Something astounding has happened: An news story about speed camera tickets actually discusses whether they deter drivers from speeding, one of the acts which makes roads unsafe.
NBC News4’s Mark Segraves dug up some information on whether drivers get more repeat tickets at D.C. or Maryland cameras:
Segraves got data from D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s about the percentage of drivers who get multiple tickets, out of all the drivers who get a ticket from the cameras. Ticketed drivers are twice as likely to have multiple tickets in the Maryland counties, and 20 times as likely to have five or 10 tickets.
What would cause this discrepancy?
This could be because the fines were much higher in D.C. than in Maryland (they decreased in D.C. thanks the last year’s camera bill). It could be that the lower fines mean people are less worried about getting caught. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker thinks that’s true. Anecdotally, I’ve heard from other drivers who say they’re much more afraid of speeding in D.C.
It also could be that different groups of drivers get tickets in each jurisdiction. John Townsend of AAA (who can sound entirely reasonable when he tries) thinks that the Maryland cameras are in neighborhoods where the same drivers ply the roads day after day. A possible counter-argument is that drivers who live nearby know where the cameras are, so they shouldn’t get tickets.
Another possibility is that D.C. gets more tourists, who come in, speed, get a ticket, and then aren’t around to get more. DCist’s Martin Austermuhle muses that perhaps Maryland drivers are just worse.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.