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Drivers Have Mixed Opinions As Speed Cameras Are Back In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After months of warning, speed cameras are back in Baltimore City.

The photo enforcement in school zones is bringing back memories for weary drivers who remember the failed program of a few years ago.

The cameras have been flashing since Monday morning, catching speeders.

People WJZ’s Amy Yensi spoke to don’t agree on whether that’s a good thing, and day one of their deployment, brings back memories for some scarred drivers.

“Give me some of the money that they took from me the last time,” said driver Rose Rice.

Four years ago, the city deactivated its traffic enforcement cameras amid public outcry from drivers who successfully proved they were fined unfairly because of technical problems with the cameras.

“Millions of dollars and we didn’t see anything that was done with it from the last time,” driver Arthur Hill said. “I think it’s a horrible idea. They said they fixed everything? They said!”

The city’s department of transportation spent years fine tuning the failed program, adding an oversight staff, along with checks and balances.

“We’re really after those people that aren’t paying attention or that are driving aggressively,” said Robert Liberati, director of Baltimore City Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement System.

Now, seven school zones across Baltimore have active cameras during weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., which is welcome news to some parents.

“It would be safer for kids,” said Renay Todd.

“It’s a good thing for us to be watchful for them,” said Evelina Diggs.

During the first 30 days, violators will get a warning in the mail. After the warning period, anyone caught speeding at 12 miles per hour or more over the speed limit on the cameras will get a $40 fine.

“I’m not speeding. I don’t mind,” said one driver.

Soon, the city will roll out red light and commercial truck enforcement cameras, in hopes of rolling back on reckless driving.

“I think safety is more important,” said driver Chris Wright. “I’d like the speeding to stop.”

Violations can be challenged.

The cameras are portable and their locations can change.

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