Saturday, March 22, 2008

2008 Statewide Speed Camera Legislation

The 2008 Maryland General adjourned Monday 4/4/2008 without passing any of the speed camera bills. But it was VERY close. The majority had arrived at a compromise bill, but opponents threatened to filibuster and the clock ran out on the General Assembly session.

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The Maryland House of Delegates had voted to approve a plan to install speed cameras statewide by a 90 to 45 vote.

Here are details on Senate Bill 269 and House Bill 364.

Both bills allow speed cameras on almost all roads of up to 45MPH. The bills both also allow their use in "highway work zones", which could include almost any road in the state. The previous law permitting their use only in Montgomery County was limited to 35mph.

Here are some of the changes that were included in one or more versions of this legislation:
  • Allow statewide use of speed cameras
  • Allow speed cameras on most 55mph freeways in Prince Georges County.
  • Allow speed cameras in temporary "highway work zones" (an amendment which would have required that there be at least one worker present was rejected).
  • Change the max speed limit where speed cameras can be used in "residential areas" to 45 mph (including existing cameras in Montgomery County"
  • (Senate Version) Eliminating the requirement that camera revenues be spent on public safety
  • (House Version) increase the maximum fine to $75.
  • Change the definition of "speed camera operator" to "a representative", meaning that the accused would no longer have the right to request that the physical camera operator appear in court.
  • Under the new law, counties are not required to report back on the success or failure of their programs until 2012.
Here are the Senators who voted for this bill:
MILLER FROSH KELLEY MUSE ROSAPEPE
BROCHIN GARAGIOLA KLAUSMEIER PETERS STONE
CONWAY GLADDEN LENETT PINSKY
CURRIE HARRINGTON MADALENO PUGH
EXUM JONES MCFADDEN RASKIN
FOREHAND KASEMEYER MIDDLETON ROBEY

Here are the Delegates who voted for the house bill:

Speaker Busch Clagett_V. Haynes Levy Rice
Ali Conaway Healey Love Rosenberg
Anderson Conway Hecht Malone Ross
Barkley DeBoy Heller Manno Rudolph
Barnes Donoghue Hixson Mathias Shewell
Barve Doory Holmes McHale Simmons
Beidle Dumais Howard McIntosh Stein
Benson Elliott Hubbard Mizeur Stukes
Bobo Feldman Hucker Montgomery Tarrant
Bohanan Frick Ivey Morhaim Taylor
Branch Frush Jones Murphy Turner_F.
Braveboy Gaines Kirk Nathan-Pulliam Turner_V.
Bronrott Gilchrist Kramer Niemann Valderrama
Burns Glenn Krysiak Pena-Melnyk Vaughn
Cane Griffith Kullen Pendergrass Waldstreicher
Carr Guzzone Lafferty Proctor Walker
Carter Hammen Lee Ramirez Weldon
Clagett_G. Harrison Levi Reznik

Governor O'Malley sponsored this legislation.

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This is not the end of the road for statewide speed cameras by a long shot. Governor O'Malley and many of the delegates have pledged to bring this before the legislature again in the 2009 session which will run from January 14th through April 13th. Governor O'Malley has the power to call a special session, so these bills could be taken up again this year. This legislature also has 2 more sessions before they are up for re-election in 2010.

Here's what you can do!

Stay Informed!
Come back to this site for updates. Please Email Me if you have any information about these cameras to share or if you wish to help prepare for the next battle.