Speeding cameras in Maryland work zones make money, ignite debate

Laws regarding traffic safety have a tendency to spark debate among a community. While most understand the importance of responsible driving, they worry that expanding traffic laws creates a sort of nanny state, where citizens’ abilities to make sound decisions are ignored.

One traffic law matter in Maryland that’s controversial is regarding speeding and red light cameras. A recent Washington Post piece reports how many tickets were issued as a result of the cameras in the state last year and also highlights a main concern some have in the state about their rights.

According to reports, traffic cameras were responsible for the issuing of more than 473,000 traffic tickets in Maryland last year. That’s nearly $19 million dollars worth of fines — if every single person cited for the supposed traffic violation paid his or her fine.

Cameras are located in work zones throughout the state, in an effort to slow drivers down around men and women at work on the roads. The catch that inspires debate among people in Maryland is that the cameras and lower work zone speed limits are enforced even when the workers are gone.

If the purpose is to prevent car accidents that injure road workers, then should drivers still be ticketed for driving the standard speed limit when there are no workers around to be injured? That’s the question that lingers and is behind reported legislative proposals to limit the enforcement of the speed cameras to only times when workers are present at the scene.

The proposals will be presented during a hearing next week. We will post an update if there are new developments related to this traffic law matter.


The Washington Post: “Maryland highway work zones rack up speed camera violations,” Ashley Halsey III, Feb. 17, 2012

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