Prince George’s Police to Review Councilwoman’s Traffic Stop

Karen Toles was cited for speeding in a county vehicle.

The case of a Prince George’s County Councilwoman whom police say was speeding on the Capital Beltway at close to 105 mph earlier this month is under an executive review from Prince George’s County police.

Councilmember Karen Toles (D-Dist. 7) of Suitland was fined $90 and given a warning for excessive speeding Feb. 22, according to Prince George's County police. Toles was traveling close to 105 mph—50 mph above the speed limit, according to WUSA9 and other news reports.

Police announced Wednesday that an executive panel would review the traffic stop, which could have come with a fine of up to $500.

Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis told WTTG Fox 5 news that Toles was given a warning due to issues with the patrol officer’s equipment.

“Our preliminary assessment also reveals that same officer was operating a marked patrol car whose speedometer was not calibrated, didn’t have radar, and the time period that the officer had on the beltway to establish a good pace of the vehicle that he eventually stopped didn’t exist,” he was quoted as saying.

Toles was reported driving a county-issued Ford sport utility vehicle when she was pulled over by an officer near Branch Avenue. Toles said in a statement Wednesday that she would not drive another county vehicle until she completed a driver improvement course.

“…I take full responsibility for my actions and I apologize to my constituents, my county council colleagues, and Prince George’s County,” she said.  “In addition to paying the appropriate fine, I will not be driving a county owned vehicle until voluntarily completing a driver improvement course to ensure my safety and the safety of others.”

Toles has had several moving violations since 2002, according to .

Fellow council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Dist.1) of Laurel told Patch that she had to submit her driver’s license for review when she was issued a vehicle by the county. Lehman said she received speed-camera tickets while driving her vehicle and was required to pay them out-of-pocket.

“For me, this is uncharted territory,” she said, referring to any repercussions that might occur due to Toles' alleged actions. “Where our administration proceedings kick in is just not clear…I think she did the right thing to say she was wrong.”

Lehman said she received several e-mails from constituents about Toles' traffic citation. Some suggested that Toles received a warning ticket because she was a council member.

“[Police] are not doing anyone a favor by letting someone off the hook because of their title,” she said, not specifically referencing Toles. "I would say to anyone, better to be five minutes late than to be in an accident--it's not worth your life."

Ken Montville March 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
If this were a "regular" person (not an elected official who has some political power), their license would be revoked and they'd be charged with reckless driving. Top this off with a history of moving violations and it equals a blatant disregard for our traffic laws and, more importantly, the safety of those who share the road with her. I guess the culture of government created by Jack Johnson and his cronies lives on in Karen Toles.
Sharp Shooter March 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM
fyi... the 'drivers improvement program' is a joke. $75 for an on-line course and quiz. What happened to the good ole drivers-ed movies like 'Mechanized Death'? We were forced to watch 'em - in public school at that. My driving history isn't perfect but there are scenes from those movies that are still stuck in my head
mj23 March 01, 2012 at 10:23 PM
It is time for those Ms. Toles represents to express their voice and let her know how unhappy they are with this. I agree with Ken, if this were a "regular" person, things would have gone very different. When will elected officials learn they are not above following the law???
buckeye March 01, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I want to know why she needs a driver improvement course, as if that will make things OK. No one needs a course to know you shouldn't be driving 105 mph. What a joke and mockery of the whole situation by Ms. Toles.
hmj March 02, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Time for this turkey to go ! Another elected moron in the headlines for PG.
Katrina Boverman March 02, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I am shocked that the fine was only $90 and that there were not more serious charges. I do hope that something is able to "modify" her situation before "the next time". It would be a shame for there to be needless injuries and deaths especially when there was such a clear warning of a serious problem.
Edward March 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I don't understand why our county council members insist on continually embarrassing us. Displaying a modicum of self-control and professionalism would do wonders for our image.
Penny March 02, 2012 at 09:45 PM
If this were the average P.G. Resident they would have had handcuffs on them and a $1000 fine
Jey Zee March 02, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Okay, let me get this straight ....the police vehicle hadn't been correctly calibrated; so no harm-no foul? Someone introduce the "Toles Bill" soon because one of us regular citizens just might need that defense. Or does it only apply to Councilpeople?
Lynn Ellis March 06, 2012 at 04:24 PM
The $90 fine was for an unsafe lane change..the speeding was only a warning. Thew police said the officer's speedometer wasn't calibrated but I can't see an uncalibrated speedometer being even 20 mph off let alone 50. Fine, give her a 20 mph buffer and drop her speed to 85..that still puts her 30 over and eligible for reckless driving.
James Birchfield March 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM
This woman obviously has a problem with speeding, given her record. A gentle tap on the wrist won't change her behavior.....she needs a good kick in the arse! Some jail time and a 4 figure fine along with a license suspension would get her attention, I'll bet!
Nestor Tolstikhin April 02, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I received $90 speeding ticket in MD for doing 70 in 55 mile zone and policeman would consider neither my apology nor my perfect driving record.
Michael B. Cron April 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
My son got a $125.00 ticket on a speed camera doing 55 in a 45 in the District of Corruption!


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