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Speed Cameras Eye Baltimore

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Montgomery County has them. So does the District. Now speed cameras may be coming to Baltimore County under a new Maryland state law.

Beverly Blackman is a crossing guard outside Westowne Elementary School in Catonsville. The stop sign Blackman holds to usher kids across the street is the size of a basketball hoop. But it's not always enough to stop speeding cars.

"I blow my whistle and sometimes they can't hear me because they've got their radio on or they're on the cell phone or what have you, I hate that when they're cell phone driving," says Blackman.

That's one reason why Blackman supports a plan to install speed cameras on streets near schools in Baltimore County. Drivers photographed going twelve miles over the speed limit could be fined $40.

But not all crossing guards are behind the plan. Pat Sullivan shepherds kids at nearby Hillcrest Elementary. She's concerned the fines would be a government money grab. "They're just wasting our dollars. And they just keep increasing everything and people are finding it harder to make ends meet these days," says Sullivan.

Maryland law requires that fines collected from speed camera violations must go to public safety. Baltimore County officials say revenues would probably plummet over the years, as drivers catch on. But resentment over automated enforcement is a possibility. Vandals recently painted over the lens of two speed cameras in Montgomery County. They've since been repaired.

Cathy Duchamp reports...

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