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Council Set to Oppose Speed Camera Calibration Bill

Speed camera at Paint branch Pkwy

Recently, the MD House is considering a bill requiring that a speed monitoring system calibration check be performed by an independent calibration laboratory that is unaffiliated with the manufacturer of the speed monitoring system.

The House Bill 1044 also authorizes a person named in a citation based on a recorded image produced by a speed monitoring system to use the recorded image in defense of the violation charged.

Additionally, it prohibits a contractor’s fee from being contingent on the number of citations issued or paid if the contractor administers or processes the citations.

In tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will vote on a draft letter opposing the bill.

The letter says the bill would create an unnecessary burden for the City in our administration of the speed camera public safety program and is otherwise detrimental to a very effective public safety program.

It says, the HB 1044 requires the local jurisdiction to retain all recorded images taken by speed cameras regardless of whether or not a recorded image led to the issuance of a citation. The City keeps records through its speed camera system contractor for every speed camera citation issued. The records remain confidential, which allows the City to ensure privacy for individuals receiving citations. Recorded images are not disclosable under § 1 0-616( o) of the State Government Article, and so are not on file for inspection by the public.

The draft letter argues that this law requires that the City retain records not included on its permanent retention schedule, but does not prescribe how long the images must be kept. While the intent ofHB 1044 seeks to ensure the public access to speed camera information, it instead raises serious privacy concerns and adds unnecessary work and expense.

The requirement that speed monitoring equipment be certified by the IACP is an unreasonable standard. The IACP is an organization with no legal authority to set standards for the government, the draft document says.

Please let me know what you think about the bill.

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1 Comment to “Council Set to Oppose Speed Camera Calibration Bill”

  1. By Phil, February 27, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    I see nothing wrong with having an outside agency perform calibration tests on the speed cameras. Since these cameras are set up and calibrated by private companies who have a vested interest in their performance (i.e. a percentage of every fine issued) it seems to be another step in making sure those cameras are operating properly. I would re-think your opposition to this.