Say cheese: Prince George’s Co. to add new red-light cameras (EXCLUSIVE)

Prince George\'s County will add new red light cameras, starting in the spring of 2013, similar to this one on Route 198 near I-95 in the City of Laurel. (WTOP/Ari Ashe)

Ari Ashe,

PALMER PARK, Md. – After unveiling 72 new speed cameras across Prince George’s County in 2012, the police department plans to add dozens of new red-light cameras in 2013.

In total, the county will have 72 red light cameras.

At first, 25 existing cameras will be replaced. The existing cameras are more than a decade old. Then, new cameras will be added.

The first red-light cameras will pop up around April or May.

By the end of 2013, about 40 will be in place, with the remaining cameras up by the end of 2014.

“We’ve seen that we’ve had success in our speed camera program with that number of cameras,” says Prince George’s County Police Maj. Robert V. Liberati, who runs the traffic camera program.

“We have a lot of accidents. I believe we’re second in Maryland in fatalities. This is just one more tool in the tool box to change people’s behavior when they’re driving.”

Data will help police determine where the cameras should be located.

“We’re going study accident statistics. We’re going to study where there is the most traffic, the speed of the traffic, the type of traffic, where there are a lot of pedestrians or a school zone, and then we’ll decide where to put the new cameras,” says Liberati.

Public reaction has been mixed about speed cameras.

Many drivers complain about them, calling them “roadside ATMs” for the local governments.

But Liberati says the reaction he’s received is positive, and he expects even less disagreement about red light cameras.

“People have views on speed cameras, but I’ve never heard an argument on running a red light. Unlike speed where sometimes it’s careless, for red lights, it’s recklessness,” says Liberati.

Red-light camera tickets are $75, compared to $40 for speed cameras.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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