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
  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo