Laurel speed cams warn drivers without fines

(WJLA) - There are two on Montgomery Street, and one is in the shadow of the Lifehouse Church. These cameras are prototypes, and the first of their kind -- at least in this area.

Laurel Police have been working for six months to put them up, strictly as an a method of awareness and as a speed deterrent.

You can first see the sign warning of a speed camera up ahead, but then there is something new: stemming from a box is a sign that tells you exactly how fast you’re going.

"There are a lot of children that live here on Montgomery Street,” says Jackie Fischer, who lives in the area and likes the idea. "It makes people aware if you are speeding through this residential area to have the opportunity to slow down a bit."

The combination of a speed camera and speed sign is interesting, as it doesn’t take any pictures.

"It is strictly displaying speed, making people aware they're exceeding the posted speed limit,” says the police chief, who says he is okay with people knowing the boxes don’t have cameras.

AAA Mid-Atlantic has been critical of speed cameras, but a spokesperson says this is the right move because it shows the city is concerned about safety and not just revenues.

"Folks are generally driving probably 15, 20 miles above the speed limit without stopping,” says Stephen Jackson, who picks up his two daughters at a nearby bus stop.

Jackson always thought cities were just out to make money, but in this case, he sees the need: "It is a legitimate safety issue and I do appreciate what they've done here."