BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)–More speed cameras on Maryland roads could soon be a reality if one man gets his way.

Derek Valcourt has more on the controversial proposal.

The controversy will come back to the county–this time bigger than before. Last time, the county set a limit on the number of speed cameras it would install. Now some argue the county should put up as many cameras it sees fit.

Ask about speed cameras and opinions generally run along these two lines: 1. It forces people to slow down and be careful about driving or 2. It’s just another way to make money.

It’s a debate that grabbed attention in September of 2009 when the county first approved a limit of 15 speed cameras—allowed only in school zones operating between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The cameras issue $40 tickets to anyone caught going more than 12 mph over posted speed.

“I think speed cameras are revenue neutral,” said County Councilman Tom Quirk.

Councilman Quirk is now leading the charge to remove the county’s 15-camera limit, so more cameras can be added near more schools.

“Why should we have a police officer sitting there giving people speeding tickets in a school zone when we can have a speed camera,” Quirk said. “Isn’t it better to have a police officer out there going after the bad guys on the streets?”

Speed camera opinions are still divided:

“Obviously people don’t drive the speed limit or they wouldn’t be worried about the cameras,” said Gale Dellasantina.

“They’re just too easy to sit there and make money that you can’t fight and you can’t deal with them in court because you can’t face your accuser,” said Christopher Lindsey.

“I’m probably somewhere in the middle,” said Jonathan Howard. “You have to be safe, but they have to make tax revenue somehow, and it’s obvious where it’s going to come from– all of us.”

The county will vote on allowing more speed cameras at their meeting Feb. 7. If approved, the new law would take effect later that month.

Supporters point out that the camera fine of $40 is less than the fine you’d get if a police officer wrote the ticket—which could also add points to your license.

Comments (50)
  1. Anthony says:

    Drivers slow down right before approaching the camera and speed up a few yards after passing its eye. Just another way to fill gov workers pockets.

    1. Mary says:

      True – True!!!!

  2. davidj says:

    There is only one side of this issue, check the record. For the last few years every article on speed cameras, states the amount of revenue FIRST, then mentions safety. Keep ripping off Maryland drivers, that’s right it’s not a tax, it’s a FINE.

    1. Marie Blankenship says:

      look at it as an optional tax. you can speed and pay the fine or you can drive the speed limit and save yourself the money. at least it’s a choice where a tax is not.

  3. Where am I? says:

    Um, which county?

  4. Tom says:

    I guess it doesn’t bother anyone that these cameras make mistakes and give tickets to the wrong vehicles.

    I just received a tip from a German lawyer friend of mine, that just last month – Dec of 2010, after expert analysis a report was published in Germany (home of the speed camera we use in the Workzone and school zones in most of Maryland) that addressed the accuracy and reliability issues with the system.
    It confirms that there is a problem with the way this system measures speed and then takes the photos. According to the exert report, the system on many occasions issued the ticket to the wrong vehicle. Also according to the report the manuf. Vitronics is issuing a software update that will address this issue, but not completely.
    However, that means that for at least one year now, the speed cameras have been giving tickets to the wrong people.

    BTW, this issue was suspected before and now has been proven at least a couple of times with indep. tests.

  5. Where am I? says:


  6. Where am I? says:

    Prince Geo9ges?
    Somebody please tell me because the news reporter won’t.
    This is the dumbest news writing ever posted to Yahoo.

    1. MIke says:

      Read the top of the article — BALTIMORE COUNTY!!!!

  7. JC says:

    Quirk the Jerk – wake up people it not abount safety that’s the pasaion word to justifiy the money squeeze and makes it defendable. It’s about MONEY what school or work zone is 24 / 7. If it was to change behavior or so important there would be points on your record. No the state / county make it easy just send us the money. If you go to court you would still pay the $40.00 but also are warned that there will be court cost. It’s cheaper to pay.

  8. Anthony Walters says:

    I’m thinking Baltimore Co. That is where they got back in 2009. Harford Co. doesn’t have any speed camras. They do have red light cameras, on in Bel Air.

  9. JC says:

    It’s Balto Co – Tom Quirk was Smith’s hand pick to take over Moxley’s council seat and was backed by all the deep money

  10. Anthony Walters says:

    There are no points because the car is not pulled over, and they isn’t a officer to verify there registered owner it the person driving.

  11. nancy winters says:

    in balt county.

    got a ticket from one already. they placed the camera at the bottom of a hill so that when gravity sped up your car, you’d get fined.

    1. Chris says:

      that’s hella lame!

  12. Braking for a camera is a hazard says:

    The court cost is $21 and you have to request by certified mail.

    The law is very specific that the locations must be published, but the lists are duplicated and confusing. The cameras must be have conspicuous signage , but the best is an 12” x 10” dull yellow sign. I once had one flash behind a bush with no particular signage at all.

    The safety argument is a joke, when I brake for the camera, I am creating a hazard to following traffic, and my attention is distracted from watching sidewalks, intersections, tec. to focusing on the camera and the speedometer. No, it’s not prudent. All municople vehicles are excepted from the tickets because it is not prudent or cost effective to brake for cameras.

    1. Anthony Walters says:

      If you are going the speed limit ( or even five over, since they don’t flash till 12 over), there is no hazard.

  13. JC says:

    Nancy my wife got her’s on the beltway in the slowest lane car in front and behind. With two vehicles in the middle and fast lanes lapping her. It’s a joke

  14. It's not safety says:

    OMG, wasn’t Moxley the one with a DUI. Knee jerk politics?

  15. InTheBurn says:

    If it isn’t about the revenue/money and all about safety then they should take all fines collected from the cameras and give the monies back to the state/county residents as a refund. If they aren’t willing to agree to that, then it is about revenue, not safety.

  16. JC says:

    Yea Sam did us all proud, now I’m stuck with this new wantabe make me a household name.

  17. InTheBurn says:

    Where Am I – It is Baltimore County. If you look at the By-Line in front of the lead of a news article it tells you the location the reporting is being done from and who did it (source). In this case it states, “BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ).”

  18. InTheBurn says:

    – I posted before that was there. You’re late. Try to catch up.

  19. JC says:

    More added NEAR Schools here’s where we again loose Big Bother’s definition of NEAR 2, 5, 10, 25 Miles

    You see they hire interpreters to look at all the loop holes. These cameras must be paid for along with the operartors and processors salary
    . Like the ones Baltimore City has on Northern Parkway by Sinai Hospital that you would be hard pressed to find a School sign anywhere around.

  20. IN it for the money says:

    The fine is paid to the camera vendor when you mail it and the municipality collects a percentage of the profit after costs. If you request trail the money is paid to the courts of Maryland. If everyone requested trial, the vendor would become insolvent. The formula clearly explains this is a revenue venture.

  21. JC says:

    Yea the airlines are already overbooked with lobbist, safety nazi, and camera manufactures reps heading for Towson.with there charts and graphs to tell us how much better our life will be for there shareholders Oh I meant to say the people of Balto County

  22. KottaMan says:

    Money grabbing pure and simple. Try the cams on the Beltway or I-95 at 2:30 in the morning when no one is working in the “Work Zones.” Like the law against talking on a cell phone while driving, the cam law was passed despite the total LACK of statistics that there is a problem that can be addressed by such a law. I am all in favor of worker safety for those in a construction zone however let’s face facts. If a pedestrian gets hit by a vehicle at ANY speed, it is likely there will be injuries. Whether a worker is hit at 50 MPH versus 55, 60, or 70 is virtually immaterial as death is likely if not a certainty.

    Knee-jerk politico’s merely want to seem as if they are “doing something.” What’s next especially in the Socialist Republic of Merry-Land? I suppose that eating a burger, applying make-up, or tuning your car radio are next on the violations hit parade. Or perhaps leaving your toddlers or younger kids at home so they won’t distract a driver either is in the list. And heaven forbid that a young male might be distracted while looking at a gal on the sidewalk!!

  23. JC says:

    Dont worry, with the price of gas going to $5 a gallon, most wont be able to pay for gas and will be off the road anyways.

  24. Will says:

    Bob Erlich was on the radio right after they passed the speed camera law. he said speed cameras are illegal because it is entrapment. so when will the government stop breaking these laws and start following them the way they expect us to. one example is how cops turn on their lights just so they can run a red light then they immediately turn them off after going through it. this is breaking the law if they are not going on an emergency call. plus they give them a sticker to put on the back window of their personal vehicle which allows them to speed and not get pulled over. I know this because i have a friend that’s a cop.

  25. Doug says:

    Reeks of Big Brother and 1984.
    More camera’s?
    I say NO !!
    If the government has their way,your children will have camera’s inside their homes.

  26. geof says:

    Why is this even an issue? Don’t speed. Period.

  27. JC says:

    Hopefully your speed won’t be stated as 58 in a work zone 50. Only to be over taken by two vwhicles on your left and than be issued a notification of 63; 1 over the allowed up too 62 and issued a $40.00 speed tax and incouraged to pay online for the small upcharge of $1.20. Less than going to court for the $40.00 fee plus $21.00 court cost. This is not a speed kills debate iread from the beginning. It’s against the Money making scheme to offset budget woos

  28. murdock says:

    d.bos…….just reported you……that was a racist comment sir

  29. Signtopia says:

    How does a speed camera stop a reckless or drunk driver from being reckless or drunk?

  30. Mark says:

    When will people realize – Government IS the problem!

  31. WyoDutch says:

    Instead of whining about it… grab a can of black spray paint.

  32. inachu says:

    If I do happen apon a speed camera and do slow down then most assuredly most always an agressive drive such as a soccer mom type in a green van or a ford f-15/250 always tries to pass me on a 1 lane road within 10 yards of that speeed camera. $40 is not enough repeat offender need to be fined $400 or more for sure.

    1. Rob says:

      The amount of the fine is felt worse by some people, hardly felt by others. You can’t justify a higher fine just because YOU personally wouldn’t be affected by $40.

  33. jim says:

    YEA Just a nother TAX to raise money AT OUR EXPENCE

  34. Speedy says:

    Marylanders should DEMAND that the People’s Republic remove these speed cameras just like the good folks of Arizona did! It can be done folks!

  35. Laws are suppost to PROTECT says:

    It does NOT increase safety. If a person is driving dangerously or irratically, it will not stop them. It can not arrest them if they are drunk or have a car full of illegal weapons.

    Nor can the camera make a decisive decision about whether they were driving recklessly or within normal ranges. There are many times I’ve had to speed up to get out of a tight situation like driving between two 18 wheelers for example.

  36. Rob says:

    If this were truly about safety, they would install speed bumps to FORCE people to slow down in trouble areas. Instead, they install cameras to catch people AFTER they have already exceeded the “safe” speed for the zone. In a school zone, what good does a camera do for the kid hit in the street by a negligent driver? If a speed bump were installed in its place, the vehicle would have slowed down.

    This is about money, not safety.

  37. Chuck Dubman says:

    Drove by the Kelly Avenue box at the posted 20 mph limit, got my picture taken anyway.

  38. RT says:

    The cameras have not made the roads any safer.Baltimore county has put a report that says of the 15 locations 8 have had decreases in accidents. 6 have had increases in accidents and 1 had no change. Safety my ass. Not to mention the thousands of incorrect tickets being sent. as well as you can’t face your accuser. Baltimore city was sending out tickets signed off by a dead police officer. IDK about you but I don’t think a dead police officer can review tickets.

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