Baltimore County will install new cameras to monitor vehicle heights as part of an effort to cut down on truck traffic in residential areas, county officials announced Wednesday.
The Baltimore County of Public Works said it will install the cameras later this month at seven residential roadway locations in southwestern and southeastern parts of the county, including in Arbutus and Dundalk.
The monitoring system is an automated tool that uses cameras and computers to catch violations committed by drivers of commercial vehicles operating on restricted residential roadways.
Baltimore County does have manufacturing facilities and industrial centers, necessitating commercial vehicle traffic. However, many of the residential roadways are not designed to handle the weight and size of some of these commercial vehicles, particularly some of the local roads in southeastern and southwestern Baltimore County.
“Keeping our neighborhoods safe and roadways in good condition is a top priority in Baltimore County, and ensuring truck drivers follow height restrictions and use routes appropriate for commercial vehicles helps us in these areas,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We remain committed to providing a responsive government and are proud to take these new steps to address longstanding community concerns regarding heavy truck traffic on our local roads.”
In 2020, Olszewski advocated for legislation from the Maryland General Assembly to allow Baltimore County to use the vehicle height monitoring system.
Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell, (R-District 7), is optimistic about the cameras’ positive impact.
“Keeping heavy trucks off of residential roads will help keep our neighborhoods safe and our roads in good shape, improving our quality of life,” he said.
Baltimore County Councilman Pat Young, (D-District 1), is also enthusiastic.
“Baltimore County’s new vehicle height monitoring cameras will help reduce heavy truck traffic in residential neighborhoods, keeping our roads safe and in good condition,” said Young, calling the problem a long-standing community issue.
Baltimore County’s news release listed the seven locations for the vehicle height monitoring camera systems as follows:
- 5000-5001 Benson Ave. at I-695, Arbutus, 21227 (northbound and southbound)
- 3200-3201 Magnolia Ave. at Lilac Avenue, Arbutus 21227 (eastbound and westbound)
- 500 North Point Road at Eastern Avenue (southbound) and 1101 North Point Road at Merritt Boulevard, Dundalk, 21224 (northbound)
- 7900-7901 Wise Ave. at Lynch Road, Dundalk, 21224 (eastbound and westbound) and 8800-8801 Wise Ave. at Grays Road, Dundalk, 21224 (eastbound and westbound)
- 2900 and 3001 Sollers Point Road at Merritt Boulevard (northbound and southbound)
- 6801 Belclare Road at Dundalk Avenue, Dundalk, 21222 (eastbound)
- 101 Avon Beach Road at Henry Street, Dundalk, 21222 (eastbound)
The cameras will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be set at a height of 12 feet, except for at the Benson Avenue location, which will be set at 10 feet because of traffic patterns.
County officials said changes may be made as the program is monitored and evaluated to ensure effectiveness.
Drivers in violation will receive only a warning for the first 30 days after each camera is installed. After that, drivers who violate the height limitations will be fined $125 for their first offense, up to $250 for their second offense, and up to $500 for their third and subsequent offenses.
Certain vehicles are exempt from height monitoring enforcement. These include but are not limited to:
- School buses
- Public transit vehicles
- Emergency vehicles
- Trash and recycling trucks
- Utility and home energy vehicles
- Household goods moving companies
Signage will advise drivers of the maximum vehicle height and the presence of photo enforcement at each of the seven new locations.
For more information, visit Baltimore County’s Vehicle Height Monitoring webpage.