Baltimore, MD

The JFX Will Soon Be a No Speed Zone Thanks to Speed Cameras

Susan Kelley
Speed camera on a neighborhood streetPhoto by Denny Muller on unsplash

On Wednesday, the Baltimore Board of Estimates finally agreed to approve putting two speed cameras on the Jones Falls Expressway. The Expressway, commonly known as the "JFX," is a known area for high speeds just outside of the city.

Six speed cameras will be installed on the JFX, but only two will be activated at any given time. This means that drivers won't know exactly where the speed zone traps will be located, and thus can't monitor and change their speeding habits accordingly. Drivers will, however, encounter speed indicators that display how fast they are traveling. Those who are exceeding the speed are granted a 90-day grace period before receiving a $40 ticket by mail.

The speed cameras on the JFX are expected to generate $15 million to $20 million a year. That money will then go back to the JFX for improvements. Speed cameras are allowable thanks to a state law passed by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year.

Baltimore City transportation officials claim that excessive speed is the Number 1 contributing factor to severe injury crashes. In just a one-week test period of speed cameras on the JFX last year, 151,000 drivers (42%) exceeded the speed limit by at least 12 mph, and 28% were over the limit by 15 mph. The highest recorded speed during the test timeframe was 173 miles per hour, according to officials. 30 out of the 2,000 crashes on the JFX between 2015 and 2019 were fatal or considered 'serious.'

The JFX section outside of Baltimore city is difficult to police and patrol, because there is no shoulder on which to safely pull cars over, making citing speeding drivers more difficult.

The cameras will be installed in February of 2022, with ticketing to begin immediately after installation and activation.

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Susan is a runner, avid traveler, mom of three grown children, and a newly-transplanted Baltimorean who follows tech trends, especially at the intersection of health and the public good. Sound intriguing? It is. Often, technology is at odds with the "earthy-crunchy," but sometimes, it is a real boost. Susan is an avowed supporter of women's and human rights, so that situates well here.

Baltimore, MD

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