The following photos, taken by a concerned
The two are close enough that both the camera and the sign can be photographed together, although brush along the side of the road might well conceal the cameras until a driver actually reaches them. A photo taken from the eastbound direction shows a 40mph sign just past the camera (circled in this image, click for full sized image).At the western end of Darnestown, the situation is even more obvious. When heading east on rt 28, the speed limit is 50mph, with no speed limit signs for over a mile, until about 2/3 of a mile before the speed camera location, at which point the speed limit becomes 40mph. The camera is placed IMMEDIATELY AFTER the only 30mph sign with a small "photo enforced" sign. The camera itself is partially obscured behind another sign. This picture shows how incredibly close the two were placed.
In neither direction are there any flashing yellows "Your Speed" indicator signs, rumble strips or other traffic calming devices to alert inattentive drivers, which one would expect if safety were the motive and the county wished to be sure drivers had every possible chance to react to the single speed limit sign before entering town. There are also no signs indicating a school zone. Note that these fixed speed cameras are designed to work 24/7, the cameras and signs would be much less visible at night.
The cameras were seen "flashing" several cars in a row, all of which seemed to be driving in what most people would consider a normal, safe manner. Because there is so little space between the signs and the cameras even someone who is fairly diligent about obeying speed limits could easily get "nailed" if they were to try to save gas by coasting down to speed instead of immediately hitting the brakes. However it is unclear whether they are actually issuing citations, as someone was apparently already so angered by the camera placement that they spray painted over the lenses of at least one camera. Speed cameras are frequently targeted by this and other forms of attack almost everywhere they have been used.
Two more Darnestown cameras are being constructed nearby on Germantown road (rt118). The fixed poles are located 0.2 miles east of the intersection with rt28 (where the speed limit is 40mph), and about 0.1 miles south of the first 30mph speed limit sign. North of the new locations the speed limit is 40mph. Worse yet, a driver (perhaps your visiting friend or relative) who knows nothing about speed cameras, coming south from 118 and turning east on rt28 could plausibly hit two cash-cow cameras right after another, then hit both cameras again in the opposite direction on the return trip.