Howard Co. To Vote On Speed Camera Bill

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—Howard County is on the verge of becoming the 20th jurisdiction in Maryland to allow automated speed cameras near schools. Police say it’s all about safety.

But Mike Schuh reports some feel this is an additional way to tax motorists.

Go anywhere in Howard County and you will not see speed cameras. They are allowed but have to be authorized by local governments.

Chief William McMahon has done a good job of convincing the County Council to vote to allow speed cameras.

“Sixty-six percent of the vehicles going through our school zones were speeding,” he said.

At the start only two portable cameras would be allowed and only in school zones. They would be housed in minivans and deployed all over the county. With more than 100 schools in the county, studies show speeds do go down after cameras arrive.

“I don’t remember any stories lately about a kid getting hit on the way to or from school [in areas where cameras are installed],” McMahon said. “I guess my question is how many do we need before we go ahead and take this measure?”

“I agree with it, for one thing around the schools because of the safety of the children,” said one speed camera supporter.

“It’s probably a good idea because I do think most people speed every day,” said another.

But some say speed cameras are just another form of taxation.

“It’s a ripoff,” said an opponent.” I think they have found an easy way to make money off people.”

“My interest in this as chief of police is public and traffic safety. The other issues are not a part of my thought process,” McMahon said.

The County Council will vote on Monday whether to allow those cameras.

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