‘Concerning’ uptick in Md. drivers’ speeds since pandemic shutdown

With fewer cars on the road during the pandemic shutdown, Montgomery County, Maryland, gave out fewer speed camera tickets. But drivers have picked up where they left off, with some new bad habits thrown in to boot.

Numbers obtained by WTOP show speed camera tickets in the county dropping off in May and June before bouncing back in July.

Even with the number of tickets lower, those who did break the law did so with gusto.

“We saw an increase in speeds. So with less traffic, higher speeds,” said Capt. Dave McBain, director of the traffic division for the Montgomery County police. “As we’ve progressed through this pandemic and moved through the year, we’re seeing obviously a lot more cars on the road, but unfortunately, the speeds are staying up, and that’s something that’s concerning.”

Charles County, Maryland, has also seen a decline in speed camera violations. Between March and late September of this year, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said, it saw an 11% year-over-year decrease in the number of violations given out, compared with 2019.

Though Prince George’s County, Maryland, saw red-light citations decrease with the reduction in traffic, speed camera violations actually went up. County police said that’s because main roads that were usually clogged with traffic were, for once, open.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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