Speed Cameras Not on Spring Break
Think speed cameras in school zones take a holiday? Think again. They'll be on duty in the summer, too, say Howard County police.
Howard County has continued to issue speeding citations to drivers in school zones, even while students have been away for spring break, according to Howard County police officials.
Both county and state law allow for school zone speed camera enforcement from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., but school does not need to be in session. Still, the department maintains it is using the cameras in a reasonable way.
"We have been sensitive to that issue and for the most part are operating our vans in areas where activities are planned at the school," said police spokesperson Bryce Buell.
Buell added that the cameras will also be used in the summer in order to maintain safety for attendees of summer programs.
Patch readers also expressed concern the vehicles are wasting gasoline, while the county also touts green efforts like hybrid and electric vehicle acquisitions.
The operation of the portable speed cameras does not require the vans that house the cameras to be running, but the operators usually keep the vehicle running for most of their shift during the hottest and coldest days of the year, according to Buell.
Buell said the vehicles are often turned off during the moderate spring months.
"At this time we do not have an accounting on the funds spent for fueling the vehicles," Buell said. "Typically they use less than a tank of fuel per week."
Also this week, the department disclosed that it has issued more than 6,000 citations worth a total of $180,000 in the first four months of operation, reports the Howard County Times.