Prince George's holds hearing on speed camera plan

Prince George's County Council held a public hearing Tuesday on the plan to install more than 100 speed cameras near county schools.

But some of those testifying say the plan is more about increasing revenue for the county than improving traffic safety.

Almost half of the cameras would be placed in established school plans, according to a plan approved in 2009 but never implemented by former County Executive Jack Johnson, who called it an extra tax on residents.

County Executive Rushern Baker has moved to get the plan in place.

“We have real concerns about what we have seen in a number of the school zones that have already been established and implemented in the County,” said John B. Townsend II, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It appears that in a number of cases the mobile speed camera program in some jurisdictions in the county violates the spirit and the letter of the law in Maryland.”

Townsend said some drivers have successfully challenged the accuracy of the portable speed cameras and had their tickets dismissed by county judges.

He also questioned the current practices of and the equipment used by one of the leading speed camera vendors in a number of county jurisdictions, Optotraffic, Inc.

Townsend said ticketed motorists are instructed to pay their citations to an address in Philadelphia.