Montgomery County speed camera program to get a fresh approach -- Gazette.Net


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Speed Cameras

On top of the 74 roads designated as protected under the county’s speed camera enforcement program, county police are adding 18 locations where cameras may be placed:
- 10400 Block of Tenbrook Drive in Silver Spring
- 10900 Block of Kingstead Road in Damascus
- 13500 Block of Layhill Road in Silver Spring
- 14600 Block of Homecrest Road in Aspen Hill
- 17100 Block of Bowie Mill Road in Olney
- 17100 Block of Redland Road in Derwood
- 18400 Block of Cinnamon Drive in Germantown
- 19200 Block of Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown
- 19350 Block of Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown
- 18600 Block of Montgomery Village Avenue in Montgomery Village
- 19800 Block of Montgomery Village Avenue in Montgomery Village
- 22400 Block of Dickerson Road in Silver Spring
- 24100 Block of Ridge Road in Clarksburg
- 25800 Block of Ridge Road in Clarksburg
- 3400 Block of Laytonsville Road in Olney
- 7000 Block of Wilson Lane in Bethesda
- 8100 Block of Midcounty Highway in Gaithersburg
- 8900 Block of 16th Street in Silver Spring
For a complete list of the 74 roads already under the county’s speed camera enforcement program, visit the Safe Speed link at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Montgomery County police hope to stop speeding drivers with a new approach to speed camera enforcement designed to follow unsafe driving trends.

Ten camera units will be added to the existing 10 portable cameras and six van-mounted units, according to Capt. Thomas Didone, director of the department’s Traffic Division. Eighteen county roads will be added to the 74 already covered in the program, which began in 2007, Didone said.

Police aren’t just relying on increased cameras and locations, Didone said; Mobile camera units will be periodically relocated in an effort to keep drivers on their toes, or, better yet, their brakes.

“People slow down for the cameras and then speed back up again, so by expanding the scope of the enforcement areas, we’re hoping to gain compliance from drivers all along that corridor of the roadway,” Didone said. “By moving the camera to multiple locations, [drivers] won’t know where the camera is so they’ll have to respect the roadway and go slowly along that entire stretch.”

While the speed program’s 56 fixed-pole cameras will remain in place, police will no longer announce the exact locations of mobile cameras, or what roads they will be on at any given time, Didone said.

“So we saturate a location for a period in time until we start getting compliance for the speed limit, then we can relocate the cameras to the next problem roadway,” he said.

Aside from detering speeders, the new approach may have another side effect; an increase in citations and county revenue.

Despite annual increases in cameras, money generated by speed camera citations has declined every year since fiscal 2009, when the program peaked at 505,368 citations and a net revenue of just more than $12 million, according to county police data. In fiscal 2010, net revenue fell to $9 million from 361,234 citations. Fiscal 2011 reported the lowest numbers: 329,711 citations for a net revenue of about $8.1 million, according to the data.

Didone said the additional cameras and new approach do not have anything to do with boosting program revenue. County speed cameras are set to photograph license plates of cars traveling at least 10 mph above the posted speed limit, he noted.

“We have been consistent in putting these [cameras] in locations to change speeding behavior, which is the goal,” he said. “We’re talking about respecting the speed limit, everybody who gets a ticket is being ticketed for going over 10 miles over the posted speed limit. … No one is entitled to exceed the speed limit by over 10 miles an hour.”

Within two weeks the additional cameras will be installed on several of the newly-designated roadways to begin flashing at drivers exceeding the speed limit. The cameras will begin ticketing drivers a week after they are installed, Didone said.

jarias@gazette.net