Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ulman To Unveil Howard County Speed Camera Plan

Don't worry, you'll soon forget you had due-process rights in the first place
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman(D) has scheduled a press conference in Ellicott City to introduce his proposed plan to use speed cameras in the county.

Before the county can begin using speed cameras, Howard County will need to hold public hearings on the proposed legislation which would then need to be approved by the county council.  The county would need to select camera sites in "school zones", which if the model used in Baltimore City and many PG County towns is followed would include creating vast new school zones never previously designated or marked as such, or perhaps even lowering speed limits.

After that the county would need to select a vendor. Candidates would include ACS State and Local Solutions who run's the programs in Montgomery County, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County and the SHA's program (which we recently showed was using cameras that were not independently certified for accuracy).  Alternately they could choose Optotraffic/Sigma Space Corporation, whose runs the notoriously inaccurate cameras in Forest Heights and Brentwood.  Or the county could try a new player in the state such as photo enforcement company American Traffic Systems, who contributed $1000 to Ulman's campaign in the last election cycle according to the Maryland Campaign finance database.

Speed cameras are now in use in Montgomery County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, a long list of PG County cities, and on several work zones on major interstate highways. A plan to introduce speed cameras in the next door town of Sykesville (Carroll County) was shot down by voters in a referendum.

Concerned citizens can contact the county council to express their views.  Click THIS LINK to open an email window, or go to the county website for contact information.