Reporting Monique Griego
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Faulty speed cameras are at the center of a debate in Annapolis. Critics are calling for major changes to the state’s system after thousands of bad tickets were issued.
Monique Griego was there for Tuesday’s hearing.
Tuesday, AAA joined in the fight to overhaul the system. While it’s asking for changes, some lawmakers want to get rid of the cameras altogether.
Speed cameras in Maryland were caught fining innocent drivers.
“I’m one of those lucky people that got a ticket doing the speed limit,” said Ken Shotting.
Shotting was snapped in Howard County but faulty cameras and false citations are an issue statewide. That has critics asking for major changes.
“They need to get rid of them,” Shotting said.
Tuesday afternoon in Annapolis, a Maryland House committee heard arguments over several proposed bills. One wants the cameras gone for good; another is looking for more oversight on how the system is managed in each jurisdiction.
“It’s just a matter of having those safeguards in place to ensure that the citations that aren’t valid don’t get out,” said Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone.
Baltimore City blamed understaffing and human error for the thousands of tickets it reversed. The city changed companies and is still replacing cameras.
“We don’t think the entire program is bad,” said Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic.
AAA believes the system saves lives by reducing speeding and the number of collisions. However, it wants to change the current bounty system, which pays companies per ticket.
“It almost incentives giving tickets, so that should be a flat fee. That’s how legislation originally drafted it,” Averella said. “And we’d like to see any loopholes…closed.”
After hearing testimony, the committee has to decide which bills will go forward for a vote.
There is also legislation that aims to fine companies that issue bad citations.