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Are Speed Camera Tickets Just Another Cost of Driving in Prince George's County?

NBC4: Maryland drivers rack up more tickets than DC drivers.

Gas? Check. Oil? Check. GPS? Check. Speeding ticket? Check? 

Speed cameras seem to be multiplying in the metropolitan Washington area, and while they may be a deterrent to some drivers, others may view the charge for whizzing by one as just another cost of driving.

NBC4 reported that, in 2012, Maryland had a much higher rate of repeat offenders ticketed by speed cameras than Washington, DC.

“In the Maryland suburbs you’re about twice as likely to get multiple tickets,” David Marker, a senior statistician with the American Statistical Association, told NBC4. “By the time you get up to 5 or 10 tickets, you're 20 times more likely to get multiple tickets in the Maryland suburbs than in DC.” 

Prince George’s County had a repeat offender rate twice that of the District in 2012, while Montgomery County had the highest percentage of repeat offenders in the area in 2012—a rate five times that of the District.

Prince George’s also had the top single repeat offender—a vehicle with a whopping 66 speed camera tickets in 2012. Montgomery County is home to the second-worst repeat offender with 63. A single DC-tagged vehicle received 22 speed camera tickets last year.

In Washington, DC, a speed camera ticket can run as much as $300 (the fine doubles if not paid within 30 days), while Maryland caps the fine at $40, leading some to suggest that the fine amount is tied to the level of deterrence.

“It's probably worth asking: If those speeders are getting caught by the same speed cameras in their neighborhoods, wouldn't the best explanation be that they're not particularly put off by a $40 fine to actually slow down?” Martin Austermuhle wrote on the dcist website.

NBC4 quoted Greater Greater Washington editor David Alpert—who served on a DC task force which investigated the effects of lowering DC speed camera fines as saying: “This data bolsters the case that there’s a connection between the higher fines and deterrents … that suggests that we should be very cautious about lowering in a way that might lead people to continue to speed.”

Alpert reported on Greater Greater Washington on Thursday.

Mindy Anderson March 31, 2013 at 09:05 PM
These cameras are dangerous!! Everyone still FLIES down the road and then when they come up to a speed camera, they HIT THE BRAKES, almost to a complete stop! It's crazy! It's only going to cause a ton of rear end collisions!
Peggy April 01, 2013 at 01:48 PM
It would be interesting to note whether the multiple offenders are actually paying their fines.
Linda April 01, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Bowie has become well-covered with these cameras, but they have the very laudatory effect of visibly slowing traffic in many places where that was badly needed. Seems to me the tickets relate purely to the driving habits of the individual; perhaps the fine/fee should double after a set number of tickets and a wound in the wallet might do what social conscience obviously does not.

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