- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Prince George’s County officials yesterday said they will attempt to crack down on illegal street racing by using helicopters and putting cameras at 10 notorious racing spots.

Officials said they are increasing enforcement largely in response to the Feb. 16 accident on Indian Head Highway, in Accokeek, in which eight persons were killed, but provided few new details about the investigation.

They said the driver of the 1999 Crown Victoria that fatally struck the spectators and injured several others passed a drug and alcohol test at the scene.

The driver, Darren Bullock, 20, of Waldorf, was not involved in the race. He struck the victims who were standing in the road to see the two racing cars leave the starting line. The officials also said they have interviewed about 20 of the estimated 200 spectators who attended the race in the predawn hours and appealed to witnesses to talk to police.

“We want them to talk,” said county police Maj. Kevin Putnam.

County police Chief Melvin C. High said some answers will not be released until the investigation is concluded.

County Executive Jack B. Johnson identified five of the 10 sites designated for stepped-up monitoring: Route 301, Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, Highway 450, Central Highway and Indian Head Highway, also known Route 210.

The cameras are not intended to catch speeders, but can identify clusters of parked vehicles, which will show where races are happening, Chief High said.

In addition, Prince George’s lawmakers in the General Assembly say they will introduce legislation to widen the use of speed cameras across Maryland.

Vernon Herron, Prince George’s public safety director, said county employees are now being trained to watch for cars modified for street racing.

The solution is for racers and spectators to go to legal racetracks, where spectators are in “safe venues,” he said.

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