Thursday, May 16, 2013
Laurel authorities have created multiple strategies to bring awareness and regulation to pedestrian safety.
There has been a decline in pedestrian accidents in the city of Laurel since 2007, which can be attributed to a combination of changes in enforcement and general traffic safety awareness, officials said. To address these incidents, the Laurel Police Department has utilized educational campaigns, stricter enforcement, improvements to pedestrian visibility and installments of speed and red light cameras, according to Richard McLaughlin, Laurel’s Chief of Police. “We’re treading into new territory,” McLaughlin said. “Obviously it’s an awareness that is practiced by the pedestrians and the vehicle operators also.” Much of the scenarios in pedestrian accidents involved people who didn’t wait for the traffic light to turn red or who didn’t use …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Here is a map of the speed camera locations found throughout Prince George's County.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The 'decoy boxes' are designed to get drivers to slow down without actually issuing tickets.
City of Laurel officials have set up a pair of fake speed cameras around town to encourage drivers to slow down, NBC4 reports. The "decoy boxes" look just like the real article from the outside, but they lack a functioning camera on the inside and can't be used to issue tickets. Maryland law makes it difficult to place speed cameras outside of school zones, but Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin told NBC4 that the decoys can have a deterrent effect. "People have a tendency—once they see these boxes, and they realize this could be a speed camera—they slow down," McLaughlin said. If the plan works, more fake cameras could be deployed in the future. Check out the full story and segment from NBC4. What do you think of the fake cameras? Are…
Sunday, March 31, 2013
NBC4: Maryland drivers rack up more tickets than DC drivers.
Gas? Check. Oil? Check. GPS? Check. Speeding ticket? Check? Speed cameras seem to be multiplying in the metropolitan Washington area, and while they may be a deterrent to some drivers, others may view the charge for whizzing by one as just another cost of driving. NBC4 reported that, in 2012, Maryland had a much higher rate of repeat offenders ticketed by speed cameras than Washington, DC. “In the Maryland suburbs you’re about twice as likely to get multiple tickets,” David Marker, a senior statistician with the American Statistical Association, told NBC4. “By the time you get up to 5 or 10 tickets, you're 20 times more likely to get multiple tickets in the Maryland suburbs than in DC.” Prince George’s County had a repeat offender rate …
Friday, March 29, 2013
The Maryland Driver's Alliance reports that the city initially relied on manufacturer Sensys to calibrate its own cameras.
The Maryland Driver's Alliance—a group "opposed the corrupting effect" of automated traffic enforcement—is accusing the City of Laurel of failing to have its speed cameras independently calibrated in keeping with the law, The Baltimore Sun reports. In a March 17 blog post, the MDA charged that the city circumvented the requirement by allowing manufacturer Sensys to certify its own cameras rather than hiring a third party. But city officials told the Sun that two independent firms, Radar Lab of Maryland and PB Electronics, have since taken over calibration responsibilities and argued that state law does not prohibit certification by the manufacturer. Officials also noted that the cameras, which have been active since 2011, are helping to …
Sunday, March 17, 2013
A look back at coverage of speed cameras as Howard County police finish their first full year using them in school zones.
Friday, March 15, 2013
A new report released by the police department details how many tickets are issued by speed camera vans in locations around the county. We've used that data to figure out where the most tickets per hour were issued.
The Howard County Police Department recently released a report detailing speed camera usage in the county in school zones. Currently, the county uses two speed camera vans, posted in school zones, to issue tickets to speeding motorists. Using the data in the report, we've created this list below and the interactive map above that details the locations where police have caught people speeding in school zones most frequently. The time period covered is between November of 2011 and the end of 2012, according to police. 1. Long Reach High School – Tamar Drive at Old Dobbin Road, Columbia - 287.47 total hours - 3,655 citations issued - 12.7 citations per hour 2. Hollifield Station Elementary School – Rogers Ave., Ellicott …
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The county has netted $27,849 for traffic safety projects, and police said that drivers are slowing down.
The Howard County Police Department noted in a report released this week it's “exploring” an increase in its speed camera program by adding two portable speed cameras in areas too small to fit the two vans currently in use in school zones. In its one-year report, which is required to be submitted to the County Council, the police department went over dollars and cents and numbers of citations issued during the 5,840 hours on the roads in the first year of the program, which began issuing citations in November 2011. According to the report, before speed camera enforcement began, the department conducted a five-year review of collisions that occurred in school zones. Before the cameras were installed, the county averaged 166 collisions per …
Monday, December 31, 2012
Howard County's speed camera vendor said timestamps on photos are not an accurate method for calculating speed.
Over the past few months, the Baltimore Sun has been cataloguing what may be errors in speed cameras in Baltimore city. Reporters have used time over distance calculations with timestamps on citiation photographs rounded to the thousandth of a second to determine drivers' speed. In Howard County, it's not possible to use timestamp information to determine speed because the timestamps are rounded to the nearest second, which is not precise enough to make a calcualtion, according to the Sun. However, even if it was down to the thousandth of a second, citizens would still not be able to calculate their own speed at the time of the infraction, according to a spokesperson for Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., Howard County's speed camera …
Sunday, December 16, 2012
State Delegate Jon Cardin seeks to root out bogus citations.
- Ben Gross
Sunday, December 16, 2012
A state delegate from Baltimore County says public confidence in speed cameras has deteriorated to the point that a state audit and possible reboot are needed. Del. Jon Cardin said Monday he plans to sponsor a bill calling for an audit of state and local speed camera tickets with an eye on rooting out bogus citations. "Maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board," Cardin said. The Baltimore County Democrat said he is in the process of drawing up a bill that would create an audit due to legislators by October 2013. Instances of bogus tickets issued to drivers would result in a $1,000 per incident penalty, though it is not clear if the jurisdiction or the speed camera vendor would be responsible for the fine, Cardin said. "I'm not trying…