Rockville will perch five more red light cameras at the city’s intersections, adding to the five that were installed in August.
Thititan Durasavin, Rockville photo enforcement supervisor, told The Gazette that the new cameras would go up at:
- West Jefferson Street and West Montgomery Avenue.
- Park Road at North Stonestreet Avenue.
- North Washington Street at Middle Lane.
- Gaither Road at Redland Boulevard.
- Tower Oaks Boulevard at the Interstate 270 ramp.
The new red light cameras will be erected in the spring, The Gazette reported.
Camera revenue, citations soar
The finance department presented revenue figures Monday during its quarterly financial report at the Rockville City Council meeting.
The cameras are projected to bring in $1.9 million in city revenue—more than twice the amount the finance department anticipated for fiscal 2013, according to the finance department’s report.
Budget and finance manager Stacey Webster said the boost was due to the newer cameras that were installed in August.
Webster said the new cameras issued a citation that the old cameras didn’t: Drivers who don’t properly stop before making a right turn will get a $75 ticket.
The old cameras only cited drivers who ran red lights through intersections or turned right on red when it wasn’t permitted. The city’s 10 older cameras have been phased out.
According to data collected by the Rockville City Police Department, the five new cameras generated in a few months nearly twice the citations the 10 older cameras produced in a year. The data are posted at the city’s website.
There were 15,133 red light citations issued between August and December 2012, when the city’s five new cameras were operating.
There were a total of 17,794 citations in 2012, city data show.
Comparatively, there were 8,638 citations issued in 2011, when the 10 older cameras were in use.
AAA cries foul, city says it's following the law
Drivers complain that these new cameras aren't fair, that they're getting unwarranted tickets if they happen to stop slighty over the stop bar or are making right turns when there's no apparent traffic.
WTOP interviewed a driver who said she found the tickets “troubling":
"I was floored. I am a safe and careful driver and as I approached this particular three-way intersection at West Gude Drive and Gaither Road on Aug. 7, I made the judgment that, since no traffic was coming from my left because the opposite intersection was turning left, this was a safe turn, " says driver Maggie Lora in an email to WTOP.
The woman told the radio station that Rockville City Police voided her ticket.
AAA Mid-Atlantic has publicly decried the city’s red light photo enforcement.
“Have drivers in Rockville suddenly decided en masse to stop obeying red lights? Not at all," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John B. Townsend II said in a press release. "It all only takes a mere equipment change and vendor change, and voilà, the city adds nearly 10,000 more red light runners than it had the previous year, and a veritable bank vault of new ticket revenue for city coffers.”
In response, city officials say they are abiding by the law.
“Our requirement is all four wheels, including the bumper, have to be past the white line before we start citing,” Durasavin, the photo enforcement supervisor, told The Gazette.
Where are the current red light cameras?
- North Washington Street at Beall Avenue (South).
- West Gude Drive at Gaither Road (West).
- West Gude Drive at Research Blvd. (East).
- West Gude Drive at Research Blvd. (West).
- Seven Locks Road at Fortune Terrace (North).