People Hate Speed Cameras

Only the politicians seem to love 'em

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    NEWSLETTERS

    This just in: people hate speed cameras.

    Do they work, serving to improve traffic safety, or are they just another way for local communities to suck their taxpayers for more money without having to actually suffer the electoral damage of raising taxes?

    Maybe it's both, reports the Post.

    The executive director of the National Motorists Association claims the latter, telling the paper that "As soon as the cameras are gone, people go right back to driving what they were before."

    Anyone who's driven north on 395 can attest to that, with that 30-foot patch of tunnel where people actually pay attention to the ridiculously slow speed limit before gunning it to make the light on NY Avenue.

    Meanwhile, the communications director for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that those complaining about the cameras are likely law-breaking whiners. He told the Post, "[t]here is no question that red-light cameras and speed cameras work to change behavior. But changing behavior means a lot of people who regularly break the law aren't happy."

    The Post notes that the Maryland legislature's study of MoCo's cameras show a success: "Reported collisions in camera-monitored zones or intersections were down 28 percent. Those involving "injury or fatality" were down a whopping 39 percent."

    At the same time, highway fatalities are down significantly in all areas of the country, even those without cameras.  The executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association attributes that to "record seat belt use, increased enforcement of drunk driving and seat belt laws, improvements in vehicle safety, safer roadways and the economy."

    Nowhere does the ED mention cameras.

    Do they improve safety or just fill coffers?  It really does depend on who you ask.