BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)–More speed cameras on Maryland roads could soon be a reality if one man gets his way.
Derek Valcourt has more on the controversial proposal.
The controversy will come back to the county–this time bigger than before. Last time, the county set a limit on the number of speed cameras it would install. Now some argue the county should put up as many cameras it sees fit.
Ask about speed cameras and opinions generally run along these two lines: 1. It forces people to slow down and be careful about driving or 2. It’s just another way to make money.
It’s a debate that grabbed attention in September of 2009 when the county first approved a limit of 15 speed cameras—allowed only in school zones operating between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The cameras issue $40 tickets to anyone caught going more than 12 mph over posted speed.
“I think speed cameras are revenue neutral,” said County Councilman Tom Quirk.
Councilman Quirk is now leading the charge to remove the county’s 15-camera limit, so more cameras can be added near more schools.
“Why should we have a police officer sitting there giving people speeding tickets in a school zone when we can have a speed camera,” Quirk said. “Isn’t it better to have a police officer out there going after the bad guys on the streets?”
Speed camera opinions are still divided:
“Obviously people don’t drive the speed limit or they wouldn’t be worried about the cameras,” said Gale Dellasantina.
“They’re just too easy to sit there and make money that you can’t fight and you can’t deal with them in court because you can’t face your accuser,” said Christopher Lindsey.
“I’m probably somewhere in the middle,” said Jonathan Howard. “You have to be safe, but they have to make tax revenue somehow, and it’s obvious where it’s going to come from– all of us.”
The county will vote on allowing more speed cameras at their meeting Feb. 7. If approved, the new law would take effect later that month.
Supporters point out that the camera fine of $40 is less than the fine you’d get if a police officer wrote the ticket—which could also add points to your license.