Harford's Craig: 'No Desire' For Speed Cameras

Harford County Executive David Craig outlined his stance on speed cameras—and a number of other topics—on a radio show Tuesday afternoon.

Harford County Executive David Craig claims he's not a speeder—and he doesn't think he needs a camera to prove it.

Craig said on a radio show Tuesday afternoon that he has no interest in bringing speed cameras to the county.

On WYPR-FM's Midday with Dan Rodricks Tuesday, Craig said: "I was never in favor of speed cameras personally, myself, and neither was our delegation when they voted on that bill years ago. Our County Council is not in favor of it. There's just, generally, not any desire to do speed cameras [in Harford County]."

  » Listen to the audio here

The proof is in the action—or inaction.

While the county and its three municipalities—Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace—may have discussed the viability of speed cameras behind closed doors in the past, the conversation hasn't really hit daylight.

Aside from a brief mention in a 2011 Havre de Grace City Council meeting, speed cameras really haven't been discussed publicly around Harford County.

Aberdeen Mayor Michael Bennett said the city was given a demonstration on speed cameras near Aberdeen High School more than a year ago, but that's all.

"We really haven't done anything on it yet, but it has been talked about," Bennett said. "If the police chief comes back and says there's a need for it, we'll look at it in more detail. It's not an overriding concern right now."

Other municipalities around the state have adopted speed cameras.

In Baltimore City, where cameras recently ticketed a car stopped at a red light, the cameras are a hot topic.

But elsewhere, officials say cameras are working rather smoothly.

"Our system is totally different," Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said on Midday Tuesday.

"We use a laser technology" similar to a hand-held radar, he said.

Kamenetz went on to say the program in Baltimore County is accurate.

Also on Midday, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said Howard County also uses laser technology. He said Howard County looked to start slow, enforcing speed in school zones by camera, but also with two vans that enables the county to target areas of enforcement.

For now, Harford County commuters only need to worry about red light cameras.

For more Harford County news, follow HarfordCoPatch on Twitter.

Robert Frisch January 09, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Mr. Miller, I see that you believe there are legitimate circumstances, and specific locations can be identified, where the use of speed cameras as a means to enforce laws that were enacted for public safety would be appropriate. Many citizen complaints received by law enforcement agencies involve traffic conditions, speeding being the most prevalent. Responding to these complaints takes manpower away from what many believe should be the primary purpose of law enforcement which is to prevent crime or arrest the perpetrators. Simply from a practical point of view if the selection of speed camera sites could be justified based on analytical data this could result in a more efficient and less costly use of manpower resources. Speed cameras just like any technology can be used as an effective means to increase efficiency and lower costs which can allow for the reallocation of human and capital resources to more urgent uses. The problem comes in determining how that technology is to be used. After having discussed this issue with many others my own conclusion is that most people who object to speed cameras do so because of how they are used. Of course I think a significant number use that as their stated argument but really do not want speed cameras used because it increases the chances they will be caught breaking the law.
George Helm January 09, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Hold tight as the cameras will come. Since we had a surplus in the county last year we need to wait until that ends and they won't be able to deny the revenue going forward. I'm curious as to another sport complex being built across from HCC as it's pretty close to the Cedar Ln. facility. No money to widen Rt. 22 but another sport complex. I would like to be enlightened!
James P. Miller January 09, 2013 at 06:43 PM
The Speed Camera Law allows a speed camera to be places with in one half mile of a school. If you’re familiar with the locations of the schools in Havre de Grace you know that over ¾ of the city fits within those circles. Route 40 is in the school zone as is State Route 155. I was willing to compromise on the cameras and allow them on Lewis Lane near the Middle School and Juniata Street near the High school. Both of these schools are located in heavy pedestrian used sidewalks with unmanned crosswalks. State Route 155 doesn’t have any sidewalks or cross walks and most of the children are bused to the schools. State Route 155 becomes the County once you pass Maryland Avenue. 155 is a 7% grade and four lanes wide. The contractor wanted to set up a sight on the State Road so they could catch speeders. When I first started driving the speed limit on the road was 50mph. The State has reduced the speed on the hill because trucks could not make the 90 degree turn at the bottom. Google www.speedtrap.org and look up Maryland and look at the entries for Havre de Grace.
Ellen Eltgroth January 10, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Sean, this has nothing to do with the speed camera issue, but I'm having a problem with viewing this article. A window pops up and overlaps the article and I can only see a slliver of the first two paragraphs . It is some kind of ad for Motly Fool mentioning Bill Gates. These windows usually have an "x" to remove them, but this one doesn't. It happened yesterday, as well. Can you correct this? It is very irritating.
Bill Lawson January 10, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Robert, I must commend you on your extremely clear and expressive use of the English language. Well said!


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