A popular way for ticket camera manufacturers to “get their foot in door” and quiet opposition of speed cameras in a city is to mention that the cameras will be installed in school zones. After all, what politician wants to be seen as being against “improving” the safety of children?
What the ticket camera companies fail to mention is that they intend to use the school zone cameras to make it easier to push them through everywhere else later. They also don’t mention that many of these school zone speed cameras are in use 24/7, 365 days a year — even if school isn’t.
As NBCWashington.com points out, that’s what has been happening in Montgomery County, Maryland:
Some speed cameras in Montgomery County, Md., are snapping pictures and issuing tickets in school zones — even though classes have been out for more than a month.
Every time a speed camera flashes, someone gets a $40 speeding ticket in the 25 mph school zone in front of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
Michele Rosen of Silver Spring received a traffic-camera ticket on a recent Saturday. She plans to appeal. […]
Rosen believes the reduced speed zone is not well marked. She questions the need for the lower speed limit when school is not in session.
Apparently she wasn’t the only one who was upset with this scheme:
There has been some grumbling about “after hours” use of school zone cameras and some changes are about to happen.
“The laws for speed cameras will change as of October 1,” said Lucille Baur, a spokesperson for Montgomery County Police.
Well, at least they eventually did the right thing. But wait a minute, what’s this:
Baur said the operational hours for speed cams in school zones will be reduced to Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The new hours will be put in place throughout the year, whether or not school is in session.
I guess some people never learn.