ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — There are some changes ahead in the way Maryland jurisdictions operate speed cameras. The General Assembly passes new regulations.
Pat Warren has more on what they are.
If every flash means $40, it’s easy to see how local governments rake in millions on speed cameras. Companies getting a cut on each ticket call into question the accuracy of the cameras.
“I know for a fact I wasn’t speeding on any of them,” Michael Weathersby said.
Weathersby’s story helped convince the General Assembly that more oversight is needed on speed camera operations. After lots of questions, lawmakers decided to eliminate the bounty–no more per-ticket payments to companies. Operators with error rates in excess of five percent will be fined. Improvements have been made in the appeal process, with a person to make sure the tickets are legitimate.
“I think it’s a good starting point. I think next year we need to bring it back,” said Sen. James Brochin, (D) Baltimore County.
Some lawmakers feel not all public concerns have been addressed. Brochin says the positioning of cameras is still a problem.
“We want to make sure what doesn’t happen again is the way the city just literally plopped 93 speed cameras down and then looked for the school where it would be located. It shouldn’t be a revenue enhancer. It should be a safety,” Brochin said.
Baltimore City suspended its speed camera program and is looking for another contractor. Other jurisdictions are getting complaints as well.
“I just worry that it’s not going to be enough and there’s going to be a lot of unhappy citizens here again next year,” said Del. C.T. Wilson, (D) Charles County.
The bill now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.
Jurisdictions that currently have bounty systems are allowed to keep them until the current contracts run out.
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