As reported in the Feb. 22 Carroll County Times, Carroll's district 5 voters have given former County Commissioner, now Maryland Delegate Haven Shoemaker an elevated platform to waste his co-legislators' time and taxpayer dollars by sponsoring House Bill 1038, which would repeal the state's authority to enforce specified highway speed laws within work zones.
The bill is slated for a hearing March 5. According to Shoemaker, "The idea came when I got a love letter from [former Gov.] Martin O'Malley of a picture of my truck saying please send me $40.
Speed, security and other types of camera devices have been a part of our daily lives for the past few decades and serve to secure and protect property and people's safety, as well as prevent and punish criminal acts. The camera used to capture a "gotcha" moment for Shoemaker has been used within the Maryland Safe Zones program since 2012 and, according to its website, speeding violations have declined 80 percent and the number of injuries and work zone crashes has decreased. The resulting savings in personal trauma, insurance, medical and workmen's compensation costs surely must be commensurate as well, I would think.
Now Shoemaker is using is climate-controlled work environment to instigate a threat to the safety of those highway and utility workers who risk life and limb in all manner of weather and traffic hazard because of his pique of getting a speeding ticket and $40 fine. He is not doing this at the behest of a demanding public, but because of his own personal ire.
The Maryland Department of Transportation needs to retain the right and responsibility to keep its workers and motorists safe and lawmakers should decline any change to the existing law.