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Hagerstown gets its first speed-enforcement cameras

March 13, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Milton Robinson installs a new speed enforcement camera Tuesday along Northern Avenue in Hagerstown. He works for Brekford Corp. of Hanover, Md., the company providing speed-enforcement cameras to the city.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Hagerstown’s first speed cameras were installed Tuesday morning along Northern Avenue at Crofton Road in the area of Fountaindale Elementary School.

Members of the Hagerstown Police Department and Brekford — the company contracted to provide the cameras as part of the Hagerstown Automated Speed Enforcement Program — attended the camera kickoff.

“Public safety is very important to us,” Hagerstown police Capt. Mark Holtzman said. “It’s been a longtime initiative of the police department to try and reduce the speed around the schools.”

A 30-day warning period began on Tuesday for motorists, Holtzman said.

After the 30 days are up, motorists driving more than 12 mph over the speed limit, which is 25 mph in that stretch of road, will be fined $40, he said. That amount can be reduced to $35 if paid early.

Holtzman said the tickets will not count against drivers’ records.

“They are similar to parking tickets,” he said. “There is no points system or anything like that.”

More speed cameras are expected to be installed in three to five more areas in the next two to three weeks, officials said.

The cameras were placed in what Holtzman said looked like utility boxes on each side of Northern Avenue. They are radar-based camera systems that will take a picture of the license plate of any vehicle traveling more than 12 mph over the speed limit.

The camera will take the picture at the same time it records the violation, according to Brekford Managing Director Maurice Nelson.

“There is no lag time between when an individual’s speed is recorded and when the picture is taken,” Nelson said. “It captures the vehicle as it passes through the enforcement zone.”

The installation of the cameras came at no cost to the taxpayers, Holtzman said.

Brekford paid to have them installed, and the money generated by the program will be split between the city and the company.

The cameras will be in effect Monday through Friday year-round from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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