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Md. drivers are 'quick study' with speed cams, more coming

Thursday - 11/15/2012, 8:01pm  ET

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One of Montgomery County's 20 portable speed cameras monitors drivers on 124. As drivers become accustomed to speed camera locations, the number of tickets often drops. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

ROCKVILLE, Md. When it comes to speed cameras, drivers are a quick study.

Area police departments are increasingly employing the cameras to slow traffic in target areas, such as school zones.

Drivers have learned where to hit the brakes, and that often results in fewer tickets over time.

"We have the first and starting figures when the cameras are newly-posted in those locations," says Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks.

"As drivers become accustomed to that strategy, they slow down, and it makes the road safer," he says.

At the start of the school year, 20 portable speed cameras went up across Montgomery County.

That number could grow.

"We do hope to expand this program," Starks says. "We have to look at the cost, and as far as the timeline, that isn't firm."

Montgomery County also has 66 fixed cameras and six mobile cameras in vans, used primarily to study or test areas where there are a significant number of speeders.

Bowie offers another example of drivers' changing habits.

Police estimate revenue from speed cameras will drop 40 percent this year as people become familiar with their location.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)