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Police Bureaus - Field Services - Traffic Division

ATEU Process for the Selection of Locations for Safe Speed Cameras

The Montgomery County Police Department’s Safe Speed program has incorporated the following methodology for selecting locations for enforcement:

Roadways where cameras are placed follow criterion initially set forth by the enabling Maryland state law, Traffic Article 21-809, which restricts their placement to:

  • residential roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less
  • school zones

If the location in question is, in fact, a residential road with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less or in a school zone, the following process is in place for selecting locations for Safe Speed cameras:

  1. Pre-enforcement verification:  Consists of requests from citizens, homeowners associations (HOA), legislatures, County Council members, and traffic officers as well as recurring problems, collisions, and other contributing factors (such as speeding, site surveys,  and pedestrian proximity); community and environmental concerns such as location features (churches/synagogues, schools, public facilities, etc.), and pedestrian activity.
  2. Data collection:  Several sources of data collection (listed above) are culled and narrowed to stretches of roadways where there is believed to be a concentration of speeding problems.
  3. Data analysis:  Collected data is analyzed and reviewed by Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit staff, the Citizen Advisory Board for Traffic Issues (CAB-TI), and the Director of MCP’s Traffic Division.  The Traffic Division Director has final approval.
  4. Traffic Division Director site visit:  Once a potential site has been completely evaluated and all data has been analyzed, a site visit is made to make a final determination whether the potential site will be presented to CAB-TI for review. This visit may include a review of the following:
  5. Residential, school zone, or commercial location
  6. Roadway grade (curve, hill, straight).
  7. Proper signage (Is the speed limit posted , are there signs noting a change in speed limit, are there photo-enforced signs posted, etc?).
  8. CAB-TI – Evaluates/considers these factors:
    • Crash endangerment – number of crashes in the designated area
    • Speed endangerment – Metro counts, etc.
    • Environmental factors – areas where the equipment can be safely set up and operated
    • Traffic-volume metrics – total number of vehicles passing through a selected survey location between rush hour and non-rush hour periods
    • Prioritizes the roads by contributing factors – What is the pedestrian proximity on a potential speed enforcement road/deployment location?  For example:  schools, bus stops, playgrounds, pools, sidewalks, retirement facilities, crosswalks.

This is the procedure followed for each camera site.

NOTE:  As the Speed Camera program evolved, it became apparent that drivers generally slow down when approaching a known speed camera and accelerate once they have passed it.  In our efforts to further improve driver behavior, we have initiated the  Speed Camera Corridor approach.  This approach allows for the placement of cameras anywhere within a designated Speed Camera Corridor.  The intention is to have drivers slow down on an entire stretch of road and not just where they know the cameras are located.  The Speed Camera Corridor approach allows for the placement of multiple portable cameras along the same road.  Once our data shows a significant reduction in violations, we will move a camera to another location and return at a later date, if necessary.

Have a question?  Contact the Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit

Main Office – 240-773-6050



Montgomery County Department of Police · J. Thomas Manger, Chief
Public Safety Headquarters
100 Edison Park Drive · Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Non-emergency: 301.279.8000
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