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Caton Avenue speed camera again Baltimore's most lucrative

When Baltimore’s speed camera system was at its zenith in 2012, there was one location that proved most lucrative.

Two cameras positioned on South Caton Avenue in Southwest Baltimore issued more than 117,000 tickets from 2009 to 2012 — bringing in $4.6 million in revenue — before city officials shut down the program amid concerns about its accuracy.

Now that the city has restarted its system of speed cameras, that location is once again the biggest moneymaker.

In just two months, one camera in the 1200 block of S. Caton Ave. has issued 12,329 citations — potentially generating about $500,000 for city government, according to city data.

The speed limit in the area monitored by the camera is 30 mph. The camera is less than 100 yards past the exit from Interstate 95, where the speed limit is 55 mph.

Maryland law states that jurisdictions may only place speed cameras within a half-mile of a school. Holy Angels Catholic School is near the Caton Avenue camera, as are two closed schools: Cardinal Gibbons and Seton Keough. There are plans to relocate Holy Angels, currently located on the former Keough campus.

Under state law, the $40 speed camera citations can be issued only when a vehicle exceeds the speed limit by at least 12 mph, which in this case means cars going 42 mph or faster.

Other top ticket-generating locations are the 2700 block of Northwest Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls Parkway, which issued more than 10,000 fines in just two months; and two cameras in the 5600 block of Northeast Baltimore’s Moravia Road, which have issued nearly 10,000 citations.

With more than 50,000 citations issued through the end of September, the first 10 speed cameras the city started operating this year have issued more than $2 million in fines.

The previous system of 83 speed cameras and 81 red-light cameras once brought in nearly $20 million a year for the city. It was shut down after a Baltimore Sun investigation revealed numerous problems with the system’s accuracy.

The city awarded contracts in May to revive the program. American Traffic Solutions will be paid $5.4 million over the next five years to run the speed camera system. Conduent Inc. will be paid $4.2 million to run the red-light camera system. A third firm, MRA Digital LLC, will be paid $80,000 every year to calibrate the cameras.

City officials said last month they are expanding the speed and red light camera system. Speed cameras are now in 21 school zones. Red light cameras, which issue $75 fines, are at 29 locations.

Information about which red light cameras were issuing the most citations was not immediately available, city officials said.

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