Drivers passing 11 schools in Annapolis will soon see signs alerting them to a "speed zone," which means police may have a speed camera watching them.
"Even though there are 11 schools that we will announce to the public, there will only be three with cameras," Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop said.
Pristoop plans to announce the 11 locations once the Department of Public Works starts putting up the 64 "speed zone" signs—which he anticipates could be as early as Monday.
The signs will indicate where the cameras will start and stop recording drivers.
"The idea is that you will never get a speeding ticket if you open your eyes and read a sign," Pristoop said.
He's assigned eight police officers to move and calibrate the cameras each morning around 6 a.m. Drivers won't know which of the 11 schools police will target each day.
City Council approved the use of speed cameras in school zones in November 2011. It cited a law passed by Maryland's General Assembly that allows municipalities to fine drivers $40 if cameras catch them going at least 12 miles over the limit.
In August, city officials announced they had contracted with RedSpeed to conduct traffic studies and choose locations for the cameras.
There will be a 30-day grace period where violators will only receive a warning, and the goal is to begin issuing fines by the time students return to classes from winter break.
Alderwoman Shelia Finlayson questioned Pristoop at a public safety committee meeting on Monday about how much money Annapolis will generate from the cameras.
"The citizens hear about the millions and millions of dollars that [Washington, DC] is making on their speed cameras, and they think the same of us," Finlayson said.
Pristoop responded by noting that Washington, DC is a larger city with many more cameras than Annapolis will have.
"I wouldn’t say that this is an effort in trying to get funds," Pristoop said. "I stand behind this that it is a safety measure."