Grand Prix Helps Combat Aggressive Driving

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore Police are cracking down on drivers who feel the need for speed. They’ve teamed up with a few people who know exactly what it’s like to drive fast.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the enforcement effort.

Baltimore Police are trying to ensure our highways don’t look more like Indy car speedways.

On Tuesday, police commissioner Fred Bealefeld teamed up with officials from the Baltimore Grand Prix to launch the third wave of the Smooth Operator Program.

“It’s so different to be driving on a race course compared to what we do on the roads,” said Scott Dixon.

Dixon would know. He won the Indy 500 in 2008. He says amateur drivers need to stick with the speed limit.

“That’s where it gets dangerous. You know, you’re not thinking clearly. You don’t have the judgment for a shorter amount of error time,” he said.

This Sunday, police across Maryland and D.C. will be out in full force targeting speeders for the third time this summer.

During the first two waves of stepped up enforcement, police wrote an average of 365 tickets and warnings an hour. 

“Don’t put everybody else at risk just because you want to play out a scene from Dover or a scene from Indy,” Commissioner Bealefeld said.

In 2009, 547 people were killed in crashes on Maryland roadways; 33 percent of those accidents involved drivers who were speeding.

Police hope this latest round of enforcement convinces drivers to leave the speeding to the professionals.

The fourth wave of the Smooth Operator Program will begin in September. 

Last year the Smooth Operator campaign netted more than half a million speeders in Maryland and D.C.

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