Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 10, 2014

Speed cameras

Lawmakers OK tighter regulations

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.

It’s evident that speed cameras are not going away. But the General Assembly made the situation a little more palatable when it voted to approve tighter regulations on how the cameras are used.

The new provisions require that a certificate alleging a speed monitoring system violation must be sworn to, or affirmed by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, rather than an agent or employee of a law enforcement agency. In addition, the bill prohibits the payment of a contractor on a per-ticket basis and specifies that this prohibition applies to a contractor that, in any manner, operates a speed monitoring system or administers or processes citations, according to the bill summary.

Locally, the only speed cameras being used are those on Interstate 68 in the work zone on bridges over Kelly Road and Patterson Avenue in Cumberland. From June through the end of December, 11,452 citations were issued through speed camera enforcement. Another 432 tickets were written for January, the latest statistical month available from the State Highway Administration.

The motoring public needs to be assured that speed cameras are accurate and are not being misused. At least a couple of steps toward that goal were taken in this year’s General Assembly session.

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