Tuesday, May 6, 2014

House Voted to Reject Speed Camera Repeal, For Workerless Workzone Cameras

While the Maryland state legislature was mulling a "reform in name only" speed camera bill which passed this year (to prevent more significant reforms amid revelations of 70,000 false accusations against motorists in Baltimore), some lawmakers attempted to address the numerous problems with Maryland's speed camera law more directly by introducing a repeal amendment to the floor of the House of Delegates.

The amendment, sponsored by Delegate Schuh, would have repealed the state's speed camera law entirely.  The bill was voted down in the house by 46-87.

The following State Delegates acted against the interests of motorists by voting to KEEP Maryland's corrupt speed cameras.
Speaker Busch Conway Holmes Mitchell Stein
Anderson Cullison Howard Mizeur Stukes
Arora Davis Hubbard Morhaim Summers
Barkley DeBoy Hucker Murphy Swain
Barnes Dumais Ivey Nathan-Pulliam Tarrant
Barve Fraser-Hidalgo Jameson Niemann Turner, F.
Beidle Frick Jones Oaks Turner, V.
Bobo Frush Kramer Pena-Melnyk Valderrama
Bohanan Gaines Lafferty Pendergrass Valentino-Smith
Branch Gilchrist Lee Proctor Vallario
Braveboy Glenn Love Reznik Vaughn
Burns Griffith Luedtke Robinson, B. Waldstreicher
Cane Gutierrez Malone Robinson, S. Walker
Carr Guzzone McHale Rosenberg Washington, A.
Carter Hammen McIntosh Rudolph Washington, M.
Clagett Haynes Miller, A. Simmons Weir
Clippinger Healey Minnick Sophocleus Zucker
Conaway Hixson

The Following State Delegates Voted To REPEAL Speed Cameras:
Afzali Eckardt Jacobs McDonough Schuh
Arentz Elliott James Miller, W. Schulz
Aumann Fisher Kach Myers Serafini
Bates George Kelly, K. Norman Smigiel
Beitzel Glass Kipke O'Donnell Stifler
Boteler Haddaway-Riccio Krebs Olszewski Stocksdale
Bromwell Hogan McComas Otto Szeliga
Cluster Hough McConkey Parrott Vitale
Costa Impallaria McDermott Ready Wood

No vote:
Cardin Kaiser McMillan Wilson
Donoghue Frank Harper Kelly, A.

See the complete vote count here

As we have argued in the past, one of the reasons the bill the so called "reform" bill the legislature ultimately passed was not meaningful was that the SHA's own program was specifically exempt from all of the changes it made, since that program is governed by a different (but similarly worded) statute.  Delegate McConkey sponsored a bill which would have changed this by addressing the most common complaint about the SHA's program: the fact that the so called "workzone" speed cameras can be deployed "regardless of whether workers are present", according to the wording of current state law, meaning that no actual work needs to be taking place.  The amendment would have required that work actually be taking place for SHA speed cameras to be used.  That amendment was rejected by a 48-86 vote.

The following Maryland State Delegates voted to KEEP workerless workzone speed cameras.
Speaker Busch Conway Holmes Minnick Simmons
Anderson Cullison Howard Mitchell Stein
Barkley Davis Hubbard Mizeur Stukes
Barnes DeBoy Impallaria Morhaim Summers
Barve Dumais James Murphy Swain
Beidle Fraser-Hidalgo Jameson Nathan-Pulliam Tarrant
Bobo Frick Jones Niemann Turner, F.
Bohanan Frush Kaiser Oaks Turner, V.
Branch Gaines Kramer Olszewski Valentino-Smith
Braveboy Gilchrist Lafferty Pena-Melnyk Vallario
Bromwell Glenn Lee Pendergrass Vaughn
Burns Griffith Love Proctor Waldstreicher
Cane Guzzone Luedtke Reznik Washington, A.
Carr Hammen Malone Robinson, B. Washington, M.
Carter Haynes McHale Robinson, S. Weir
Clagett Healey McIntosh Rosenberg Wilson
Clippinger Hixson McMillan Rudolph Zucker

The meaningless "reform" measure, which was written in large part by local governments such as Montgomery County which wished to ensure that the bill would not significantly affect them, passed both houses handily.  Those who called for actual reforms were told by lawmakers that "it's better than nothing," and the Vice Chair of the Environmental Matters Committee (Delegate Malone) openly stated in a February hearing that no other speed camera bill would be permitted to pass but his own.  Calls for "audits" of speed camera programs capable of identifying errors of the sorts which happened in Baltimore were responded to with promises that they would consider adding audits to the bill, however this did not occur.

Maryland state lawmakers serve four year terms and are up for re-election this November.