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General Assembly Steps Into Baltimore Speed Camera Controversy

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The General Assembly is stepping into the Baltimore speed camera controversy.

Pat Warren explains a number of delegates think it’s time to make the camera companies pay for their mistakes.

An audit of the accuracy of Baltimore City’s speed cameras has council members at odds with the mayor.

“People knew that these cameras were wrong and they did nothing but continue to collect money from citizens,” said Councilman Carl Stokes.

“The councilman is misinformed and unfortunately very willing to play fast and loose with the facts,” the mayor responded.

The system, meanwhile, has been suspended.

“As the recipient of one of those tickets that I sort of feel confident was inaccurate, I think it’s probably a good thing,” said driver John Rogers.

But many drivers are paying those tickets because it’s less expensive to pay than to fight.

“I actually just pay them just to kind of just get them out of my hair so I don’t have to worry about them. But I really think it’s not fair,” said Tanya Anderson.

“A lot of people were receiving these tickets, and they wanted to fight these tickets, but it was going to cost them to take off from work and to find parking. So they had to make a choice whether to pay a ticket they clearly believe wasn’t theirs and just write it off,” said Del. Frank Conaway Jr., (D) Baltimore.

Conaway is sponsoring a bill to require the person responsible for maintaining the speed monitoring system to pay a penalty of $125 to the person to whom the citation was issued if the court rules the ticket was issued in error.

“Definitely, you should be compensated. Who’s going to pay for your parking? Who’s going to pay for your gas? If you come downtown, there’s a terrible problem with traffic. It’s frustrating,” Conaway said.

The hearing is Feb. 18.

The House of Delegates passed a similar bill last year, but the session ended without action by the Senate.

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