Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prince George's to Have Cameras Watching Cameras

WTOP Reports that Prince George's County plans to deploy cameras near its speed camera locations in order to monitor them for camera vandalism.

County Police say that there have been multiple instances of cameras being attacked.  They report instances of cameras being set on fire and shot.  In one case a camera was flipped over, leading police to believe multiple individuals must have been involved due to the large size of cameras used by the county.  In another instance one of the legs of a camera was cut off.

"It costs us $30,000 to $100,000 to replace a camera. That's a significant loss in the program. " stated Major Liberati, who leads the county's photo enforcement program.

Under the county's contract, the cameras are not owned by the county but are instead provided by private speed camera contractor Optotraffic, who builds, owns, maintains, repairs, and processes violations from the cameras, and mails the tickets.

"The roads are choked, there are lots of drivers on them. I think traffic itself is the cause of frustration (towards speed cameras)" said Liberati.
So in response, the county will now be deploying cameras to watch the cameras.  Unlike the speed cameras themselves which only record vehicles which are accused of speeding, the monitoring cameras will record video of anyone in the vicinity of the cameras 24/7.  One such monitoring camera has already been deployed, and the county hopes to add a dozen more.

"It's not worth going to jail over a $40 ticket or an arson or destruction of property charge," says Liberati.

Read complete article on WTOP