- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Despite numerous driver complaints about speed-camera citations in the District, Prince George’s County for the first time has surpassed the city in the number of speed-camera tickets issued, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

County-operated speed cameras issued a total of 303,885 tickets in fiscal 2014 — surpassing the 282,021 speed-camera tickets issued in the District during the same period.

Several municipalities in Prince George’s County also operate their own speed cameras, so the total number of tickets issued in the county is even higher than the data provided by AAA.

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Both Prince George’s and the District experienced a decline in the number of speed-camera tickets issued from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014, though the decrease in the District was more dramatic.

The fact that the District was overtaken by Prince George’s in issuing the most speed tickets in the region points to problems the city has had maintaining the cameras as well as drivers’ familiarity with the technology, said AAA spokesman John Townsend.

“The District had such a rotten year last year in terms of production,” Mr. Townsend said. “The fact of the matter is people have been ticketed to death. They now use apps to let them know where the cameras are.”

The District ran into trouble issuing tickets last year when it began experiencing difficulties repairing broken cameras, and the number of tickets issued dropped by 32 percent.

The city previously had dwarfed the number of tickets issued by the county camera program — issuing a high-water mark of 845,475 tickets in fiscal 2012.

However, although Prince George’s County issued more tickets, the District reaped far more in revenue due to higher fines per ticket.

The city’s tickets netted $37.5 million in fiscal 2014, with fines ranging between $50 to $300 depending on the car’s rate of speed.

In Maryland, speed-camera tickets are capped at $40. Prince George’s issued $10.1 million in fines last year for speed-camera violations.

A breakdown of collections by the county Revenue Authority shows that of the fines collected, the county paid $3.8 million to camera vendors for maintenance and pocketed a total of $5.5 million.

Mr. Townsend said both jurisdictions appear to have a similar rate of speed-camera compliance, with roughly 70 percent of drivers sticking to the speed limit after the cameras are installed.

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