Monday, March 12, 2012

State Senate Votes To Keep Workerless Workzone Cameras

After a state senate committee rejected a bill which would have required that "workzone speed monitoring systems" only be used when at least one worker is present, Senator Alan Kittleman brought the issue to the floor by offering an amendment to a separate piece of legislation (Senate Bill 486 -- which allows private contractors rather than police to approve speed camera tickets).  The amendment banning workerless workzone cameras failed to pass by one vote.

Current law permits speed cameras to be used in freeway work zones on major interstate highways (including I-95, I-695, I-270, and I-495) "regardless of whether workers are present".  A large percentage of Maryland Safezones citations are issued at such times, in some cases when workzones are completely unobstructed with no narrowed lanes, and sometimes where the speed limit has been reduced. State law permits such cameras to be used indefinitely even if no work takes place for weeks or months at a time.

The following 23 senators voted TO KEEP workzone speed cameras in workzones with no workers:
Sen Thomas "Mike" Miller(D, Calvert & Prince George's Counties)
Sen Joan Carter Conway (D, Baltimore City)
Sen ulysses Currie (D, Prince George's)
Sen Bill Ferguson (D, Baltimore City)
Sen Jennie Forehand (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Brian Frosh (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Lisa Gladden (D, Baltimore City)
Sen Veran Jones-Rodwell (D, Baltimore City)
Sen Edward Kasemeyer (D, Baltimore & Howard Counties)
Sen Delores Kelly (D, Baltimore City)
Sen Nancy King (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Richard Madaleno, jr (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Roger Manno (Montgomery County)
Sen Rhomas Middleton (D, Charles County)
Sen Karen Montgomery (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Anthony Muse (D, Prince George's)
Sen Douglas Peters (D, Prince George's)
Sen Paul Pinsky (D, Prince George's)
Sen Catherine Pugh (D, Baltimore City)
Sen Victor Ramirez (D, Prince George's County)
Sen Jamie Raskin (D, Montgomery County)
Sen James Robey (D, Howard County)
Sen Jim Rosapepe (D, Prince George's and Anne Arundel County)

The following 22 senators voted AGAINST workerless workzone cameras:
Sen John Astle (D, Anne Arundel County)
Sen David Brinkley (R, Carroll & Frederick Counties)
Sen James Brochin (D, Baltimore County)
Sen Richard Colburn (R,Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot & Wicomico Counties)
Sen James Degrange (D, Anne Arundel County)
Sen Roy Dyson (D, Calvert, Charles, St Mary's COunties)
Sen George's Edwards (R, Allegany & Garrett Counties, & parts of Washington County)
Sen Rob Garagiola (D, Montgomery County)
Sen Joseph Getty (R, Baltimore & Carroll Counties)
Sen Barry Glassman (R, Harford County)
Sen Nancy Jacobs (R, Cecil & Harford Counties)
Sen J.B. Jennings (R, Baltimore & Harford Counties)
Sen Alan Kittleman (R, Howard & Carroll Counties)
Sen Katherine Klausmeier (D, Baltimore County)
Sen Nathaniel McFadden (D, Baltimore City)
Sen E.J. Pipkin (R, Caroline, Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne's Counties)
Sen Edward Reilly (R, Anne Arundel County)
Sen Christopher Shank (R, Washington County)
Sen Bryan Simonaire (R, Anne Arundel county)
Sen Norman Stone (D, Baltimore County)
Sen Ronald Young (D, frederick & Washington Counties)
Sen Bobby Zirkin (D, Baltimore County)

The bill the amendment was proposed to be added to, Senate Bill 486, removes the requirement that citations be reviewed by police and permits for-profit contractors to have the final say in who receives citations.  SB486 is still currently in the senate awaiting a final vote, while a version of the same bill (House Bill 944) is in committee in the House of Delegates. provided testimony AGAINST Senate Bill 486 and House Bill 944, arguing that it removes a critical safeguard for the innocent which was repeatedly promised to the public, and that the principal reason for removing police oversight is simply to make speed camera programs more profitable (at the expense of the integrity and accountability of the system).  AAA Mid Atlantic also testified against House Bill 944.