Speed camera torched near school in Howard County

September 15, 2013

Speed cameras have yet to achieve the enthusiastic approval of the community, but few have met with the apparent hostility demonstrated in Howard County over the weekend, when one was set on fire.

A speed camera that was intended to increase student safety was set ablaze early Saturday near Glenelg High School in the Glenelg area, county police said. The device, described as portable, had been set up in the 14000 block of Burntwoods Road, police said.

The fire was reported about 5 a.m. by a newspaper deliveryman, police said. It was extinguished by the county fire department, and no injuries were reported.

Arson investigators determined that the fire had been set on purpose, police said.

The extent of damage was not determined immediately, but the costs will be paid by the vendor, police said.

Police added two portable devices to their speed-camera program in school zones in late August, when the school year began, authorities said.

The mobile equipment is rotated among 13 schools where road configurations make it unsafe to use the county’s speed-camera vans. Police said that speeds in school zones were sharply reduced in the first year of the speed-camera program.

The damaged equipment was removed and will be replaced by the vendor in time for Monday classes, police said.

The camera “will be placed at a new location,” police said.

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