Feelings Still Mixed As Baltimore Expands Its Speeding Camera System

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s third attempt at running a speed camera system is getting larger.

The expansion is already underway, even though some drivers are still worried about its accuracy.

Those running the program say communities are requesting more cameras, but some drivers WJZ’s Amy Yensi spoke to are not on board.

Baltimore is more than doubling the number of speed and red light cameras on city streets.

City residents don’t agree on whether the program should get a green or red light.

“It really doesn’t do nothing,” said driver Carter Williams. “It’s just a camera.”

“People running stop signs and red lights is a very common occurrence. It’s really a chronic situation,” said driver Andre Barnett. “I think it is needed for safety.”

The new speed cameras went live in August, and each violation comes with a $40 fine.

36,000 citations have been issued.

The number of school zones with them in place will now jump from 14 to 21.

Red light camera fines are $75, and 2000 of those have been issued so far. There are now 29 locations instead of eight.

Baltimore has had a rocky history with traffic cameras. The city shut down the program in 2012, after thousands of drivers were fined in error.

On the first day of the new system, cameras issued more than $38,000 in duplicate tickets, which had to be voided or cancelled.

“Some of the places they put it, I didn’t even know it was there, and if you’re going over 30 miles, you get flashed for a ticket. Like it’s outrageous,” said driver Anthony Duncan.

Transportation officials say they got many requests for additional cameras from police and communities. They used crash statistics to determine where to put them.

“The reaction that we’re getting is good. I mean people want them,” said Robert Liberati, director of Baltimore’s Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement.

That’s why the city is keeping the possibility of more cameras open.

A spokeswoman from AAA Mid-Atlantic says they’re keeping a close watch on the new camera system to help avoid problems of the past.

The city pays a monthly fee to rent the cameras, which are inspected by an independent lab.

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More from Amy Yensi
Comments

One Comment

  1. Ryan Denke says:

    The only people with mixed feelings are the people who believe the propaganda that these are for safety or the little old ladies who think everyone drives too fast. There is no substitute for REAL law enforcement and traffic engineering.

  2. James Walker says:

    Speed and red light cameras are expensive and produce profits above their own high costs ONLY when used in areas where the posted limits are improperly set at least 10 mph below the safest 85th percentile speed levels and the yellow intervals are set too short for the actual conditions. This turns the cameras into money grab rackets, not safety programs. Given Baltimore’s history of inaccurate and egregiously mis-managed camera programs, NO ONE should support this third effort to get the for-profit ticket camera rackets going again. Unfortunately, to end the money grab rackets will probably require voting out every camera supporter in city government.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

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