Baltimore lawmakers are seeking to exempt the city from state restrictions that limit where speed cameras can be placed and how they can be used.
The city’s House delegation voted unanimously Friday to back legislation sponsored by Del. Tony Bridges, a Democrat who represents Northwest Baltimore.
It would allow Mayor Catherine Pugh and the City Council to decide where cameras go, when they operate and the “speed tolerance” — the speed at which tickets are issued.
The delegates view the legislation as a way to cut down on speeding and dangerous driving through Baltimore neighborhoods.
Currently, state law restricts how the cameras are used. Jurisdictions may only place them within a half-mile of a school or in a road construction zone. Those in school zones may only operate during weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the cameras may only issue citations to drivers traveling 12 or more miles per hour above posted speed limits.
The city has been quickly expanding its fleet of traffic cameras, which are bringing in millions of dollars in revenue. The city expects to collect $21.2 million this fiscal year from its camera network — close to the record $31 million in fines issued in 2012.
The current system is the city's third traffic camera program. In the first two, cameras issued erroneous tickets. A Baltimore Sun investigation in 2012 revealed several problems, including tickets issued to cars that were moving slowly or stopped.