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Howard County Plans To Add Speed Cameras

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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Speed cameras are popping up in more and more Maryland counties.

Suzanne Collins reports Howard County plans to add them for the first time.

At Ilchester Elementary, children are on recess.  Parents and neighbors say they run just as fast home, carefree.  To ensure safety, they want speed cameras near the school.

“It’s school buses, it’s eighteen-wheelers, it’s even the parents who are picking the children up.  Enough is enough.  We can’t wait for a child to get hit to say we need the cameras,” said Pamela Maminski.

After a year of consideration, County Executive Ken Ulman says he wants to introduce speed cameras in Howard County.  He says it will be for safety, not a money grab.

“Every single dollar that is generated will go back into traffic safety,” Ulman said.

Howard County Police did a speeding survey in front of all 100 county schools.  They found drivers were exceeding the limit in 66 percent of the cases and 18 percent of them were going more than 12 miles an hour over.

“Speeding in residential areas, including our school zones, is probably the number one complaint I receive as chief of police, either directly or through our commanders at our stations,” said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon.

But there are Howard County residents who are totally opposed to speed cameras and are sorry to see them arrive there.

“They use the fact that they’re protecting our children so you say, `Oh, you can’t object to that,’ but they’re revenue generators, whether it be a speed camera or a red light camera,” said Fred Klonin.

Klonin believes speeders will get to know the mobile van cameras Howard County will use and speed anyway when they’re not around.

“Speed bumps work.  They work very well,” he said.

The county wants to purchase two van cams and move them from school to school. The county council must approve the plan.

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