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Speed Camera: Optotraffic Reports Drop in Speed, Revenue

Speed camera near Duvall Field

Two months after speed cameras went into operation on major streets in the city, the company that installed these cameras published a formal report on the cameras’ effectiveness on public safety and revenues they bring to the City.

Optotraffic was awarded the contract to install and maintain theses cameras across the city.

The City has been insisting that the primary purpose of these cameras is to improve public safety, whereas some residents think they are ‘speed traps’ and ways to generate revenues for the City government.

According to the Optotraffic report, the median speed on these camera zones has dropped by 2 mph on average over the past two months.

On the revenue side, the drop was rather significant during the reporting period. For example, for the Rhode Island Avenue camera, the total number of tickets issued daily was 32 in the November last year, however that figure has gone down to 25 in the second week of January. The similar figure for the camera in Metzerott Road near St. Andrews Place was the most dramatic – the figure dropped from 550 to 110 was reported during the same period.

According  to the contract, the motorists who get camera tickets need to pay $40 per ticket; however the City only gets 60% of the total revenues, the rest goes to the Optotraffic company. The City can only keep up to 10% of its operating budget and the rest must be given to the State. The revenues also must be used in public safety improvement projects.

You can view the entire report below:

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1 Comment to “Speed Camera: Optotraffic Reports Drop in Speed, Revenue”

  1. By StopBigBrotherMD, January 25, 2011 @ 6:37 am

    The city of College Park Lowered the speed limit on a section of Metzerott Rd eastbound so they could place the camera right at a NEW speed transition zone and issue more tickets. The new 30mph sign was added in NOVEMBER 2010 less than 0.1mile west of the new camera site. That’s within a few weeks of when the cameras were activated. The first 30mph sign USED TO BE located at 35th street. OF COURSE average speeds have dropped on THAT stretch of road **the speed limit used to be 10mph higher**!

    The fact that speeds have changed at a camera site or that the # of tickets issues has gone down is NOT impressive NOR does it automatically indicate improved safety. It only means people know what the camera looks like and where it is. The use of Radar Speed Display Signs (‘Your Speed’ signs) is well documented to reduce average speeds in school zones by MUCH more than the 2mph Optotraffic is reporting. Here are MANY studies supporting that: http://www.informationdisplay.com/httpdocs/traffic-calming-research-studies.php

    There have been MANY CASES of Optotraffic’s cameras sending tickets to INNOCENT DRIVERS in Forest Heights, Brentwood, Cheverly, and Riverdale Park. IF (and I say IF) this has not happened in College Park (YET) it is pure dumb luck.

    10% of the town’s budget is a *lot* of money, quite enough to influence the decisions of those who decide where cameras are placed. But ticketing out of town drivers is ‘free money’, right?