Wicomico County Ending Use of Mobile Speed Camera System - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico County Ending Use of Mobile Speed Camera System

Street sign warning drivers of the cameras in school zones Street sign warning drivers of the cameras in school zones

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md.- Wicomico County is ending a program that keeps speeders at bay in school zones.

The program does not include box-like cameras seen around Salisbury, but instead mobile speed cameras that are set up and hidden inside cars.

The county decided to end its contract with Red Speed USA, a mobile speed camera system. The partnership officially ends in December.

Some residents say the decision comes as a big surprise. "I'm a little shocked,” said Salisbury resident, Molly Earl. “I would think they would keep them because it definitely cuts down on traffic issues."

County officials say that was the goal. County Executive Bob Culver says they hoped the hidden cameras would change driver’s behavior around school zones, and it worked.

An internal audit by the county shows the number of citations issued went from more than 500 in Oct. 2012 to fewer than 100 citations by the end of 2014.

Though the statistics show driver’s behavior has changed, some residents don’t believe the effects are long term. “The cars are going to speed,” said Leslyn Miles, of Salisbury. “The only reason they don’t is because cameras are there.”

Though the contract ends in December, it doesn't mean this program is off the table forever. Culver says Wicomico County will remain registered with the company so they have the option to bring the program back in the future.

Culver says the goal was never about revenue, it was about safety. He adds instead of keeping a sheriff’s deputy focused on verifying citations, resources will be better used elsewhere.

While the county manages the mobile cameras, the stationary speed cameras are operated by the city of Salisbury. City officials say they have no plans to remove any of the six box-like speed cameras in Salisbury.

Unlike Wicomico County’s system, the city’s speed cameras help earn revenue. According to Police Chief Barbara Duncan, the cameras generated nearly $768,000 in the last fiscal year.

Duncan says they cameras also help slow down traffic. When the cameras were first installed in 2011, the Route 50 camera issued nearly 3,000 citations. Last year, it issued on 123 citations.

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