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
  • 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

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Editorial Cartoon Editorial Cartoon

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Decriminalizing marijuana lines pockets of drug cartel

    Has the Maryland government decided they like contributing to the drug cartel? Their new decriminalization of marijuana does nothing but line the pockets of the cartel.

    April 11, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo