MDOT will emphasize photographers' rights

The Maryland Department of Transportation supports the decision by Maryland Transit Administration chief Ralign T. Wells to disavow police efforts to curb photographers' legal activities and spread the word though its other component agencies, a department spokesman said Wednesday.

MDOT spokesman Jack Cahalan said Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley fully supports Wells' position that photography of MTA facilities and on legally open MTA property is not restricted.

Cahalan said certain exceptions apply to secure areas of the Port of Baltimore's terminals and to the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. But generally, he said, members of the public can take photos from any spot they are legally permitted to be.

"Anyone can take whatever shots they want," Cahalan said.

Cahalan said the department will make sure that employees of all of its agencies are informed of its policies permitting photography.

"It's one of those things you can't repeat often enough. You have change-overs in personnel and clearly it's an issue that's worth restating," Cahalan said.

In addition to the MTA, the department oversees the Maryland Port Administration, the Maryland Aviation Administration, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Motor Vehicle Administration and the State Highway Administration.

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