Changes to Speed Camera Laws Up for Debate

State legislators will hear discussion on three proposed changes to speed camera laws at a hearing Friday.

Three bills related to speed cameras will be the subject of a hearing Friday afternoon in Annapolis:

  • HB 857 would exempt law enforcement vehicles from receiving citations from speed cameras.
  • HB 944 would shift the responsibility of signing off on speed camera documentation from a police officer to an “authorized person.”
  • HB 1044 would require an independent party to calibrate speed cameras; require speed camera documentation be made available to drivers who are issued citations for their defense; and require a summons be issued to speed camera operators at a defendant’s request.

In 2009, the state legislature authorized the use of speed cameras in school and work zones.

In 2011, the  the use of two mobile cameras in school zones. The cameras are operational Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. At any given time, one of the two vans may on any of the designated streets listed on the Howard County Police Department’s website

, about 104 citations were being issued per day, leading to a monthly revenue total of about $84,000 according to Capt. John McKissick.

Money from citations will help fund the staff and equipment for the speed camera program. If there is any surplus, it will be earmarked for traffic and pedestrian safety programs, according to County Executive Ken Ulman and Howard County Police Chief William McMahon.

What do you think about speed cameras? Should police be exempt from citations?

djp952 March 09, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Absolutely not. They are supposed to be role models and in reality they are some of the worst offenders. No lights no siren ... no reason to be breaking the law
Allan Steer March 09, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Why should poilce be exempted from geting tickets from speed cameras? Are they above the law? Is it a different law for the poilce?
Allan Steer March 09, 2012 at 11:02 AM
If it is so necessary to have speed cameras why it it not important enough to have police officers signing off on the documentation? Are speed cameras really about the law and safety or something else- like revenue?
Tammy B. March 09, 2012 at 11:50 AM
The police should be subject to speed camera tickets as well. Here lately I have called and reported 3 officers for road rage and speeding on 100 and I-95. It is ridiculous the way police officers drive especially when they are off duty, they feel as if they are above the law and run around lawless. I reminded them that they are here to protect and serve the public and just b/c they have a badge and car with pretty little lights on top does not mean that they can drive around at 100mph and road rage citizens that pay their salaries. I encourage anyone who observes this type of behavoir by officers to call and report it and/or take out your phone and video tape it and send it to the media. That's what I intend to do and they have been told as much, as I know that when someone calls to complain they all have each others back in the "good ole boy" network... Making them exempt from speed camera's just reinforces their bad driving behavoir so let's ticket them up!
Mike A. March 09, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I do not think they should be exempt either. They should be required to follow the laws of the road just as we are... I will say though that there are times when an expedited non-emergency response is necessary or dictated by their rules.. I find it hard to believe that they are riding on Rt. 100 or I 95 at 100 mph! As for the signing of the citations, that should be done by a Law Enforcement Official as well. I can see where they are trying to streamline the process but it is a LEGAL SUMMONS/TICKET that SHOULD be signed by a LEO. AS for revenue source, well yes it is but if you are speeding 10 mph above the posted speed and get snapped then you should be getting a ticket. I don't care if it is a school zone, residential street or a highway!! You are breaking the law!
Kim Dixon March 09, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Well for once I agree with all of you
Mike A. March 09, 2012 at 07:48 PM
If it is like the Red Light Cameras, the contractor is paid for maintaining the equipment and for the processing of the photos, in accordance with someone from the county government/police dept... The county yields most of the monies made, but some is used for the contractual agreement with the company maintaining the cameras.
Adam R March 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I don't feel HCPD speeding through a camera or stop sign has ever been an issue. The police are trained and empowered to be able to do what is necessary to stop others from acting in dangerous acts. I support that! The issue in this story is why would our legislature allow a third party contractor to have so much control when they are taking in 60% or more of the revenue? Montgomery County already does this, I am not sure about BACO, but in my opinion Howard County should be in control not the TPTY contractor!
Tom D. March 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I drive 40 thousand miles a year Police in Maryland and DC are some of the worst offenders when it comes to breaking the speed limit, rolling stop signs, running red lights and aggressive driving. They should be exempt from no law. If the run a red light camera, let the officer pay up and do without a donut that day.
sarah March 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Thats the problem with police they can get away with anything. They should not be exempt from getting a ticket if they are speeding or run threw a red light they should get the same type of citation that we get they are no diifferent than anyone else, I could understand if they were trying to pull someone over or speeding to get to an emergency call but if they are just patrolling and driving around they should be responsible for there actions!
sarah March 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM


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