Speed cameras more mobile, look like mailboxes

Speed cameras that look like mailboxes are popping up around the region. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Most people don’t notice a mobile speed camera until they see a flash in the rearview mirror and realize they’ve been caught.

That’s the idea.

Local governments are availing themselves of new mobile speed cameras that resemble mailboxes as effective and profitable ways to slow drivers down.

Prince George’s County has quadrupled its supply of speed cameras over the past year, The Examiner reports.

Prince George’s County expects to bring in $8 million in 2012, with a whopping $28 million in 2013.

Montgomery County recently doubled its mobile cameras and forecasts bringing in $12 million from fines in 2012.

The District received $55 million from speed citations issued in 2011.

Local police departments maintain the main purpose of the cameras is to reduce speeds, rather than increase revenues.

Movable cameras are replacing previous fixed-pole cameras, which would slow drivers down, only to have them speed up again after passing the known location.

Virginia doesn’t allow speed cameras.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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