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Speed camera grace period extended

Maryland is being more generous than I would be: The State Highway Administration announced today that it is extending its warnings-only period for speeders in the highway work zones by at least two weeks.

"We are extending the warning phase because our goal isn't to 'catch' speeders, but to give citizens an opportunity to change dangerous driving behaviors before [state police and Maryland Transportation authority police] begin issuing citations," SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen said in the statement announcing the extension.

Pedersen is a nationally know safety advocate and supporter of the automated enforcement program for work zone safety. But I say, start sending out those $40 tickets. Lately, I've driven many times through one of the camera zones, the one on I-95 where the junction with the Intercounty Connector is under construction.

There, the lanes narrow and the highway gets a little bit bendy. The lane markings aren't completely clear because of the construction. But the very generous speed limit of 65 mph through the work zone is routinely blown away by speeders and swervers. Start nailing some of them, especially as we approach the holiday traffic season.

The highway administration says that since the safety program began in early October, more than 900 warning notices have been sent to drivers. To get a notice, you've got to be going at least 12 mph over the speed limit -- in a construction zone, where the speed limit is 65 mph.

The state says it's still working with its pilot program vendor to finalize the citation review process. Okay, that's important. We once had some glitches in Montgomery County's program that needed attention, and it's important that the statewide program also be seen as fair and credible.

Meanwhile, the state says, its mobile enforcement vehicles will continue to rotate among the three eligible work zones. Drivers see the big orange signs alerting them that enforcement cameras may be present. Besides the ICC zone between Routes 198 and 212 on I-95, the other two are on I-695 at Charles Street in Baltimore County and on I-95 near White Marsh, north of Baltimore.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 2, 2009; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  Safety , highways  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration, work zones  
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Why suspend the fines? The state of Maryland needs money NOW!

Start the shameless money grab NOW before Maryland goes completely bankrupt!

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | November 2, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Maryland needs the money NOW. Start sending the actual fines. Why waste this great opportunity to raise revenue?!

Posted by: ekreek | November 2, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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