Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The county has netted nearly $28,000 for traffic safety projects, and police said that drivers are slowing down.
The Howard County Police Department is “exploring” an increase in its speed camera program by adding two portable speed cameras in areas too small to fit the two vans currently in use in school zones. In its one-year report, which is required to be submitted to the County Council, the police department went over dollars and cents and numbers of citations issued during the 5,840 hours on the roads in the first year of the program, which began issuing citations in November 2011. According to the report, before speed camera enforcement began, the department conducted a five-year review of collisions that occurred in school zones. Before the cameras were installed, the county averaged 166 collisions per year over the five years studied, …
Monday, December 31, 2012
Howard County's speed camera vendor said timestamps on photos are not an accurate method for calculating speed.
Over the past few months, the Baltimore Sun has been cataloguing what may be errors in speed cameras in Baltimore city. Reporters have used time over distance calculations with timestamps on citiation photographs rounded to the thousandth of a second to determine drivers' speed. In Howard County, it's not possible to use timestamp information to determine speed because the timestamps are rounded to the nearest second, which is not precise enough to make a calcualtion, according to the Sun. However, even if it was down to the thousandth of a second, citizens would still not be able to calculate their own speed at the time of the infraction, according to a spokesperson for Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., Howard County's speed camera …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Currently, residents receiving a Howard County speed ticket are unable to figure out how fast they were traveling based on photographs.
Howard County Police said the company they work with to operate speed cameras are researching ways to include more information on the photographs they provide on speeding tickets. The research is being undertaken to increase motorist confidence in the program, according to a police spokesperson. Questions have been raised about the accuracy of speed camera systems in the state after the Baltimore Sun reported on flaws in speed camera systems in Baltimore City. The paper reported inaccurate speed-readings on tickets after calculating vehicles' speed using timestamps to the fraction of a second provided on photographs included with citations, and by measuring the distance vehicles traveled in the photographs. Currently, Howard County’s speed…
Monday, December 10, 2012
A state delegate wants speeding tickets dismissed in cases where it's unclear the motorist was in violation.
A recent report published by the Baltimore Sun points out an issue with speed cameras in Howard County—citizens who receive a ticket can't check the accuracy of the camera based on the photographs provided. Because Howard County speed cameras round the times each photograph is taken to the nearest second, motorists who receive a ticket are not able to calculate the accuracy of the camera's radar gun based on the distance their vehicle travels between photographs, according to the Sun. In Baltimore County, a state delegate is calling for a state audit and possible reboot of the speed camera program in Maryland. Del. Jon Cardin told Patch Monday he would like judges to throw out tickets when it's not clear that the driver was speeding. He …
Friday, November 9, 2012
But the latest technology is no good against cameras used in Howard County.
Friday, November 9, 2012
By Aisha Azhar, Capital News Service COLLEGE PARK -- As the number of speed cameras and red light cameras on Maryland roads grows, frustrated drivers can turn to any number of technologies to avoid automated tickets. Drivers have used sprays, reflective license plate covers and even car waxes to circumvent traffic cameras, even though authorities in Maryland and other states have banned them. The latest technology is noPhoto -- a license plate cover that uses the same mechanics built into traffic cameras to fool them, and, unlike older products, could be more difficult for the authorities to detect. In Maryland, red light cameras were introduced in 1997 and speed cameras in 2007. Both have been unpopular with drivers, often criticized as …
Friday, August 24, 2012
Howard County Police will focus on traffic safety around school zones for the first couple weeks of the school year.
Students return to school on Monday, and Howard County Police will be increasing their presence around schools for the first couple weeks of the school year, according to a department press release. Officers will target drivers speeding in school zones, enforce seat belt laws and trail school buses to make sure vehicles stop when the red lights are flashing during a drop off–-a violation that can earn drivers a $570 fine. "We hope that police presence around the schools will send a message to drivers to slow down," said Police Chief William McMahon in a statement. "Students throughout the region will be walking and driving to and from school and we want to make sure every one of them arrives safely." In addition to increased patrols around…
Monday, July 30, 2012
Civil liberties group says it supports the technology but has privacy concerns about how the long the collected information is stored.
Information collected by police through the use of automatic license plate readers could lead to violations of privacy, according to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union. The civil liberties group Monday said in a statement that it had filed a public information request with local and state law enforcement agencies in 35 states seeking details on how long the data is stored. "Automatic license plate readers make it possible for the police to track our location whenever we drive our cars and to store that information forever," said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, in a statement. "The American people have a right to know whether our police departments are using these tools in a …
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Entrance lanes onto Route 29 will split beginning today. Expect some closures and speed cameras.
- On WTOP
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
A sample of stories from this week in Patch across Howard County.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Police, School Buses Cited by Speed Cameras, Too More than 450 drivers have received two or more citations since the county's speed camera enforcement program began. Nearly 8,600 citations have been issued in all. Neighbors Say They Feared Body was Buried in Neighborhood Elkridge residents told Patch that many people suspected the body of a woman who went missingn 21 years ago was buried in the shed behind her house. That's where police found the body of Christine Jarrett last week, under a layer of concrete. Wegman's Answers Readers' Questions Will the new grocery store offer bike parking? Carry local foods? Find the answers to these questions and more.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Since the program began, 455 drivers have received two or more citations.
Nearly 8,600 speed camera citations have been issued this year, including three to fire vehicles, four to other county-owned vehicles and 23 to police vehicles – from Howard and other counties, according to officials. Emergency vehicles do not have to pay citations if they are issued during an emergency operation. Otherwise, according to police, they pay the $40 fine, just like civilians. Citations have also been issued to school and MTA buses, Speed Camera Program Administrator Fred Von Briesen said at Wednesday evening’s meeting of the Howard County Police Citizens Advisory Council (CAC). Von Briesen took members of the CAC closer than most people will get to the county’s two mobile speed camera units -- vans equipped with cameras, …