Montgomery County Police say the speed camera program the county started in 2009 has made roads safer and reduced speeding in a way no other tool could.
“What we’ve seen is something that’s changed driver behavior like nothing else has in the history of law enforcement,” Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesperson, told County Cable Montgomery.
Starks said the number of citations from speed cameras is on a steady decline, proof that the program is working and not merely a revenue strategy.
“Our goal from the start has been to change driver behavior, particularly in areas where we have pedestrians and a history of collisions,” County Councilmember Phil Andrews (D) said. Andrews chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee. “Our police department has done an excellent job of placing cameras where the history shows there’s been a large number of collisions or where there ar many pedestrians, especially children, present in school areas or areas near bus stops, playgrounds and areas where speeding has been a long concern and there’s been a connection to collisions.”
In 2009, the first year of the program, the county issued 526,399 combined speed camera and red light camera citations for $25 million worth of revenue. Speed camera tickets are $40.
Those numbers have gradually declined since.
Video via County Cable Montgomery
The camera is set up in the median near the intersection of northbound Wisconsin Avenue and Montgomery Lane, directly across from the Bethesda Police Station.
MCPD Traffic Division program manager Dan McNickle said the camera is an upgrade and replacement for a red light camera that was at the intersection. Workers were seen installing the equipment on Friday.
The set-up, which actually consists of two poles with mounted lights and one with a camera, is one of a few in the Bethesda area. There is also a red light camera for the intersection of southbound Wisconsin Avenue at Chelthenham Drive.