Saturday, February 26, 2011

Speed Cameras Blinded

It looks like someone was upset over a $40 speed camera ticket in Oldtown Laurel.  A vandal recently painted the lens cover on both speed cameras installed on 7th Street between Main and Montgomery.

I hope the vandal is caught.  I believe that these cameras are always taking pictures on a loop.  Maybe we will get lucky and the vandal's picture was taken holding the spray can.

7th and Main
click to enlarge
Painting over the lens cover is not the answer.  Slowing down is the answer!  I strongly supported the law to permit speed cameras.  Speeding cars on neighborhood streets was the the top constituent complaint when I served on the Laurel City Council.  The camera is a much better solution than chewing up the time of an officer with a radar gun.  I'd much rather have our cops free to solve more serious crimes.

There are at least three speed camera locations in Laurel.  Here on 7th, Cherry Lane near Laurel High and on Dorset Road near Scotchtown Hills Elementary School.

By the way, even police officers are not exempted from the speed laws and must pay the fine. So let's all be careful out there.

(Hat tip to Mike McLaughlin for the tip.)

29 comments:

Crowhill said...

I agree that people should obey the speed limits, but I also knew this was going to happen. In fact, I've been surprised that it has taken this long.

Bill Wellford said...

I too am glad for the camera's and think that there should be more especially in front of Laurel Elementary on Montgomery and the ones on 7th are portable so maybe some day. I think that it was in Texas that so much vandalism occurred the camera company declared that it was not worth it to have them there and they were removed. Hope it does'nt happen here.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the camera got a picture of the perp - my understanding is that most of these cameras have a radar measuring speed and they only take a picture when someone is going above the set threshold. You can actually see a flash go off on some of them when you... I mean, some other guy... goes by too fast.

Mike McLaughlin said...

I first became acquainted with speed cameras in 1980 in Germany where the camera captured not only your tag number but also your clueless mug behind the wheel.

I was surprised to see ours so low an accessible; I thought they would be mounted higher like the red light cameras.

I too am a fan of the cameras. I hope Rick is right about the loop imaging, and Mr. Angryspeeder gets busted by the very instrument he vandalized.

I'd like to see the technology evolve to a point where the consequences are more immediate: along with taking a picture, the device fires an electromagnetic burst that temporarily disables the car. Immediate compliance, on the spot. Just like being busted by an officer with radar, they'd have to pull over. Of course they'd still have to fork over the $40. But it would be more of a reinforcement... or a reminder if they were also driving drunk at the time.

Anonymous said...

sorry dude these things stink and i hate them

cops need to do their jobs not these lazy dumb cameras

Anonymous said...

I for one am glad to see this happen. There is no way you can convince me these are anything other than revenue generating machine. They can publish all the studies they want saying otherwise..but liars figure and figures lie...so keep on spraying when you can

Anonymous said...

Fight speed cameras the legal way!

http://www.stopbigbrothermd.org/

And, guess what, a proposed House bill will exempt police cars from receiving speed and red light camera tickets:

http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/hb1205.htm

Our local delegates want to remove Police oversight from these cameras and privatize the review of citations:

http://www.stopbigbrothermd.org/2011/02/lawmakers-want-to-remove-police.html

Mike Sarich said...

Speed Cameras are likely the most successful business in town. The Leader reported that just the Cherry Lane cameras were issuing 6,000 citations a week. The City gets 60% of the gross fines of $40 per citation which means if those numbers hold the City generates $144,000 a WEEK in profit. On ONE camera set.

I agree with those that call this a revenue generator. It's dishonest to say it isn't because it does generate significant revenue. However, it is also an important public safety innovation, especially around schools.

I think the jury is still out on whether the cameras are too "big brother" or if they are appropriate for communities like Laurel. What isn't in question is that whomever vandalized them has violated the law and needs to make amends.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Barbara Frush and Senator Rosapepe. I guess there must be a huge clamor from your elected base to make these citations easier to issue and harder to defend against!

I was just looking at StopBigBrotherMD and it raises many valid concerns.

mskathie said...

I wish they would put a speed camera in the 300 block of Montgomery St. People really zip up and down this street. Hope they catch the vandals.

Anonymous said...

I agree with them being necessary, although placement can be an issue! the camera opposite the one vandalized which is on the corner of P.G. street and 7th makes it difficult to see when turning on to 7th street from P.G.

Rick Wilson said...

A Laurel, MD youth and his Dad's speed camera citation?? http://youtu.be/RP4abiHdQpc

Anonymous said...

Editor of StopBigBrother Maryland Blog Mar 07 07:26AM -0500

Dear Concerned Citizens,
Maryland lawmakers are once again considering legislation related to photo
enforcement and speed cameras. While there are a few bills that could
slightly improve matters if they pass, there are several bills very likely
to pass this year which could make matters much worse for those who oppose
the destruction of our due process rights.

One bill will exempt police from receiving speed or red light camera
tickets, regardless of whether they are responding to calls or even on duty..
http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/HB1205.htm
This bill, sponsored by Delegate Conaway, will be discussed by the House
Environmental Matters Committee on March 15th. A separate bill would exempt
‘emergency vehicles’. In fact, police have received speed camera tickets in
places like Montgomery County, with courts passing down mixed rulings on
whether they are liable. While obviously cops responding to calls or
emergencies should not be fined for doing their job, exempting police who
are NOT responding to calls would put law enforcement above the law, and
that is just wrong.


Two other bills would remove a requirement that police sign speed camera
tickets.
http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/sb0671.htm
http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/hb0664.htm
This is obviously being done because it would save a few bucks, but what it
will really do is remove law enforcement officials completely from the law
enforcement process. We’ve expanded on the many reasons this should NOT be
done here:
http://www.stopbigbrothermd.org/2011/02/lawmakers-want-to-remove-police.html
HB664 is being considered by the Environmental Matters Committee, and there
will be a hearing on SB671 before the Judicial Proceedings committee in the
Senate on March 8th (tomorrow!).

Anonymous said...

The speed camera on 7th and Prince George's street is nothing but a revenue generator for Laurel. The put cameras 10 feet into a speed transition area from 40 mph to 25 mph. In addition, they identify this area as a "school zone". Ya right, next to the camera is a cemetary, a gym, senior citizens center, and boys and girls club. It was once a high school, but no more.

Anonymous said...

heads up new cameras @ VAN DUSEN LANE by the dog park tennis courts WHERE THE HECK is the school there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good, I'm glad this happened.This speed camera has had multiple porblems within the state. Baltimore county has put a report on their 15 locations. * locations saw less accidents. 6 locations showed increase accidents, and 1 location showed no change. Therefore there is no conclusion that there is safer roads. Not to mention in Baltimore city a dead police officer issued over 2000 camera tickets. Also the thousands of wrongfully issued tickets because of errors. Finally the thing that ticks me off the most, you don't have the right to face your accuser!

Anonymous said...

See a link to the previous poster's reference in the article here.

Baltimore's cameras generated $1.4million in revenue. Of that amount, $1.1million went to the county's contractor.

Anonymous said...

Fake "support" groups are sprouting up touting the supposed desire for speed cameras.

First exposed by patch.com at this article and expanded upon here at StopBigBrotherMD.

Anonymous said...

How much are they paying the liars that say they want these cameras? Just got a stack of three tickets for two days of going 42, 43, and 44 past the new camera near the tennis court on Van Duesen the week they put them up. Steaming mad. This camera skirts the law. It is barely 1/4 mile from the school, and nowhere near where it helps the school. The signs announcing it are way way back near 198. Very sneaky.

In every one you can see i'm driving in a line of cars all going the same speed. I can't imagine how much money they are making off this thing. No lives are being saved.

How bout fixing this sorry excuse for a road with all that dough? This road has been a traffic jam for 20 years.

Frederick said...

I KNOW A WAY FOR MARYLAND TO HAVE BILLIONS IN SURPLUS PUT THESE CAMERAS ON THE BELTWAY TRASH THE REST

Frederick said...

PUT THESE CAMERAS ON THE BELTWAY TRASH THE REST MARYLAND WILL MAKE TRILLIONS

Anonymous said...

No matter what they say, these cameras are nothing but money generators. Quite simply.

The camera on VanDusen does absolutely nothing to protect a school zone. Some city bigwig must live back in that neighborhood, and hoodwinked the police to put cameras there.

Police all over the U. S. are getting lazier and lazier: It is NOT the people going a bit over the speed limit that are causing accidents and deaths; it is the agressive drivers that are passing everything they possibly can, weaving from lane to lane, and shoving their way into lines of traffic, simply because they think their time is of more value than the next guy's. Those are the drivers that really need to be caught and have the book thrown at them. Those are the drivers that never get caught, because the police are simply using a still camera, or a cop sitting on the side of the road with a radar gun simply measuring speed. Get out of the donut shops and into your police cars and catch the real culprits (plain cars work best). As long as they make such powerful cars and SUV, and as long as Madison Avenue advertises the way they do, there will always be these aggresive drivers who are nothing but users.

Yay for the guy with the spray paint. Job well done. Next time, though, please use a hammer.

The Expat Garden(er) said...

I like the sleeker, more stealthy cameras on the light poles. I mean, this big huge box--what decade are we in? There are better traffic cameras here in Saudi Arabia! Then again, Laurel has always been an interesting place.

I know 7th & Main is an oft-tricky intersection, but there are many, many others I would have assumed would have had traffic cameras. Hell, any intersection on 198!

prettycaronly said...

I like the speed camera when I don't get a ticket. I just got one which I didn't think I was driving that fast, specially in that area of Laurel where I got the ticket. No way, I drive 38 miles in that area and I think something wrong with the camera. However, I don't know how to protest since I don't have any proof.

prettycaronly said...

I actually like the speed camera until I got a ticket. I think something wrong with the camera in this Laurel area because I don't drive fast in this area. Not to mention there are several stop signs in that stretch of the street. I got a ticket that I was 38 mph, and I was very much alone on the street. I remember there were 2 cars in front, and 1 car behind me at the time (only time I went there.) Since I have no proof on what speed I was driving, i have to pay the ticket to avoid further trouble.

Anonymous said...

Where does the money collected from the speed cameras go?

Harvey Shepherd said...

Tsk. Kind of makes you think that the phrase "who watches the watchmen?" is fitting. It's a shame that people would vandalize this, but in the end, it shows that it would be much more efficient to make the camera harder to spot to prevent a mess like this.

Ralph Kleid said...

True. It would be smarter to keep the camera in a protected or inaccessible location to prevent vandalism. In the end, it's a shame for some people to stoop to this. It does nothing but cause more problems, especially if the person gets caught.

Anonymous said...

I'm beyond elated to see this happen. Stop Big Brother, and fight the power!

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