- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Rockville police officials said the decision not to install red-light cameras at intersections where fatal accidents have recently occurred was out of their hands.
The two pedestrian fatalities last year in Rockville were at Frankfort Drive at Parkland Drive and Hungerford Drive at Beale Avenue. However, the city's Traffic and Transportation Division did not select either of the intersections for the three cameras, which began operating Friday. There were 14 pedestrian fatalities in Montgomery County in 2001.
Chief Terry N. Treschuk of the Rockville Police Department said officials could chose only city-owned roads with a high number of accidents during the past three years. The accidents are not limited to those involving only pedestrians, he said.
"Hungerford Drive is U.S. Route 355, [which] is owned by the state," said Chief Treschuk. He also said Frankfort Drive stretches beyond city limits and that nothing can be put on a state road without approval.
Rockville officials also said that one camera will be at an intersection with high pedestrian traffic, West Gude Drive and Research Boulevard, near county police headquarters. Six major accidents have occurred there since 1998.
The second camera will be at Wootton Parkway and Seven Locks Road, where 12 accidents have occurred since 1998.
"The one near Seven Locks was selected because it is near Wootton High School, where two children were hit and one killed in the last three years," said Neil H. Greenberger, Rockville spokesman.
The other camera will be at Tower Oaks Boulevard and Wootton Parkway in an upcoming business park.
Mr. Greenberger said the city selected the Tower Oaks intersection because an office building and a new Clyde's restaurant and bar recently opened and two more office buildings will open soon.
"We expect the number of pedestrians and vehicular traffic to increase substantially in that location in the coming months," he said.
The mayor and City Council of Rockville have a contract with Electronic Data Systems to lease the three cameras for $3,000 a month. The Texas-based company, founded by 1992 presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, will also get a cut of each $75 ticket. The company will get about $15 for every paid fine.
Residents will get a weeklong warning period before citations are issued. The tickets will not count toward points on their licenses.
Several Maryland jurisdictions including Montgomery, Howard and Prince George's counties and Baltimore already use cameras to catch red-light runners.
Some of the jurisdictions also wanted to use cameras to nab speeders. But a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jennie M. Forehand, Montgomery County Democrat, allowing radar-enhanced cameras to photograph and ticket speeders was rejected in a 5-4 vote.
State Sen. Walter M. Baker, Cecil County Democrat and chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, had denounced the bill as a revenue-generating scheme by jurisdictions, calling it "nothing more than another tax."
A similar bill was defeated in the House.
Last year, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan announced the start of a new effort to educate pedestrians and crack down on dangerous drivers a response to four fatal pedestrian accidents in the county in 2000.
County police will continue to target speeders, red-light runners and drivers who fail to yield despite the installation of the cameras, Mr. Greenberger said.
Police said six of the 16 deaths in 2000 in Montgomery County involved hit-and-run drivers.

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