A Brief History of Speed Camera Vandalism in Maryland

In the latest incident in Montgomery County police say someone blacked-out the window on a speed camera. Such vandalism is nothing new in Maryland.

A torched speed camera on South Rolling Road in Catonsville in April of 2012. Credit: Penny Riordan
A torched speed camera on South Rolling Road in Catonsville in April of 2012. Credit: Penny Riordan
By Whitney Teal

It happened again. Earlier this month, Someone took an extreme measure to ensure at least one Montgomery County speed camera wouldn’t give out any more tickets. Police said they are searching for someone who sprayed black paint on the window of a camera in the 6900 block of New Hampshire Avenue on Aug. 3.

Speed camera vandalism in Maryland is almost as old as the cameras themselves. The cameras began appearing as a pilot program in Montgomery County in March 2007 before moving to other parts of the state.

A brief history of speed camera vandalism in Maryland:

  • May 2013: Someone spray-painted a speed camera in Perry Hall the first weekend in May, Patch reported. It is the second time since Sept. 2012 that the camera has been vandalized.
  • November 2012: Three portable units were knocked down on 16th Street in downtown Silver Spring, near Georgia Avenue, sometime between Nov. 17 and 18. Rowdy teens were probably the culprits, police said.
  • June 2012: An Ellicott City man was accused of shooting marbles at a speed camera in Howard County with a slingshot. "I had already gotten two tickets from these things," said the man, according to Ellicott City Patch.
  • In April of 2012 someone torched, literally incinerated, a brand new speed camera that was installed on South Rolling Road in Catonsville. The fire caused $13,000 in damages, according to the Catonsville Patch.
  • July 2011: An assailant smashed the window of a speed enforcing vehicle with a hammer on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, The Baltimore Sun reported.
  • Not-in-Maryland Bonus: January 2012: Restaurateur "Chef" Geoff Tracy hired a sign spinner to warn drivers of a hidden speed camera in Washington, DC, The Huffington Post reported. He tweeted that he’d gotten three tickets the first week the camera was there. (See a video of the sign spinner on Foxhall Road.)

For even more speed camera vandalism, check out this cleverly titled Facebook group, “Speed Camera Hate.”

John Smith August 10, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Let's just attached a black box to every car and if you're speeding it will record your speed and send you a ticket. That should make the LIBS happy.
Sanchez August 11, 2013 at 09:34 AM
John, that is on its way. It will be indeed be brought to you by the progressives. It will come in the form of forced "black box" by the auto manufacturers or by forcing it on us by the progressives extorting the insurance companies. It has already been rolled out as a voluntary measure by State Farm and a few other insurance companies. The box will record and send to the Masters your speed, acceleration, braking, turn directions, time of day and length of time on road, g-forces, LOCATION by GPS, meaning your every move is known to anyone with the power to access the uploaded info and anyone else who has the know-how to access it. 1984 is alive, freedom and privacy are dead. http://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto_insurance/drive-safe-save/inDrive.asp
Sanchez August 11, 2013 at 09:36 AM
All soon to be mandatory for "the sake of the children". "If this saves just one life" We will see the dead children and their parents paraded around like props on stage to push this on everyone just like they did with Newtown and those parents and like they are doing with Martin to push their fanatical issues down our throats.
MG42 August 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Sanchez- I don't mind if a private company like an insurance company does that. I can always switch carriers. I'm sure those who sign up for that get lower rates in return. When the government does it, that's a whole different ball game.
Sanchez August 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM
You will have no choice when it is mandated by the fascists in Annapolis.


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