Montgomery County, Maryland, is using speed cameras to enforce limits of 35 mph or less in residential areas and school zones. An Institute evaluation indicates this is helping to reduce travel speeds.
Researchers measured speeds 6 months before and 6 months after camera enforcement began in May 2007 in this Washington, D.C., suburb. The proportion of vehicles going more than 10 mph faster than posted limits fell by 70 percent on roads where cameras were operational and by 39 percent on roads with signs warning of enforcement but where cameras weren't yet in place.
Violators pay a $40 civil fine. An Institute survey 6 months after the kickoff found that 74 percent of county respondents considered speeding a problem on residential streets, 60 percent were aware of camera enforcement, and 62 percent favored it.
"Our goal is to save lives, and speed cameras give us another resource that complements our existing enforcement measures," says police chief J. Thomas Manger.