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Md. speed cameras not covering costs

The head of Maryland's highway administration says speed cameras used throughout the state aren't issuing enough fines to pay for the cost of operation.

But State Highway Administrator Neil J. Pedersen says that it's worth it to the state to pay additional money for the cameras if it means people are driving more carefully.

Pedersen told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that police have noticed fewer crashes and his employees and contractors have seen fewer vehicles going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in the work zones where the cameras are used.

Maryland has used speed cameras since October to zap speeders with $40 fines, if they are caught going at least 12 miles an hour over the posted limit in some areas near schools and work zones.

-- Associated Press

By Michael Bolden  |  April 15, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , highways  
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Fine raised in 3..2..1...

Posted by: wpjunk | April 15, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Where is the study that show these cameras have an effect on safety?

Anyone...? Bueler...Bueler...

Posted by: 123cartoon | April 15, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

BTW, how do these cameras work in construction zones on I-95? The lanes shift, are not permanently stripped, and are narrow. Do they work at night? I've never seen flashes. People fly by 11 over the posted speed limit. I'd be interested to know where they are, and how they work on an 8 lane highway under construction.

Posted by: wpjunk | April 15, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the cameras weren't really needed and were actually designed, GASP, as way for the state to make more money. SHA is such a JOKE, and I'm glad these guys have egg on their face for trying to make money by hiding behind bogus safety data.

Also, while the speed cameras do allow police officers the ability to deal with other, more pressing issues, the reality is that it allows the state to trim the police force because additional officers are no longer needed to run speed traps.

The speed cameras MUST go!

Posted by: Russtinator | April 15, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

its not that people are driving safer.. its that everyone knows where the cameras are and they dont speed through them and sometimes (85-90%) they slam on their breaks before the get to the lines then speed up once through. Without notice, these camera's will be re-callabrated to snap t he picture at 5 mi over the limit or fines will go up to 50-60 dollars.

Posted by: rvanags | April 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The cameras are not paying for themselves. Loss of money.

However, since the number of crashes are down, that means that the state and localities are actually SAVING money. Instead of the county cop or state trooper having to respond to a crash (when they could be trying to fight other crime), calling paramedics, maybe involving Shock Trauma, etc., the state doesn't have to pay for all that, and other crimes are prevented or solved.

Thus the state is actually SAVING money. And as a result, safety for the workers is increased, and taxes don't have to raised because of that.


Will the TEA BAGGERs EVER understand that everything is not a clear-cut black and white situation? That almost always there are shades of gray also involved?

Posted by: critter69 | April 15, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Some data to actually back up that story of yours would be nice, critter. It's not quite enough just to cast speculation all other the place and then criticize others for not believing in the same fantasies as you. Doesn't really do a lot to convince me that you have a credible argument.

Cops still get paid, whether they're responding to an accident or not. Same for EMTs. Typically the cost of supplies, gas for the vehicles, etc. is marginal compared to the wages, benefits, etc., that get paid out no matter how many accidents there are.

But you what, you may be right. I dunno, maybe those savings are indeed substantial enough to offset the losses incurred by operating the speed cameras. You should probably make your thoughts known to the SHA so that they can at least consider them next time they study the value of speed cameras.

There's no need to be taking juvenile pot shots at other political ideologies, though. I don't even think this story has anything to do with politics...

Posted by: HydroxCookies | April 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

These folks need to take some lessons from MoCo or the District. Lots of money being made there from these cameras.

Safety? Well, Daddy needs a new pair of shoes...

Posted by: b1978367 | April 15, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I find it funny that MD isn't making enough money to cover the cost. I almost wish that were the case in the District. They're all greedy so and so's.

Posted by: brandip_77 | April 15, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

If the state was trying to make money off of these cameras you can bet they would have set the threshold at less than 12 mph.

I for one applaud them for using the cameras in the spirit of their true intent and not as a money making scheme as opposed to a certain district to its south.

Posted by: thedude1974 | April 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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