The Piecemeal Approach
Looks like Democrats are planning on going for speed cameras one county at a time:
Howard County’s legislators seem poised to approve a local speed-camera bill after a straw vote and discussion with William J. McMahon, the county police chief.
“It might need some fine tuning,” said state Sen. James N. Robey, the bill’s prime sponsor, but the 11-member delegation voted unanimously to continue discussing the measure and vote on it Wednesday. A statewide bill that would cover work zones on interstate highways in addition to local roads is also to be
The county and state bills would impose $75 fines for speeding on local roads with speed limits up to 45 mph. O’Malley’s bill includes warnings but no fines during the first year. The bill would also allow speeding up to 10 miles above the posted limit before triggering a camera ticket.
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Of course, what this is is nothing more than a revenue enhancer for Howard County. Time and time a gain these speed cameras have been found to be ineffective at best, dangerous at worst.
However, it does look like a change in strategy for the Democrats on the issue. In the past, most of the legislation (save for the bill for Montgomery County that Governor Ehrlich vetoed, but was overridden by the General Assembly) dealt with a blanket statewide approach to speed cameras. If jurisdictions are going to start requesting enabling legislation on a case by case basis, those who realize the raw deal motorists get from these cameras are going to need to stay mobilized in an effort to fight each one of these bills as they come along, which is going to make it harder to prevent these things from happening.