Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
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 © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • 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...

  • 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).

  • 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...

  • The surreal comedy of Baltimore's speed cameras [Letter]
    The surreal comedy of Baltimore's speed cameras [Letter]

    I really wish I was in the speed camera consulting business in Baltimore right now, as I could make a killing ("City takes step toward new speed camera program Feb. 5). Why is this whole speed camera debacle turning into such a surreal comedy? One answer might be that there is such a total...

  • City speed camera saga gets stranger by the day [Letter]
    City speed camera saga gets stranger by the day [Letter]

    A national firm is not qualified to complete a simple engineering study of the city's speed cameras ("Mayor says audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified,'" Jan. 29).

  • Failure all around
    Failure all around
  • Comedy Central at City Hall [Letter]
    Comedy Central at City Hall [Letter]

    Baltimore's mayor hides a report highly critical of the city's red-light and speed camera program, claiming that the vendor, whom she hired yet again, was somehow incompetent ("Mayor says audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified,'" Jan. 29).

  • Why rehire the unqualified? [Letter]
    Why rehire the unqualified? [Letter]

    Regarding the URS Corp.'s red light and speed camera audit and their subsequent rehiring, "somebody's got some 'splaining to do" ("Mayor says audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified,'" Jan. 29).

Comments
Loading