Thursday, May 28, 2009

Media Coverage of Speed Camera Awareness Campaign

When I decided to pursue this campaign 3 weeks ago, I could never have imagined the reaction from the public. The support has been overwhelming, and the media exposure extensive. ... More

Media coverage for the Potomac Secret Agent

The Washington Post:
The Good and Bad of Traffic Enforcement (blog)
The Internet Accelerating Speed Camera Foes

The Washington Times: Letters to the Editor

The (Maryland) Gazette: ‘SecretAgent' warns drivers of speed cameras

WNBC (Channel 4)

"Potomac Secret Agent" Alerts Md. Drivers to Speed Cameras
May 28, 2009
WUSA (Channel 9)

Speed Camera Protester Posts Signs
May 28, 2009

Speed Camera Protester Posts Warning Signs

WFOX (Channel 5)

Interviewing the Potomac Secret Agent
May 27, 2009

Secret Agent Warns of Speed Cameras
WJLA (Channel 7)

Speed Camera Warning Signs Aim to Save Residents MoneyMay 23, 2009

Speed Cameras Prompt Backlash from Some Drivers
May 26, 2009

The speed camera warning signs were posted to bring attention to the proliferation of speed cameras in Potomac. A new law signed by Governor O'Malley will allow additional speed cameras within 1/2 mile of school zones and in highway work zones. This could double the number of speed cameras in Montgomery County from 60 to 120 within a year.

Speed Cameras may have a place in our neighborhoods to make them safer places. I contend that some of the locations selected for speed cameras have been chosen based upon the amount of revenue they can generate. After all, this is a joint venture with the private sector who is funding the installation, maintenance and operation of these cameras. It is silly for elected officials to deny that revenue is not at least PART of the equation.

Secondly, there are many locations in Montgomery County, especially in smaller neighborhoods, where speed enforcement would better promote public safety. These less traveled roads could never support automated enforcement because of the economic model used to select camera locations. Why wouldn't we use the revenue generated by these cameras to fund safety measures in these smaller neighborhoods? Speed bumps, road narrowing, traffic circles all could be effective in some of these locations. Not one of our elected officials interviewed has addressed this issue.

When I return from work each day and pull into my neighborhood, I thank my lucky stars I live in Potomac. I have chosen to raise my children here and sleep easier every night knowing I am doing my best to keep them safe. I think we all have a civic responsibility to question decisions made by our elected officials. All we expect in return is HONEST answers. So far, all we have is dodged questions.

The support from the public has been incredible. Thank you to all those who have supported this campaign. Thank you to the Montgomery County Police for their patience in allowing these signs to stay. Thank you for all of those who have offered financial support. In lieu of financial support, I ask you sign the petition circulated my Maryland for Responsible Enforcement. Their success will send the new law allowing more cameras to referendum.


  1. I am an America, but live in South Korea. There are speed cameras everywhere in Seoul, BUT the public is also alerted to their presence in signage and also GPS devices. GPS units are extremely common in this country, and it's great that they tell these companies where the cameras are so that people will slow down in the proper areas. Someone in the USA needs to draft a bill REQUIRING the police agencies give up the locations of every speed camera for GPS units. It's the only way that Americans can be guarenteed of the argument that cameras are for safety, and not just revenue purposes.

  2. I find your posting of speed camera signs offensive and, perhaps, illegal. The idea is to get drivers to slow down everywhere, not merely at speed cameras you 'identify.'

    I've been removing the signs.

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

    I can assure you that the signs are legal. You can confirm this with the local authorities.

    While I am sorry you find the signs offensive, you are in the minority. 91% of the local population find the signs helpful and support my cause.

    While I respect your passion, removing the signs, perhaps, can be illegal.

    If you would like to e-mail me to let me know the area where you live, I may not post the signs there as a courtesy to you.

    I hope you find this a satisfactory compromise.

  4. As a Montgomery County police officer, I would like to add the following information and personal opinion:

    First, there is nothing illegal about warning motorists about speed cameras. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending upon the specific sign) there are local codes that regulate the posting of signage in Montgomery County. Note "regulate"; NOT prohibit. Here is a link to an overview of those county codes:

    Citizens can also obtain a list of speed camera AND red light camera locations on the official Montgomery County Police web site:

    Second, as both a resident taxpayer and police officer, I support your efforts to warn motorists of speed cameras. Your signs perform two basic tasks: slows traffic and prevents questionable revenue generation. So, thank you.

    Finally, a large percentage of Montgomery County police officers are Montgomery County residents and taxpayers. Local and national media outlets presented erroneous and biased reports about MCP officers receiving speed camera tickets. The county government and police department administration have superceded (violated) state laws when issuing ON DUTY police officers speed camera violations. Maryland law specifically enumerates on duty police, fire-rescue and EMS personnel from abiding by certain traffic laws in the performance of duty. Speed limits is one of those traffic laws that may be disregarded during official performance of duty (responding to calls, chasing suspects, etc). It is simply a matter of both law and common sense.

    Please note the fact that I failed to address the misappropriation of funds generatesd by speed camera revenue by the county government. Oh, and I also didn't address the "maintenance and services" fees paid to the private speed camera businesses -- which come from the fine revenue. Oops.

    Anyway, thanks for the good work and keep it going!

  5. Thank you for your signs! The speed limit sign near the intersection of Seven Locks Road and McArthur Blvd. heading toward River Road is hidden by the pine trees. Just a few hundred feet from the hidden speed limit sign is the speed camera. It's quite obvious that that particular camera location is a revenue generator due to the placement of the camera and the hidden nature of the speed limit signs.

    Another area that needs your signs is the new camera off Democracy Blvd across from David Library and Walter Johnson HS. The speed limit sign appears right after you turn from Old Georgetown Road in which most people are paying more attention to avoid cars that don't know how to turn in a two lane turning area and the store traffic comming out of DSW Warehouse. No one sees that one lone speed limit sign warning of the camera. The only other speed limit sign that appears that stretch is AFTER the speed cameras. Once again, this is a revenue generating zone hidden behind the "School Zone" excuse.

    Thank you Montgomery County gov't and the State of Maryland for finding new ways not to raise taxes (beyond the absurd sales tax hike to 6%) due to your mismanagement of our tax money