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Red Light And Speed Camera Citations, Warnings Spike

Red light camera citations triple in a year while speed camera citations are up 18 percent after doubling between August and September 2011.

The number of citations and warnings issued by speed and red light cameras has spiked in Baltimore County after an expansion of both programs.

The number of red light camera citations and warnings more than tripled in the last 12 months, according to the county auditor's office.

In March the county issued 467 red light camera citations and warnings. That represents a 72 percent increase over the previous month and a more than 200 percent increase since April 2011, according to the auditor.

Red light camera violations carry a $75 fine.

The county estimates it will generate nearly $97,000 in net revenues from more than 2,200 paid red light cameras citations in the first year, which runs between February 2012 and January 2013. The program is expected to cost nearly $69,000 in that same period, according to the auditor.

Speed camera citations doubled in September 2011 compared to August 2011.

In September, the county issued 8,761 speed camera citations and warnings compared to 3,999 the previous month, according to the county auditor.

The bulk of the increase is attributed to the use of mobile cameras installed along South Rolling Road last fall. Those cameras have issued 11,658 citations between October and March.

In March, the county issued 6,914 speed camera warnings and citations—about an 18 percent increase over the last 12 months, according to the county auditor.

Speed camera citations are issued when motorists drive through a monitored school zone at more than 12 mph over the speed limit. The cameras are operational between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. even when schools are closed.

The county estimates that the speed camera program will cost slightly less than $1.1 million between February 2012 and January 2013 while generating slightly less than $1.2 million based on an expected 55,440 paid tickets, according to the auditor.

The County Council approved an expansion of the speed camera contract earlier this year.

Under the terms of the contract, ACS State and Local Solutions will help the county using mobile cameras.

Have you been caught by a red light or speed camera this year? What do you think about the sharp increase in tickets? Tell us in the comments.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sean Colin May 17, 2012 at 08:41 PM
To Mr Sears, I would have to assume that all those people running red lights and speeding, accidents must be through the roof. Do you have any numbers relating to accidents instead of revenue?
Bryan P. Sears May 17, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Sean: The last statistics we have for accidents in speed camera zones was published in 2011. The statistics provided by the Baltimore County Police Department at that time showed no statistical decrease in accidents. You can read my story here: http://towson.patch.com/articles/speed-cameras-less-speeding-same-accidents Chief Jim Johnson told the council earlier this week that the speed camera program remains successful. That opinion appears to be based on his belief that fewer tickets written means fewer incidents of speeding in school zones and that is evidence of change behavior. Hope that helps.
Other Tim May 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I've never heard that. Can you tell me which states?
fred May 17, 2012 at 10:23 PM
arizona
ZIG May 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
If 1 death or injury is prevented (particularly to children) it is worth it. Reisterstown streets are dangerous because of thoughtless violators. I would like to see cameras on every street with increased fines. I have seen a number of children injured on Chartley drive. It is not pretty. I have seen a speeder flip over across the street. I want these people off our roads

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