When speed cameras were brought to Prince George’s County two years ago, lawmakers said the focus was not to devise a new cash source but to enhance public safety. The devices, in accordance with state law, must be within state highway construction zones or within a half-mile of a school.

But while students are away on summer break, the cameras remain in operation and continue to bring in money to area municipalities.

Those vehicles that the cameras catch traveling more than 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays receive a $40 citation.

In northern Prince George’s, cameras are in school zones for Berwyn Heights Elementary School, Greenbelt Middle School and College Park’s Hollywood Elementary School, and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Berwyn Heights’ two speed cameras, which the town is authorized to set on Pontiac Street, Greenbelt Road and Edmonston Road, have brought in about $117,000 to the city since the first was installed in June 2010, Mayor Cheye Calvo said.

The cameras usually are positioned on Pontiac Street in front of Berwyn Heights Elementary, where the speed limit is 15 mph from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and 25 mph the remainder of the time, Calvo said.

The Edmonston Road camera is in the zone for Greenbelt Middle School.

“It is irrefutable that the camera has reduced speeding from in front of the school,” Calvo said. “Our intention was for speeding [reduction] and it [has] worked.”

From May 1 to 31, 135 tickets were issued on Pontiac Street and 627 on Greenbelt Road, compared with June 1 to 30, when 99 citations were issued on Pontiac Street and 83 on Greenbelt Road, said Ken Antolik, Berwyn Heights’ police chief. The last day of school in Prince George’s was June 17.

Effective March 18, the College Park City Council amended 24/7 speed camera enforcement for higher-education zones, specifically around the University of Maryland, said city public services director Bob Ryan.

The change was made after residents expressed confusion, anger and anxiety because of the different enforcement hours, a statement issued by the council in March said. All city cameras now operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.

Ryan said that school buildings are used during the summer months for playgrounds and recreation. The days in which the cameras are in operation are permitted by state law, and the times are approved by the City Council, Ryan said. The six-week drop-in program is held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A total of 109,572 tickets were issued between Oct. 1 and June 30 in College Park, which added a fifth speed camera in March, Ryan said. The city has speed cameras on Paint Branch Parkway, Metzerott Road, Rhode Island Avenue and two on Baltimore Avenue.

The camera on Rhode Island Avenue is in the Hollywood Elementary zone and is the city’s only camera not in the University of Maryland school zone, Ryan said.

College Park resident John Rigg, 36, said he has mixed feelings about speed cameras but finds them intrusive.

“I don’t think speed cameras slow people down. They may slow people down over time, but it is a passive system, a ‘gotcha’ after the fact,” he said.  Speed cameras are “less efficient for changing behavior.”

College Park and Lanham-based camera vendor Optotraffic began issuing the citations in October to motorists exceeding the speed limit between Route 1 and the city’s eastern boundary near Old Calvert Road.

Optotraffic receives about 40 percent of the ticket revenue, and the city can use revenue equal to 10 percent of its total budget for public safety, Ryan said. Remaining revenue goes to the state.

Steve Groh, College Park’s director of finance, said he estimates the city, which has a budget of $13.7 million for fiscal 2012, will be able to keep between about $1.5 million and $1.7 million from speed camera revenue for public safety purposes including pedestrian safety programs.