Nearly 2,200 citations were issued by school zone speed cameras in January, according to the Howard County Police Department (HCPD). Only a handful of citations have been contested.
“Our collective thought was that the first [contested ticket] would be a physicist with a projector,” debating the accuracy of the technology, Chief William McMahon said this week.
It was, instead, a young woman who was speeding, contested the ticket, and was found guilty, McMahon said. So far, all of the drivers who have contested citations—less than five—have been found guilty and ordered to pay the $40 fine.
Money from the citations is earmarked to pay for the speed camera program, according to HCPD spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen. Any additional money is dedicated to public safety programs.
In January alone, speed camera operators issued approximately 2,100 citations, according to Capt. John McKissick. That's about $84,000.
“That was with 20 operational days,” he said. “They averaged about 104 citations per day” in January, he said, and about 90 per day in December.
McKissick last year answered some frequently asked questions about the speed camera program.
The two speed cameras are mobile, and travel to different school zones in Howard County during the day and any time when a school facility is in use, for class or other activities.
They're operational Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
McMahon said that in particular, Whiskey Bottom Road, Ilchester Road and Centennial Lane have proven to have speed problems.
At the Citizens Advisory Council meeting, where citizens can talk with the police chief, an attendee asked if there was any discussion about putting speed cameras on “regular” streets as opposed to solely in school zones.
“I do think they have potential use on the roads,” McMahon said, but as written, legislation only allows Howard County to use speed cameras in school and work zones.
“I don’t see that on the horizon,” he said.