MML Leaders Join Del. Kerr for Bill Hearing to Enhance Roadway Safety Through Speed Camera Standardization

MML Leaders Join Del. Kerr for Bill Hearing to Enhance Roadway Safety Through Speed Camera Standardization 

(February 8, 2024) Annapolis, Md. The Maryland Municipal League (MML) joined Del. Ken Kerr at the House Environment and Transportation Committee hearing this afternoon for House Bill 282 which would enable municipalities to utilize trained technicians to review speed camera tickets and issue citations. This change would more closely align speed camera image review with the current manner in which red light tickets are processed throughout Maryland.  

“It’s widely accepted that speed cameras are effective in saving lives,” shared Del. Kerr, citing a 2016 report from the program in Montgomery County that showed speed cameras decreased speeding in excess of 10mph by 65%, and reduced the likelihood of fatal or severe crashes by 19%.  

The health and safety of the citizens who live, work, and play in our communities is one of the most important responsibilities of local governments. The overall goal of the bill is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of speed cameras which have been proven to change driver behavior. 

In addition, permitting a trained technician to conduct review of speed camera images would allow police officers to resume other public safety duties while also making this vital safety program more accessible to about 70 cities and towns in Maryland without a police department. According to MML Director of Public Policy and Research Bill Jorch, only two such municipalities have a speed camera program. “One of the biggest hurdles we’ve heard anecdotally from [municipalities without police departments], is that having to find a benevolent law enforcement agency to take over the review of the final stage often times is the biggest impediment to them implementing a speed camera program, testified Jorch.” 

Michael O’Connor, Mayor of the City of Frederick and MML President-Elect shared how his city is currently supporting the Town of New Market’s program but would also benefit from freeing up their own officers to do what “their residents most want them to do. He added that “A trained technician can absolutely do this work and provide a better cost-benefit to our shared tax-paying residents."

Red light camera images in Maryland are already reviewed by a trained technician as are speed camera images in several other states. The speed camera program in Maryland was first authorized state-wide in 2009 and heavily revised in 2014.  

Denton Police of Chief, George Bacorn, further compared the concept to parking citations, which are also reviewed by non-sworn staff, noting that they are a civil offense and not a moving violation. When asked by Del. Stewart if there was anything in his thousands of hours of police training that would make him uniquely more qualified to review these citations than non-sworn staff with similar speed camera changing, he replied “no.”  

Several other municipal officials testified in support of the legislation, and nobody was signed up in opposition. 


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