Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.

Opinion

News Opinion

Speed cameras: A shameless government money grab

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

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Speed cameras save lives? Prove it

    Speed cameras save lives? Prove it

    I read the article about money machines (speed cameras) in Baltimore County, and there certainly are a number of different numbers associated with these money grabbers ("Is Baltimore County doubling its speed camera budget?" May 30). I use these term because I believe most people think speed cameras...

  • Annapolis and speed cameras

    Annapolis and speed cameras

    Isn't it amazing how the courts have found that speed cameras are a safety feature and not an un-mandated nuisance tax, yet The Sun finds the news in the loss of revenue instead of the great job they are doing in slowing down traffic and clogging up the streets of Annapolis with bumper to bumper...

  • Speed cameras didn't make streets any safer

    Speed cameras didn't make streets any safer

    I enjoyed your recent article on the statistics regarding pedestrian accidents during and after the use of speed cameras ("Even with speed cameras off, no pedestrians injured in school zones," Dec. 19).

  • Safety or revenue?

    Safety or revenue?

    Before it was shut down over reports of widespread errors, Baltimore ran by far the largest speed camera program in the state and one of the largest in the nation. It generated a lot of tickets and a lot of revenue for the city — so much so that officials were fighting over what to do with the...

  • Smaller is better

    Smaller is better

    A Baltimore City Council investigative committee looking into the city's problem-plagued speed- and red light-camera program has discovered what should have been obvious all along: That the now suspended system was far too big to be managed efficiently, that it was set up too quickly by the companies...

  • Speed cameras don't save lives

    Speed cameras don't save lives

    A recent editorial claimed "speed cameras are a powerful tool for saving lives" ("Safety first," June 3) but the supporting evidence, "a reduction in speed-related crashes — 29 percent from 2009 to 2012" is about crashes, not lives.

  • Get a move on: Local speed limits are too low [Letter]

    Get a move on: Local speed limits are too low [Letter]

    Congratulations to Howard County for trying to figure out sensible speed limits ("Are Howard County's speed limits too low?" Aug. 5).

  • Cameras and corruption

    Cameras and corruption

    I have followed The Sun's investigation of Baltimore's speed and red light cameras from the beginning and believe a desire for a back door tax is what is driving Baltimore's concern and not protecting the poor innocent school children they claim when defending the constitutionality of such laws...

Comments
Loading

84°