Not surprisingly, Maryland and Virginia law enforcement have grounded their aircraft fleet responsible for tracking speeding commuters – for the time being at least. According to local law enforcement, the last time aircraft were even used was 5 years ago in Maryland – and that was to monitor aggressive driving, not speeding. “The last time they were specifically used for speed enforcement was in excess of 20 years ago,” said Lt. Keith McMinn with Maryland State Police Aviation Command was quoted by local news source WTOP. Virginia last used aircraft for speed monitoring a mere 3 years ago.
That said, due to budget constraints and the cost of maintaining aircraft for speed monitoring from the skies, the departments have grounded their air patrols. “In recent years, due to budget reductions and budget cuts, trying to be as efficient as we can with the money we have and our resources, we haven’t been able to conduct any of the aerial speed enforcement initiatives,” Geller said.” Keep in mind, it requires both a pilot and a ground officer to issue tickets recorded by aircraft.
The “Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft” signage won’t be removed, however. Police have asked to keep the signs up because of their low cost of maintenance and the possibilities of reinstituting speed monitoring from the air.
“Hopefully in the future when man power and funding permit, we can utilize this enforcement mechanism again,” Geller said.