State lawmakers are poised to approve reforms to speed camera programs across Maryland.

The House of Delegates on Monday advanced a bill that would put tighter rules on the when the automatic tickets could be issued and make it easier for motorists to appeal bogus citations without going to court.

After more than year of scrutiny to the speed camera programs – which are lucrative to governments and irksome to drivers – the bill poised for approval would outlaw the so-called "bounty-system" that allowed contractors to bill per ticket issued, as well as call for an ombudsman that could dismiss tickets that were clearly issued in error.

The bill also sets out training guidelines, rules about how the cameras must be calibrated and maintained, as well as sets out penalties for contractors whose speed cameras issue more than 5 percent of its tickets in error.

The House made some slight changes to a bill that had already cleared the Senate. With final passage in the House expected Tuesday, lawmakers will have a few days to iron out the differences before the session adjourns next week.

The changes come as the Baltimore City speed camera program has been under fire for its high error rate, among other provisions of its speed camera law.

ecox@baltsun.com