Debate over speed cameras in Howard County continues

The Baltimore Sun reports that speeding cameras could soon spread throughout more of the state. Specifically, Howard County could soon have the cameras around schools in the area.

County Executive Ken Ulman is in support of the measure, which would start off slowly and then grow if the school zone cameras proved effective. Proven effectiveness would mean that drivers stop speeding around area schools.

According to sources, research was done before the camera proposal was made in the county. The study reportedly found that two-thirds of drivers exceeded the posted speed limits around Howard County private and public schools.

If the County Council approves the proposal, two van-mounted speeding cameras will be located around each county school starting next year. Proponents of the cameras argue that students will be kept safer and accidents prevented.

But critics of the proposed measure doubt that safety is the only goal of the cameras. Speeders will undoubtedly have to pay traffic tickets, meaning that the cameras would be a convenient source of revenue for the county.

The Baltimore Sun also shares one critic’s argument that the cameras could make school zones more dangerous. When drivers see officers or speeding cameras, many tend to slam their feet on the brakes. If that happens in school zones, more collisions could occur and put kids at risk of injury.

What do you think about Ulman’s proposal? Would school zones be safer? And if so, would that improvement be enough to warrant what could be many owed traffic tickets?


The Baltimore Sun: “Howard to start with two speed cameras, could add more,” Larry Carson, 8 Mar. 2011

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