MACo Associate Director Les Knapp joined a broad coalition of State, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies in support of HB 829 before the House Judiciary Committee on March 3. The bill, sponsored by Delegate Sally Jameson, would require a person receiving a payable traffic citation to affirmatively request a trial date in District Court, rather than having one be automatically scheduled.
Mr. Knapp noted that Maryland is the only state in the continental United States that still automatically schedules court dates for traffic tickets. He stated the bill would result in significant savings for both the State and local governments by not having police officers waiting in court for people who do not show up. Instead, law enforcement resources could be directed towards more important public safety concerns.
UPDATE 2010-03-08: Baltimore Sun column describing the hearing in more colorful detail, and lending support to “one of the smartest, most taxpayer-friendly bills in recent memory.”