OPINION: Speed Cameras Are Necessary


Picture a driver cruising with his family on a country road. He looks ahead of the road and sees an uphill turn that makes him slightly accelerate. Then, all of a sudden, there’s a big flash on the side mirror, and then hidden alongside of the turn was a hidden camera behind a tree.

Now one may agree that speed cameras are a pest. Drivers often find cameras to be enforcing low speed limits while remaining hidden. Even though many think of them as a pointless waste of money, one may want to reconsider their opinion, because there is a good side to speed traps.

According to MontgomeryCountymd.gov, speeding is one of the most common factors contributing to vehicle crashes, which is a leading cause of death from ages three through thirty-three. Four years before camera activation, the number of all reported collisions was 458. One year after camera activation there were 329 collisions. This means that there was a 28 percent drop in the number of collisions.

Speed cameras have been shown to make roads safer. The city of Rockville alone inhabits 40 locations for speed cameras that can be relocated. Authorities have placed them in front of school zones, residential areas and even highway work zones.

In spite of the County’s economic debt, these cameras provide additional protection and justice. Speed traps give the police a way to monitor roads, look out for pedestrians and detect aggressive drivers. Cameras also give law enforcers a photographic picture of cars, license tags and drivers. This gives them the ability to identify a stolen car or dangerous criminals on the road.

One of the main controversies toward speed traps is the fear for one’s rights being violated. If one were to get a speeding ticket, who will represent them in court if no officer present? Or do cameras replace the jobs of policemen? Another argument is that cameras are another way to make money off of residents for the county. These, like many other arguments arouse petitioning or outrages to occur.

Reckless driving is a huge factor to the top leading deaths in the nation. MontgomeryCounty.gov noted that in 2008, 51 people in Maryland died because of speed-related crashes; at least 12 of the 51 people were from Montgomery County.

Speed cameras are one of many ways to minimize reckless driving and speed-related deaths. The positive side of speed cameras is not its capabilities to photograph license tags or measure speed, but to protect residents of Montgomery County.