Jill Kolodner | April 19, 2022 | Car Accidents
Maryland counties have made extensive use of speed cameras. When used correctly, speed cameras can protect vulnerable road users and generate revenue for local governments.
The speed cameras installed on I-83 in Baltimore required a new law from the Maryland state legislature. This law came about after years of lobbying by road safety groups for the legislature to take action to control speeding and reduce car accidents on the interstate.
Keep reading to learn about the speed cameras installed on I-83 in Baltimore and how they may affect traffic on this interstate highway.
Speed Cameras in Maryland
Maryland was an early adopter of speed cameras. These cameras monitor vehicle speeds and automatically issue traffic citations based on license plate images of speeding vehicles. The cameras issue citations for anyone driving 12 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.
The State of Maryland does not operate speed cameras. Instead, counties operate the speed cameras in cooperation with contractors.
Maryland law limits where the counties can use speed cameras.
Under Maryland law, counties can use speed cameras in:
The counties using speed cameras must provide notice of their locations before they can begin to issue citations.
Currently, three counties authorize the use of speed cameras in school zones:
- Prince George’s County
- Charles County
- Calvert County
Maryland currently has 13 speed cameras in work zones. These cameras are located throughout the state.
Speed Cameras on I-83
The speed cameras on I-83 required special legislation since the interstate does not fall within a school zone, and the legislature wanted to use speed cameras outside of I-83 work zones. This law was passed in 2021 and went into effect in 2022.
Under the law, Baltimore received authorization to install speed cameras on I-83 as it passes through the city. The city approved funding for the cameras that were installed in February 2022 and turned on in April 2022. The cameras capture traffic in both directions on I-83 as it passes under the bridge at West 41st Street.
For the first 90 days of operation, the speed cameras on I-83 will only issue warnings. After the 90-day warning period, the speed cameras will issue citations with a $40 fine.
The state treats a speed camera violation as a civil fine, so the Maryland MVA will not add points to your driving record for these citations.
Like the cameras installed elsewhere in the state, they only catch drivers going at least 12 miles per hour over the speed limit. This segment of I-83 has a posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour. This means warnings and citations will go out to drivers traveling 62 miles per hour or more.
What is the Purpose of the Speed Cameras on I-83?
In Baltimore, I-83 sits at the center of a debate about traffic and safety. On the one hand, Baltimore counted over 2,000 car accidents on I-83 between 2015 and 2019. Advocates for traffic safety suggest that speed limit enforcement will improve safety and reduce the number of crashes.
On the other hand, the speed limit on I-83 in Baltimore ranges from 40 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour. These speed limits fall on the low end of the range for an interstate highway. Enforcing these already-low speed limits will increase traffic congestion in the city.
For now, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland have sided with those advocating for traffic safety. But since this program has just begun, you may see further adjustments in the speed limits and speed camera locations as the city balances safety and efficiency on I-83.
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14 W Madison St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States