.

Toles has been active in advocating public-safety legislation. She released a statement saying she was late for an appointment and intends to pay the fine. “I consider moving violations serious matters and I regret the incident,” Toles wrote.

In a statement, Prince George’s police said the warning was “consistent with the typical discretion applied by police officers to speeding motorists.”

The officer did not use a radar gun to clock Toles’s speed, but his cruiser camera shows that he reached speeds as high as 108 mph, they said. On the warning, the officer wrote that Toles was traveling 105 mph, the sources said.

In Maryland, drivers are assessed points for offenses and can have their license suspended if they accrue eight points, said Rockville lawyer David Felsen.

Going 105 mph in a 55-mph zone carries 5 points and a recommended fine of $530, he added.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.



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