2:15 PM EST, February 23, 2012
It is staggering to learn that over $13 million in revenue has been collected by the Maryland in the short time speed cameras have been installed along construction zones on I-95 and I-895. This is nothing more than a greedy money grab that denies most people any due process or ability to contest their citations. Who can take a day off from work to fight a $40 ticket? Most people will just mail in their fine and chalk the incident up as another good reason to consider leaving Maryland.
On retiring this past spring, I took the entire summer off and motorcycled to Alaska and the far Western states. During this trip, I didn't encounter a single unmanned photo radar or red-light camera. In most states I also observed many motorcyclists riding without a helmet. Although I consider this behavior to be the height of folly, I couldn't help but be envious of the degree of freedom their states allowed.
I don't know what we've done to deserve the treatment we receive from our current state legislators, but it's clear that we are considered nothing more than lowly vassals who need protection from ourselves. It seems almost all our actions are monitored, regulated, observed, measured and assessed — then we are fined when we deviate the slightest from the standard. It makes a mockery of our motto as the "Free State."
One of the first jurisdictions to incorporate red-light cameras and radar, the city of Phoenix, Ariz., discontinued their use when most of its citizens complained of the constant badgering and unfair nature of the practice. I call on our current legislators to do the same.
Kenneth Packard, Bel Air
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