- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is advising motorists a new school zone will enter the rotation for automated speed enforcement program in September.
Berry Elementary School was added to the list of school zones where speed cameras can be activated, according to the sheriff’s office.
The new site is at 10100 Berry Road.
The speed enforcement program has three cameras that generally rotate every week to different school zones.
School zones included in the program are Westlake High School in Waldorf, William B. Wade Elementary School in Waldorf, Maurice J. McDonough High School in Pomfret, Dr. James Craik Elementary School in Pomfret and Malcolm Elementary School in Waldorf.
Returning to the rotation are sites located at Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School in Waldorf and General Smallwood Middle School in Indian Head.
Those two sites were taken out of the rotation last year as the Jenifer site was 300 feet outside of the posted school zone, a violation of state law allowing the cameras. When that was brought to the attention of the sheriff’s office, the entire program was shut down while it worked to get that site in compliance. Additional sites on state roads remained shut down to make sure they were in compliance. The Jenifer and Smallwood sites are ready to get back in rotation, and in coming months officers say the Thomas Stone High School site will be back in rotation.
The program began in August 2012. For the first two weeks, no citations were issued.
The program runs 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday including holidays and in the summer when school is not in session.
The site at Wade is the one exception as it runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and speed is reduced to 25 mph during those times at the Wade site.
The other sites keep with the posted speed limit for that area.
Violators must be traveling 12 mph above the posted limit before the camera will activate, according to the sheriff’s office. For those captured in one of the photos, a $40 citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Currently cameras are at the Wade, Malcom and Westlake sites.
The new Berry site and the Jenifer and Smallwood sites enter the rotation sometime after Sept. 1.
The sheriff’s office will notify the public of the exact day as it gets closer.
Capt. Dan Gimler, commander of the sheriff’s special operations division, which oversees the speed enforcement cameras, said the program is working to deter speeding.
“The volume of citations issued drops off dramatically at each site,” Gimler said.
The sheriff’s office does post where the cameras will be located each week on its website. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Diane Richardson said the goal is to get motorists to slow down, especially in posted school zones.