Now Maryland’s Highway Work-Zone Speed Cameras Come Under Scrutiny

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Not only have cameras been recording your driving speed (to an unknown degree of accuracy) in Baltimore’s many school zones; the State Highway Administration has been enlisting Xerox to bounce lasers off your car as you drive through work areas. And it seems there’s something fishy going on with that program, too.

Auditors have faulted the SHA for failing to complete more than half of the required tests on the cameras before going ahead and using them. At this point, the cameras have issued more than a million speeding tickets — which adds up to more than $34 million in revenue — according to the Baltimore Sun.

But, of course, the SHA claims increasing safety, not generating revenue, is the goal of the program, and it probably is. But how effective is an untested and poorly calibrated speed camera system as a deterrent?

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  1. Considering it’s pretty easy to tell that a speed camera is coming when there are two giant signs saying “speed camera ahead”, then two speed limit signs saying “photo enforced”, then a speed read-out sign, then a completely inconspicuously placed municipal vehicle in the median that actually houses the camera, not to mention the droves of people slamming on their brakes at the last second, I can only see it being a safety hazard, not detterant.

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