Maryland governor calls for work zone cameras to nab speeders

| 12/11/2007

If Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets his way, cameras would be posted to enforce speed limits in work zones throughout the state.

As part of the governor’s “hard-hitting” package of highway safety legislation, it would allow police in the state to use cameras for speed enforcement on a statewide basis, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Opponents say speed cameras are an unwarranted intrusion. Others question the claim that cameras are solely intended to keep people safe.

Supporters say it isn’t a revenue measure. The equipment encourages compliance with the law and saves lives by reducing collisions.

The O’Malley administration said changes need to be made in work zones because police have difficulty pulling over speeding drivers without causing additional traffic problems. Maryland law already permits doubled fines for speeding in work zones.

According to state figures, there were 34 fatalities in work zones during the most recent five-year period – compared to 28 in the previous five-year period. Injuries rose from 4,295 to 4,741 in the same two periods.

In addition to the governor’s effort to authorize cameras in work zones, local governments in Baltimore, Howard County and the city of Frederick are calling on legislators to pass local bills authorizing use of speed cameras, The Sun reported.

These efforts and others can be considered during the regular session that begins Jan. 9.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Maryland, click here.