P.G. County Opts for Mobile Speed Cameras
posted 01/09/10 8:15 pm

search tags: mobile speed camera school zone

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BOWIE, Md. - Prince George's County has put the brakes on a plan to install fixed speed cameras in dozens of school zones, and is instead opting for about 10 mobile cameras that police can use as needed. For 30 years Mary Poindexter has lived in Prince George's County, and says she knew it was just a matter of time before speed cameras hit her community.

"When I saw it, I thought oh no big brother is watching again," Poindexter said.

The county originally planned to put about 40 fixed cameras around school zones, generating about 124,000 tickets a year. Now, the county executive is scrapping that idea. Jack Johnson says the county will now work with the police department to use about ten mobile cameras, rotating them throughout school zones across the county.
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And while not all drivers are giving the new plan the green light, some believe the mobile cameras could be the best way to get people to slow down.

"I think if you move them around and you don't give a heads up, drivers will likely meet one of those cameras head on," said Robert Wagner, a driver.

Johnson said the original plan was going to take too much money out of people's pockets, an estimated $100,000 for the county. But while Johnson says the primary focus is public safety and not revenue, some drivers believe money does play a role.

"Basically, it's a revenue gaining process anyway I believe, people are still going to speed regardless of the cameras," said Mike Friend, a driver.

"Their focus is probably revenue even if they make it seem like its for safety it's probably not," added Mark Pitts, a driver.

Johnson says there will be much fewer than the 50 cameras originally planned when mobile camera units are installed.

The mobile cameras will be just like the stationary ones as far as ticket price is concerned. Offender will get a $40 ticket in the mail. Johnson said he hopes to have the new cameras up and running in a month.