In Prince George’s, cameras to monitor speed cameras. Really.

And so it has come to this: Cameras that monitor speed cameras.

This is 100 percent “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” crazy. But true. It has to be true: My brain is not sophisticated enough to create something so meta and surreal from scratch.


Coming soon to a camera near you: Cameras to monitor speed cameras. (Washington Post photo)

A camera was actually shot with a gun. Another was set on fire. Those attacks mark a step up in looniness from a man who allegedly fired glass marbles at a Howard County traffic camera earlier this summer.

One camera monitoring a camera is already up. Ashe reports a dozen more are planned. Also possibly planned: The end of the world, or certainly the end of irony. What could top this?

Everyone: Breathe.

Okay.

So the cops explained to Ashe that there are fiscal reasons for this fantastical new era of camera monitoring: "It costs us $30,000 to $100,000 to replace a camera. That's a significant loss in the program. Plus it also takes a camera off the street that operates and slows people down. So there's a loss of safety for the community," Maj. Robert V. Liberati said.

Uh huh. Sure.

His title: Commander of the Automated Enforcement Section.

Depending on how you feel about traffic cameras — many don’t mind them, many others hate them with an obvious and violent passion — the Commander of the Automated Enforcement Section is either your new hero or your new antihero.

Either way, the county and its Commander of the Automated Enforcement Section are very clever. I think they are capable of great leaps of creativity. It’s only a matter of time before they put up cameras to monitor the cameras that are monitoring the cameras.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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