In areas where Howard County's speed camera vans are parked more often, records show vehicles tend to slow down after a few weeks, said Fred Von Briesen, administrator for the speed camera program.
But when the vans return to those same areas after a brief reprieve, “I’m always surprised at how quickly those [high] numbers return," he said.
Since the program began last fall, Von Briesen said there have been 455 repeat offenders.
So far, he said, the fastest vehicle cited was traveling 82 mph in a 40 mph zone.
Once a citation is issued, police department personnel review it. About 2 percent of citations printed are discarded because the photographs do not conform to the department's standards.
Two tickets have been dismissed, Von Briesen said, not due to accuracy but because of “the judge’s interpretation of the law.”
In all, nearly 8,600 speed camera citations have been issued this year, including three to fire vehicles, four to other county-owned vehicles and 23 to police vehicles–from Howard and other counties, according to officials.
Emergency vehicles do not have to pay citations if they are issued during an emergency operation. Otherwise, operators pay the $40 fine, just like civilians, said police. School and MTA buses have also been issued citations.
Von Briesen said $285,000 collected by the end of February accounted for 90 percent of the tickets issued, an amount which has not yet paid for the program's start-up and operational costs.
Von Briesen said he will submit a report to the county council in 2013 with an evaluation of the program, including its cost and effectiveness.
"The decision on whether we cancel or continue the program comes from the police chief and the [county] council."
When posed with the question, "How do you beat the system?" the administrator of the program had a simple answer.
"You don't," Von Briesen said. "You don't speed."