By Whitney Teal
Someone took an extreme measure to ensure at least one Takoma Park speed camera wouldn’t give out any more tickets. Police said they are searching for someone who sprayed black paint on the window of a camera in the 6900 block of New Hampshire Avenue on Aug. 3.
Speed camera vandalism in Maryland is almost as old as the cameras themselves. The cameras began appearing as a pilot program in Montgomery County in March 2007 before moving to other parts of the state.
A brief history of speed camera vandalism in Maryland:
- May 2013: Someone spray-painted a speed camera in Perry Hall the first weekend in May, Patch reported. It is the second time since Sept. 2012 that the camera has been vandalized.
- November 2012: Three portable units were knocked downon 16th Street in downtown Silver Spring, near Georgia Avenue, sometime between Nov. 17 and 18. Rowdy teens were probably the culprits, police said.
- June 2012: An Ellicott City man was accused of shooting marbles at a speed camera in Howard County with a slingshot. "I had already gotten two tickets from these things," Bruce May told WTOP.
- July 2011: An assailant smashed the window of a speed enforcing vehicle with a hammer on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, The Baltimore Sun reported.
- Not-in-Maryland Bonus: January 2012: Restaurateur "Chef" Geoff Tracy hired a sign spinner to warn drivers of a hidden speed camera in Washington, DC, The Huffington Post reported. He tweeted that he’d gotten three tickets the first week the camera was there. (See a video of the sign spinner on Foxhall Road.)
For even more speed camera vandalism, check out this cleverly titled Facebook group, “Speed Camera Hate.”