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WJLA anchor Leon Harris vents on his blog about what it means to live in MOCO these days. It means being watched by pesky speed cameras! He notes that there are now eight cameras in his neighborhood! And he’s mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore!
Harris, known for his trusty baritone and superior mustache, writes:
“I write this not as a journalist, but as a Montgomery County resident. Can someone tell me how County Executive Ike Leggett can get away with such blatant insult to our intelligence when it comes to his traffic/speed cameras? I saw the press conference where he laughed at the question of whether the cameras sprouting up all over the county were really there to make driving safer or to generate revenue to close his budget gap. He laughed and said, of course, this is only about public safety. He laughed again.
I gave Leggett the benefit of the doubt, even after I got stung while following along with traffic on River Road. I believed him when he said the cameras would not be installed in “gotcha” spots, but would only be set up to keep school zones and problematic spots safe. Then I went away on vacation and returned to find my neighborhood community ‘surveilled’ by eight cameras. As for their locations, four were set up near school zones, but not exactly in them. Four of them were installed behind the crests of hills (the definition of “gotcha” spots).”
Is Leggett in trouble on this issue?
Later in his post, Harris writes about his own speed ticket:
“As for the instance when I got stung, I accepted it. I was on my way to a CVS for a Valentine’s Day card after midnight (I’m a procrastinator, what can I say? At least it was the morning of the 14th!) and I was tagged by a crest-of-a-hill camera on River Road nowhere near a school. I know this may put me in line for some criticism, but I have to wonder – is there really a need to provide protection when/where there isn’t anyone to protect? There are no pedestrians, school buses or children or traffic at 1am.”
Today, WTOP wonders if the speed cameras are just put in place for governments to tax residents.