Five major intersections in St. Mary’s County will soon have live camera coverage. The cameras will be purchased and installed using monies from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.
The county commissioners on Tuesday voted to accept the $85,458 grant. According to Director of Public Safety and Information Technology Bob Kelly, the monies will also be used for the cameras, a “threat-based vulnerability assessment”: and to pay for attending a Maryland Department of Emergency Management conference.
The cameras are not the same as red-light cameras intended to capture information on motorists violating traffic laws, particularly running red lights. Instead the video cameras will be real-time live and will allow emergency management personnel to detect any problems at the intersections, particularly during natural disasters or other emergencies. That will allow them to make decisions based on the conditions at those intersections, such as high water, and fallen trees or power lines, etc.
Commissioner Cynthia Jones (R: 1st), who opposes red light cameras because of privacy concerns, expressed initial reservations about the cameras. She was told by Kelly that the cameras would not be able to read license plate numbers and were not intended for that purpose. In the end she, along with the other commissioners, voted to accept the grant.
The intersections which will have cameras are:
·Route 4 and Route 235 in California;
·Route 235 and Chancellor’s Run Road (Route 237) in California;
·Great Mills Road (Route 246) and Route 5 in Great Mills;
·The St. George’s Island bridge on Route 249 and
·Route 5 at Route 243 (Newtowne Neck Road) in Leonardtown.