HB 57, sponsored by Delegate Cardin, adds to the information required on speed camera tickets and adds civil penalties for speed camera contractors found issuing erroneous citations. Added to current law would be,
B. PROVIDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO ALLOW FOR THE CALCULATION OF THE SPEED OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE DURING THE INTERVAL BETWEEN THE TWO TIME–STAMPED IMAGES;
(K) (1) IF A COURT FINDS THAT A CITATION ISSUED UNDER THIS SECTION WAS ISSUED ERRONEOUSLY, THE COURT SHALL IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF $1,000 ON THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE SPEED MONITORING SYSTEM THAT RECORDED THE ALLEGED VIOLATION FOR WHICH THE CITATION WAS ISSUED.
While this bill is an effort to make speed camera contractors culpable for their myriad mistakes in administering speed camera programs, this bill does not fix the problems with the programs.
- Citations issued by a machine do not allow residents to face their accusers
- Contractors are paid per citation issued in some contracts, causing little incentive to properly calibrate cameras
- Contractors, often, do traffic studies to determine the best location for cameras, dispelling the notion that the program based on safety
- Citations are $40, a fine at a level that most people will just pay, not fight
- Governments have been reluctant to comply with Public Information Act requests to provide speed camera calibration certificates
- At least one in the employ of government has a conflict of interest, representing a speed camera contractor as well as working for a municipal corporation with a speed camera program
Update: Unfavorable Report by Environmental Matters