BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new report credits speed cameras with preventing deaths and serious injuries in Maryland. Now some want speed cameras on the fast track across the state.
Amy Yensi has more on the findings.
The research focuses on one Maryland county that’s been using speed cameras since 2007. The study says that program should be a model for the entire country.
If you’re speeding in Montgomery County, beware. More than 355,000 times in the last year, speeders were caught by one of its 92 speed cameras.
The Institute For Highway Safety credits the penalties for a 59% drop in the chance of a driver breaking the speed limit by 10 miles per hour or more, compared to nearby communities in Virginia without cameras.
“These are 25 and 30-mile-an-hour roads where children walk to and from school that we can prevent deaths and serious injuries on those roads,” said Adrian Lund, IIHS.
A new IIHS report credits the cameras with a 19% drop in the likelihood of a serious or deadly crash. The study estimates 21,000 of these crashes could be prevented if the program is enforced nationwide.
The county uses multiple moving cameras on the same stretch of road. Police believing moving cameras reduce speed and the likelihood of a crash along the entire corridor.
“Random enforcement doesn’t do anything but just issue tickets,” said Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone.
Didone lost his son Ryan in a deadly car accident.
“Now we still have collisions but people aren’t dying. And the fact that speeding has been reduced is the primary factor for while they’re alive today,” he said.
Not everyone is on board. In Baltimore City, cameras were shut down for issuing thousands of erroneous tickets. In Baltimore County, nearly 1,500 speed camera tickets were voided after a certification mistake.
Only 42% of people in a 2014 AAA survey support their use in residential areas.
“They think that it’s really about revenue in the name of traffic safety,” said John Townsend, AAA.
Cameras have saved between 400 and 500 lives since 2007 in Montgomery County.
Only 138 communities in the US use the cameras. Ten states this year have proposed restricting or prohibiting automated enforcement.