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Speed Cameras Take Shots on Spring Break

Think speed cameras take a vacation when school is out? Think again.

 

The news that speed cameras would be stationed on Old Washington and Old Montgomery roads this week raised eyebrows among greater Elkridge citizens.

"Aren't the cameras supposed to be for school zones? Why are they in use during spring break?" asked Leslie Kornreich of Hanover on the Elkridge Patch Facebook page.

Howard County has continued to issue citations to drivers going more than 12 mph over the speed limit in school zones, even while students have been away for spring break, according to the Howard County Police Department (HCPD).

Both county and state laws allow for school zone speed camera enforcement from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and school does not need to be in session.

Howard County public schools are on spring break April 2 to April 9. Still, the police department maintains it is using the cameras in a reasonable way.

"We have been sensitive to that issue and for the most part are operating our vans in areas where activities are planned at the school," said HCPD spokesperson Bryce Buell.

Buell added that the cameras will also be used in the summer to maintain safety for attendees of summer programs.

Not everyone is convinced that the motive behind the cameras is purely for safety.

James Wilson of Hanover wrote on Elkridge Patch's Facebook page that the cameras were a "money maker."

The department recently disclosed that  more than 3,500 citations, yielding upwards of $180,000, in the first four months of operation.

Tammy B. April 06, 2012 at 11:01 AM
This is the Lazy way out for the Police to make money... If you want to give me a ticket you should have to set up radar, get your lazy asses out of your patrol cars and write me a ticket! In addition, your own officers drive like they are on a NASCAR track, I have witnessed it more than I can count, I have witnessed road rage among your officers as well as State Police too! Just because you have a car with pretty little lights on top and a badge DOESN'T give you the right to drive lawless! I have reported it to the duty officers but I'm sure it didn't go any further because the behavoir continues... oh well it's still the good ole' boy network, but phone video is a great thing!
Robert Judge April 06, 2012 at 12:20 PM
The speed camera on Old Montgomery Road near the School for the Deaf is strictly a revenue camera. I have been driving on that road for over 30 years and I have never seen a student walking on that section of road. If it really was about student safety, the camera would be near the entrance to the school, not at the bottom of the hill next to the stream. Tammy, don't blame the police, blame your elected politicians. It was their decision.
David Maier April 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM
It has always been about money. Nothing else!!!! Politicians use "the children" as a revenue grab screen. So the cameras will operate during the summer to keep the dollars flowing. What a scam
Dennis Wesley April 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM
This is a open bank account for HCPD! I work in death care and have responded to many fatal car accidents in my 18 year career. However, I wonder how much of the $180k that was billed in only 4 months will go towards educating younger drivers, excessive violator programs etc, etc!!!! D. Wesley
Dennis Wesley April 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I agree 100% regarding the officers who use their patrol units like idiots!! MSP is the worst!!! I drive a interceptor unmarked state unit. I have witnessed on many occasions the MSP flying at over 90 mph on rt 70 and they ride the car in front of them bullying the driver to clear the way. There are rules for when to use lights/sirens/emergency equipment. If the trooper or any police vehicle is going over 10mph the limit they should be responding to a call and at the very least have emergency lights on and if it's a priority 1 call full lights and sirens. I have wittnessed HCPD officers out of uniform hit there emergency lights to blow a traffic light!! Sorry to my friends in the police department but the truth is the truth!! The worse thing in the world is having to tell a family member your loved on died in a car accident. In the united states a person dies every 13 minutes due to automobile crashes. We pay for these cars and the wages to the officers and they are NOT above the law. They should be making examples!
Frank in Elkridge April 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM
If the police are so bad what's wrong with replacing them with machines?
Frank in Elkridge April 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM
From your description of police, then it would seem to be better to replace them with cameras. Maybe the cameras should have pretty little rotating lights on them when they snap a picture of you speeding?
Frank in Elkridge April 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
In principle, whether you are speeding in front of the school or at the bottom of the hill, you are still speeding and therefore, by law, are supposed to get a ticket.
Frank in Elkridge April 06, 2012 at 02:43 PM
The "chlidren" are the spoiled drivers who don't want to get a ticket from a machine even if they are going 12 mph over the limit. It's kinda gambling, you wanna play, you gotta give the "house" it's cut.
xxx April 07, 2012 at 07:16 AM
News Flash People! The money that they are getting from all of these tickets, are not even covering the expenses of the actual program itself.. so in all it's pointless. (http://elkridge.patch.com/articles/update-speed-cameras-in-howard-county) I see no problem in the machines, if the money from the tickets was going to something useful like drivers education, safety driving programs, excessive driving offenders program, etc.... but it's not. Another point I raise is that just like red light cameras, the machines can cause accidents. For example: Say everyone is cruising in their car going about 40mph in a 25mph at about 7:30ish. The person in front of the 'cruising crew' realizes there is a speeding machine. They immediately slam on their brakes to adjust to the speed to avoid getting a ticket, causing everyone behind them to slam on their breaks, almost causing an accident. Another issue I raise is that these machines cause more traffic than necessary. When drivers see the speeding ticket machine they initially slow down to the speed limit or below it. With a whole cluster of cars doing that, it causes traffic that wasn't initially there in the first place, especially if it's at a school zone, when buses, and car riders are departing from the school. To be honest, if everyone obeyed the speed limit(going the exact speed of under), then there would be more traffic on any given road. Those are my two cents. Way to go HoCo Police...
Jimmy McGee April 09, 2012 at 06:29 PM
For young drivers there are programs in place, which I assume none of you understand. Young drivers are on a graduated license in which they are unable to get any PBJ or points within the 18 months of having their license. First offense - driving improvement class, 2nd offense 30 day suspension or a MVA hearing where the judge will make a decision, 3rd offense 6 month suspension or MVA hearing where the judge will make a decision and so on. Under a graduated license only 1 pbj is allowed so points will start accumulating and the 18-month provisional license starts all over. So the youths have something in place BUT I am sure parent’s and drivers know NOTHING about this. As for the actual speeding, please people you were speeding be glad the cop didn't pull you over or you would have received the points/court hearing. Be smart follow the laws like you want the youthful drivers to follow! Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean you can drive fast.
xxx April 09, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I received one of those tickets sadly... and I am apart of the youth.. sooooo
Jimmy McGee April 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Be happy you didn't get the ticket by the cop! At least you don't have to go to court doesn't come into play if your not stopped by an officer!
xxx April 09, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I'm not disagreeing.. I'm just stating facts about the program..
Mike A. April 12, 2012 at 01:27 PM
They have not covered the program yet, but it will. It hasn't been in place long enough. The cost associated comes with not only the equipment but the cost of the operators that are assigned to the vehicle in which the cameras are mounted. At the rate they are issuing tickets it will cover the cost, and maybe the purchase of more units. If folks are abiding by the law they have nothing to fear. Follow the law and keep the $$ in your own pockets!
Sick Of Driving in This Environment April 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Traffic enforcement means traffic enforcement. As long as drivers are still speeding, running stop signs and lights, using on and off ramps and shoulders to pass others, not signaling any movements on the road, the police are not enforcing anything! Traffic in this area is a joke, and getting worse and worse daily! Police should be setting a good driving example, not a bad one! If the cops aren't going to enforce anything, maybe we need speed cameras everywhere and the cops can stay in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot!!
bill bissenas April 02, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Remember when Dirty Ken Ulman said the speed cameras were all about protecting our children around school areas? Yeah, I didn't believe it either... lol
bill bissenas April 02, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Yes, the government can do anything to us because afterall, if we're abiding by the law there's nothing to fear... yeah, this is how lots of people in this county and state feel. They are willing to surrender just about anything in the name of goodness.

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