Speed cameras. Are they effective means of protecting the public from reckless driving, or are they mere money makers? That’s been an ongoing debate in the state of Maryland and most other areas of the country that utilize the law enforcement strategy.
Maryland State Sen. Jim Brochin thinks he has the answer to that question. His opinion is based on his personal account regarding how he’s seen the state use the speed cameras that were meant to catch people committing traffic violations in areas where they would endanger road construction workers.
According to a Baltimore report, the Democratic senator believes state officials have misled the community about how and why the speed cameras would be used, specifically on one area of road – the Beltway. He argues that the cameras haven’t been used in that area while construction workers were at work and have been used to monitor speeds at times when no workers were present.
If true, that defies the stated purpose of the law enforcement strategy, and Brochin wants to put a stop to the lie that is costing drivers their money and construction workers their safety: “This action absolutely defies the intent of what the law was supposed to do; which was to protect highway construction workers rather than just be a source of revenue.”
But officials from the State Highway Administration refute the argument that the cameras are not useful in regards to traffic safety and reducing speeding in construction areas. They say that there has been measured improvement in the safety of Maryland drivers and workers, and the money made from the cameras is a helpful, secondary consequence of the speed cameras.
Brochin is reportedly taking his argument into the next legislative session, wherein he will propose to prohibit the use of speeding cameras in instances when no construction workers are present at a camera site. We will post an update if there are future developments related to his debated proposal.
Explorebaltimorecounty.com: “State senator wants Beltway speed cameras in work zones turned off after hours,” Steve Schuster, 3 Jan. 2011
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