Speed cameras are now really officially back, and another batch of traffic-surveilling devices are on the way.
The city’s new speed-tracking cameras are issuing tickets as of 6 a.m. this morning, according to the Baltimore City Department of Transportation. That means anyone caught going 12 miles or more over the speed limit will be getting a $40 citation in the mail. The cameras are active from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Up until today, there had been a grace period that allowed warnings to violators.
And the DOT isn’t finished. Starting today, the same cycle will begin for eight new red light cameras, with a 30-day warning period in effect before drivers start getting fined. Those tickets will be more costly at $75, and the cameras will be in effect at all hours, seven days a week.
Per WBAL, city administrators insist the new program isn’t a way to make more money, but rather to keep streets safer. Baltimore’s new transportation director, Michelle Pourciau, told reporters at Mayor Catherine Pugh’s press briefing on Wednesday that the city sees more than 20,000 crashes per year.
“We want complete streets for everyone, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, and so here’s another part of the program,” she said.
Of course, the phrase “complete streets” would entail adding much more, including a more robust bike lane network, reduced speed limits, traffic-congestion reduction strategies and pedestrian improvements, among other fixes. (Councilman Ryan Dorsey and Bikemore have detailed a “Complete Streets” policy plan here.) Maybe officials will get to that once they sort out how they want to deal with the existing bike lanes in Canton and other parts of the city.
This is Baltimore’s third whack at speed cameras. Mayor Pugh revealed she was trying it again in March, when she released an early copy of her fiscal 2018 budget. Four year ago, the city halted its program after cameras started issuing false tickets; city officials testified the following year that it’d become too big to manage.
This version of the traffic camera program is much smaller, though there’s still plenty of money involved. Earlier this year, the Board of Estimates approved two contracts worth nearly $1o million combined for the operators of the speed, red light and commercial vehicle enforcement cameras. American Traffic Solutions will run the speed cameras, while Conduent, Inc. will operate the rest.
If you tend to breeze through those yellow lights late in the game, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for a warning or, starting Sept. 1, a $75 ticket in the mail. The red light cams will be running at the following locations:
- Reisterstown Road (southbound) at Patterson Avenue
- North Avenue (westbound) at North Howard Street
- Monroe Street (northbound) at Washington Boulevard
- Monroe Street (southbound) at Washington Boulevard
- Belair Road (southbound) at Erdman Avenue
- Erdman Avenue (eastbound) at Belair Road
- Pulaski Highway (eastbound) at North Point Road
- Calvert Street (northbound) at East Baltimore Street
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