Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Maryland Speed Camera Legislation

Picked up from the Rockville Patch

Speed Camera Legislation To Affect Montgomery County by Brad Smith

I'm not a blogger by nature, most of the time I don't think others want to hear what I have to say but I believe this is one time that they might.

As any driver is probably already aware of this, Maryland has a speed camera program in Montgomery County and a lot of other counties/municipalities in the state. There are three bills that are being heard by committees from legislators in Annapolis.

These bills are being heard by committees on Friday, March 9 and I would encourage everyone to come and voice your opinion about each bill.

I would encourage everyone to read the specifics for themselves, but here is a short synopsis of each:

HB1044 - to enforce local counties and municipalities to recognize constitutional due process and allow ticket recipients to challenge their ticket in a court of law, including asking to see calibration records and being able to use the photographs as evidence of innocence. This is necessary because some courts have adopted the position that the photograph can only be used to convict, but not to exonerate. In short this bill is to force the innocent until proven guilty mentality that our country was built on.

HB944 - removes the state oversight of ticket reviewing. Each citation is currently reviewed by a public servant and determined whether the tag is legible, whether there is only one moving vehicle in the picture and not a second that could be at fault, etc. HB944 seeks to remove this responsibility from the state and give it to the camera manufacturer. The problem with this, is that it is a conflict of interest between the entity that judges whether a violation is valid and the entity that receives profit from when a violation is valid, because they are one in the same.

HB857 - this bill exempts police offers from receiving speed camera tickets, including when they are not responding to an emergency. The problem with this bill is that it says police officers are above the law, as they can break the law without recourse, while the rest of us would receive the ticket/fine if we did the exact same action. This should anger everyone.

If you cannot make it to Annapolis, you can show your support for the constitutional right do being able to fight the ticket if you are innocent (due process) by signing this petition.

Speed cameras should be used as safety devices, and they should be held to the same constitutional laws that an officer issue speeding ticket is held to.

No comments: