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Speed camera on Flower Street in Berlin going live in late May

On May 28, motorists who violate the speed limit on Flower Street near St. Paul United Methodist Church in Berlin will start receiving citations from a newly installed camera.

Berlin speed camera

A sign on Flower Street in Berlin lets motorists know that a speed camera is installed to ensure they do not exceed 25 miles per hour/
Charlene Sharpe / Bayside Gazette

By Charlene Sharpe, Associate Editor

A new speed camera on Flower Street will go live later this month. 

Crews finished installing a speed camera on Flower Street near St. Paul United Methodist Church in early May. Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing said citations will start being issued Tuesday, May 28.

“We’re just trying to keep the public safe,” Downing said. “I think this is one of the ways we can do it.”

The Town of Berlin started working with RedSpeed, a company that works with municipalities to provide automated traffic enforcement initiatives, last year. Speed studies conducted throughout town led Downing to recommend working with RedSpeed to have cameras added to Flower Street and Seahawk Road. While there were other suggestions, Downing said at the time those didn’t have the numbers to merit cameras. In order to receive a ticket through the automated system, motorists have to be going at least 12 mph over the speed limit. 

Downing said this week crews installed the speed camera as well as associated signage in early May. While citations are not yet being issued, Downing did run the camera for three days to test it.

“It averaged 65 violations a day,” Downing said, stressing that violations were just those vehicles that were going more than 12 mph over the speed limit. 

The camera is expected to go live May 28. Downing said that between now and then his department will be working to let the public know. 

“This is our opportunity to get in front of it,” he said.

Those who live on Flower Street are eager to see if the camera will lead to less speeding. Downing said that while the dump and the schools in the area had kept Flower Street busy for years, the addition of Oceans East and the Willows had increased traffic even more.

“The neighbors want it to be live because of all the traffic,” he said. “Technology is something that assists with manpower. We can’t be everywhere at the same time.”

Berlin Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols, who lives on Flower Street, is excited to see more speed enforcement in the neighborhood.

“Having the traffic camera operational on Flower Street is a great idea and excites me because there are countless speeders that travel Flower Street throughout the day,” she said. “Some are residents of the neighborhood and others are passing through, many traveling between the schools. Many people tend to overlook the fact that the speed limit is 25. The residents on this street visit one another by foot, children and families walk through the neighborhood all throughout the day. It worries me that these careless drivers could be the cause for a terrible accident due to their reckless behavior.”

Downing said there are plans to add another speed camera to the end of Flower Street closet to Stephen Decatur Middle School as well as to add one on Seahawk Road near the high school. 

“After that we’ll look at other locations,” he said. “

Downing said that even with the camera in place, officers would still be patrolling Flower Street to monitor speeding.

“We will be able to give the traditional tickets also,” Downing said, pointing out that those came with potential points on licenses and higher fines.

According to RedSpeed’s presentation to town officials last year, the camera citations will come with $40 fines that will be split between the town ($26) and the company ($14).  

This story appears in the May 16, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.