Balto. Co. issues speed camera report
Baltimore County officials released a report today evaluating its 6-month-old speed camera program.
Speed cameras are in place in 15 school zones throughout the county. The first two sites were activated last March; all 15 cameras were in place by June.
A few highlights:
• The county issued 16,342 violations in July -- the first month that all cameras were in operation – a five-fold increase from the previous months.
• More than 3,000 potential violations were rejected throughout the year due to technical problems.
• Overall, the number of violations tends to decrease during the first several weeks after the camera is activated, although the overall level varies substantially among sites.
• There’s been an almost 52 percent decrease in the number of citations issued since August.
• Data involving car crashes is inconclusive. Six of the 15 locations had more traffic accidents within a one-fourth mile radius last year compared to previous years; eight had fewer. One had the same amount. Camera locations averaged 31 accidents per site before and after they were activated.
• Requests for additional cameras have come from Stoneleigh and Baltimore Highlands elementary schools, and Deer Park Middle School.
• 53,000 citations have been issued and 35,427 have been collected, generating $1.4 million. Contract costs have totaled about $1.1 million.
• Revenues go to a restricted account in the police department budget that can only be used for the actual program costs. Any additional funds may only be used for public safety projects such as technology/equipment enhancements, capital needs, staffing and matching funds.
• Additional staff will be needed for the program if it is expanded. The council is currently considering a bill that would lift the cap on the number of speed cameras.
The report, made public today, is dated Jan. 21.
-Raven L. Hill