PG County Plans to Add Speed Cameras to School Zones
posted 10/13/09 11:32 pm

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PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. - Big brother may soon be watching even more Maryland drivers. Less than two weeks after they became legal statewide, speed cameras could be snapping pictures of Prince George's County drivers within months.

With more deadly crashes than any other county in Maryland, Prince George's County is focusing on speed cameras to slow drivers down.

"Because that's really what this is. This is a public safety issue. We just want to make the roads safer," said John Erzen, spokesperson for Prince George's County. ABC 7 Talkback:
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The initial plan is to add at least 50 speed cameras in school zones. Drivers caught traveling 12 miles over the speed limit would be slapped with a $40 fine.

"Folks will be aware and then they won't speed so then they won't have to pay the fine," said Jereen Ford, a Prince George's County resident.

It would cost the county at least $100,000 dollars to set up the camera system. But if Prince George's County is anything like Montgomery County (web | news) , the cameras could generate tens of millions of dollars each year.

"To me it's just more money -- more money for the wrong people to spend on the wrong things," said James Thomas, a Prince George's County resident.

But for others it's about safety. A recent report showed fatal accidents in Montgomery Country dropped 39 percent since speed cameras were installed. That's enough for some in Prince George's County to give its own program the green light.

"I think it's great. It's going to help us get money for the county and it's going to keep our kids safe," said Brooke Marshall, a Prince George's County resident.

Speed cameras in Maryland became legal only in Montgomery County two years ago as part of a trial program. Earlier this year, Maryland legislators approved their use across the state at school and construction zones.

Speed cameras are currently being used on Interstate 95 near the construction site for the Intercounty Connector.