Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 18, 2014

Fix the flaws

Halt use of speed cameras until they are reliable

State legislators heard testimony Tuesday on a bill to revamp the way speed cameras are used in Maryland. We would go one step beyond that and discontinue use of all cameras until they are 100 percent foolproof.

House Bill 929 calls for a number of reforms, seeking to:

• Clarify the definition of  “erroneous violation” and subjects the contractor to liquidated damages for each erroneous violation equal to at least 50 percent of the fine amount if more than five percent of the violations in a calendar year are erroneous;

• Require that a violation must be signed by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, rather than an agent or employee of a law enforcement agency;

• Prohibit contractors who administer a speed monitoring system from receiving their fee on a per-ticket basis;

• Clarify the definition of school zone and requires placement of school zone signs proximate to speed monitoring signs;

• Require local jurisdictions with speed monitoring systems to designate an official or employee to review a citation if contacted by a person who received a ticket that they believe to be in error. The designee must respond prior to the deadline for a motorist to contest a ticket.

• Develop a training program concerning the oversight and administration of a speed monitoring program.

Horror stories connected with speed cameras seem to be growing by the month. AAA Mid-Atlantic said some of the complaints include drivers who weren’t even moving being cited for speeding, motorists receiving tickets that were “authorized” by a deceased police officer, and audit findings showing error rates higher than were initially reported.

While the intent of HB 929 is good, the system is broken. Suspending use of all cameras until every problem is fixed is the best option.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Wildfires Wildfires

    The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Support the March for Babies May 3 at Canal Place

    At the March of Dimes, we promise to work tirelessly toward the day when all babies are born healthy.
    The March of Dimes has worked for more than 75 years to help babies get a healthy start in life.

    April 20, 2014

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014