Speed Camera Controversy Spreads Throughout Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The speed camera controversy is not limited to Baltimore. Lawmakers heard stories from around the state of how tickets issued in error are aggravating drivers and eroding public confidence in government.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on how they propose to fix it.

Speed cameras exposed. Supporters have argued that if you don’t speed, you won’t get a ticket. Tens of thousands of tickets prove otherwise.

Michael Weathersby got eight of them.

“Even though I wasn’t speeding. I want to be clear on that. I wasn’t speeding and I know I wasn’t,” he said.

Weathersby told a House committee Tuesday that he was repeatedly ticketed by the same camera.

“I live right around the corner from it and where the camera is placed, there’s no way my car can pick up that much speed. I’m not driving a Porsche. I’m driving a Nissan,” he said.

The House is considering a number of reforms: eliminate the bounty so operators don’t get paid by the ticket; make them pay fines for erroneous tickets; improve the appeals process for drivers and redefine school zones.

“School zone was so loosely defined that basically the entire city became a speed camera zone. That wasn’t the intent of the law. The intent was to protect children in the vicinity of the schools,” said Del. Herb McMillan.

AAA is supporting some of the proposed changes.

“We know that police cannot be omnipresent, so they’re an important tool to help police and to reduce speeding. That being said, we want to ensure that those programs are accurate and that they’re being conducted fairly,” said Ragina Averella, AAA.

Another bill simply throws the system out.

Although several reform bills have a lot of support, a repeal is highly unlikely.

The Baltimore speed camera system is suspended while the city looks for a new operator.

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