Sun Decries Speed Camera Reform Failure

The Baltimore Sun, in an editorial focusing on legislative failures of the 2013 session, decried the late-session defeat of speed camera reform. MACo had joined numerous stakeholder groups to develop a reform bill to tighten oversight and guidance for local enforcement programs, but it was defeated on the Senate floor with procedural delay tactics.

From the Sun’s writeup:

The version of the legislation that was moving on Monday wasn’t perfect, but it made a number of important reforms, including a strengthening of the prohibition on paying camera vendors on a per-ticket basis, limiting the cameras’ use to the vicinity of a K-12 school, and creating an ombudsman with the power to void tickets.

The legislation languished in the House Environmental Matters Committee until last week, in no small part because the sponsor of the bill, Del. James E. Malone, missed several days because of illness. It finally passed the House, 111-28, on Friday. The Senate took it up on Monday, and it finally arrived on the Senate floor sometime after 8 p.m.

Following a discussion of the procedural obstruction in the Senate, the Sun observed:

The House legislation, which bore the influence of lobbyists for local governments and camera vendors, didn’t go far enough. It lacked some key reforms, such as a requirement that the photos taken by the cameras include sufficiently precise time stamps for motorists to verify the tickets’ accuracy.

But it was, without question, better than nothing.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties