By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than 1.6 million tickets for speed-camera violations were issued in Maryland last fiscal year, generating $62.2 million in revenue.

A new analysis from AAA says the camera programs are working, even though they’re unpopular with drivers.

Baltimore County comes in third, issuing 140,000 tickets last fiscal year. Officials hope the citations will cause a shift in the way Marylanders drive.

“Automated enforcement is a way we hope to slow motorists down to keep kids safe in school zone, and motorists and workers in work zones,” says Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson.

More drivers were caught on camera in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties than anywhere else — issuing a combined 1.2 million of the state’s total tickets.

But those counties also have more cameras — and more commuter traffic — than other jurisdictions.

Baltimore County brought in $3.1 million last year with its speed camera program. Still, officials insist this is not a money grab, and is changing drivers habits.

“What happens is when drivers get used to driving past the speed cameras on those type roads, they slow down not only on those roads, but they slow down on other roads in that general area that are a lot like them. Because they don’t know if they’re in the speed camera program or not,” Montgomery County Police Capt. Thomas Didone said.

While unpopular with drivers, the carryover effect is making Maryland roads safer — even resulting in fewer fatal crashes in Montgomery County.

Officials simply say, if you don’t want the fine, just take your time.

“It’s certainly understandable why the motoring public would question these, but the good thing is if we slow down, we really don’t have to worry about receiving these tickets,” Averella said.

Each jurisdiction is required by law to use speed camera money for public safety causes like police technology and school security.

No numbers are available yet for Baltimore City’s speed camera program, which was renewed in September 2017.

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