Howard County and State Legislation, I know they heard me, but will they listen?

Here is what I said:

“I am completely against the installation of traffic and speed cameras throughout the state of Maryland. I ask, is this just a way for the state to create revenue to help dig ourselves out of the massive financial deficit we are in? Well I spent several hours researching the cost of the cameras, and what I came up with is a figure ranging from $60k-$90k apiece. That does not sound like a way to help the economy, however if we spent that money allotted for these cameras on actual police officers, not only would this give the people of Maryland a better sense of security, it would help to stimulate job growth and the tax revenue associated with that growth.

There is no legitimate evidence these cameras work. I know we are all told that they save lives, cut down on reckless driving, and a plethora of other statistics,  but I ask have you ever heard of a Pepsi challenge where Coke is the winner? Exactly. These so called traffic enforcers are nothing other than Constitution violators. They infringe on the 4th Amendment which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. what I mean by that is not only are these High speed/High resolution cameras taking pictures of your license plates, but also your vehicle and everything in it that is visible from the cameras position.

A Sentinel newspaper article dated December 20 2008, stated that High school students in Montgomery County are using speed cameras as a tool to fine innocent drivers in a game, that is right a game. Because photo enforcement devices will automatically mail out a ticket to any registered vehicle owner based solely on a photograph of a license plate, any driver could receive a ticket if someone else creates a duplicate of their license plate and speeds through one of these cameras. The private companies that mail out the tickets often do not bother to verify whether vehicle registration information for the accused vehicle matches the photographed vehicle.

Which segways into the next article I found posted in the Baltimore Sun on November 24th 2008, Where a woman was ticketed for speeding in a car that was not hers. The mega-pixel resolution on this specific camera struggled to make out the license plate, so instead of just forgetting about that incident, a ticket was issued to what resembled that vehicle license plate most.

My last point is this anytime a person challenges a citation they have the right do so in a court of law, against their accuser. Being that the accuser is a camera, is this not a violation of the 6th amendment’s confrontation clause?”

2 Responses to Howard County and State Legislation, I know they heard me, but will they listen?

  1. Rick Garner says:

    Awesome information, Anthony. Speed cameras to me are another example of “microwaved convenience” in our society. For this lovely price tag, an intersection now has “a police officer” on duty for 24/7 that doesn’t get paid overtime or generate any extra paperwork and guarantees to create a revenue stream. Seems great in concept but your post puts it into sharp focus.

    Plus, the only justifiable reason to consider a camera would be if having an officer posted at an intersection or on a street would cost more than the camera in salary and lessen response time to other emergency scenarios. I can’t imagine a method to gather legitimate data nor an example where this would apply.

    I would tend to lump speed/traffic cameras in the same goody bag as slots – another seemingly effortless quick fix that never pays out.

  2. JOHN ANTHONY says:

    I couldn’t say it better myself, the real issue on our roadways has always been safety. Cameras do not promote safety but having the roadways repaired and improved will. Responsible people do not need to be monitored in this way. Keep writing and someone will take notice I have always liked the phrase WE THE PEOPLE of the United States in order to… Well you get the picture, keep writing, all the best, John

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