Mission Creep

Governor O’Malley is getting ready to push for new revenues, by trying to sneak in new revenue sources by putting a foot in the door:

The O’Malley administration will seek General Assembly authorization to use cameras to enforce speed limits in work zones as part of a “hard-hitting” package of highway safety legislation, Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari said yesterday.

If Gov. Martin O’Malley can persuade lawmakers to adopt the measure during the session that starts next month, it would for the first time give police in Maryland the discretion to use camera technology for speed enforcement on a statewide basis. Police in Montgomery County are currently permitted to use such cameras in school zones and residential neighborhoods.

Past proposals to expand the use of speed cameras have met with fierce opposition – especially from Republican legislators who have called them an unwarranted intrusion. Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. successfully blocked a bill to allow their use statewide in 2003 but was overridden in 2006 when he vetoed a local bill permitting their use in Montgomery.

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Let’s not kid ourselves. Like any typical Democratic proposal, this is merely the first step until the General Assembly can wrangle enough votes to pass full expansion of speed cameras around the state.

What’s really unfortunate is that the O’Malley administration is getting ready to push for failed technology that has led to the repeal of red-light and speed cameras in many jurisdictions across the country. Once again, O’Malley is proving that he is merely behind the times…


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