BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The City will soon be turning red light and speed cameras back on.
These cameras could be up and working again by next month, this time with major changes to the program.
The cameras have a rocky reputation with Baltimore City drivers, but dozens of red-light and speed cameras are coming back to issue steep tickets to lead-foot drivers.
“They just want to take our money, that’s all,” one driver said.
“People say is it a revenue generator? Yes it is. Do we want people speeding through our streets? No. Do we want people speeding through red lights? Absolutely not,” said Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Baltimore officials gave the green light for two companies to manage the program.
Starting this summer, running a red light will cost you $75, getting caught speeding will run you $40.
The cameras have sat dormant for four years, after the system gave out thousands of tickets to innocent drivers. Drivers are not exactly sold on bringing back the program.
“I think it’s a way for them to make money but they really don’t care about people’s safety,” a driver said.
“Probably just another grab for money, but other than that, it doesn’t bother me any. As long as you don’t run red lights, you’re not going to pay any money,” another driver said.
How can the city promise this time the cameras will work properly?
Program managers say
– vendors will not be paid per violation but monthly.
– an ombudswoman will handle violation reviews
– cameras will have yearly calibration
– and a daily self-tuning check
“Our whole concern has always been that those speed cameras be conducted in a way that is in the interest of public safety,” said Ragina Averella of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Mayor Pugh said the first 30 days will be a trial period.
The company will be calibrating the cameras, testing them with police cars before they begin issuing tickets this summer.
The program generated near $20 million a year in the past.