Howard Police say speed camera program is working

$28,000 in revenue; 25,000 citations since October 2011

Speed camerasThe police department is using two mobile vans, like the one above photographed near Bushy Park Elementary School, to catch speeders in school zones. (File photo by Noah Scialom / April 2, 2012)
By Luke Lavoie, llavoie@tribune.com10:37 a.m. EDT, March 20, 2013

The Howard County Police school zone speed camera program has reduced speeding in 65 percent of school zone roadways and resulted in 25,000 citations since it began in October 2011, according to a report issued by police.

The program, which police are “exploring increasing,” has also netted approximately $28,000 in revenue, which will be used for traffic safety projects and enhancements, according to the report.

Between October 2011 and July 2012, the program’s operation costs exceeded its revenue by $32,000. However, between July and December of last year, the program collected $60,000 in revenue, resulting in a net profit.

“Our program was designed to provide police with another tool to address residents’ number-one complaint: speeding on residential and school zone roadways,” Howard County Police Chief William McMahon wrote in the report’s executive summary.

“You will find in our report that our program has done just that by providing additional support to our traditional speed enforcement efforts.”

The report states that of the 131 school zones surveyed, 64.8 percent showed a reduction in speed of up to 11 miles per hour.

In addition to speeding reductions, the report also noted a reduction in collisions in school zones from 166 per year over the last five years to 136 in 2012.

Under “program recommendations,” the report stated the department is exploring increasing the system by adding two portable computer units, or PCUS, to be used in “problematic areas.”