SALISBURY, Md.- Speed cameras aim to catch drivers going too fast on Maryland's roads. When you get a ticket, you have to pay a fine. But sometimes, according to legislative auditors, the cameras get it wrong. Proposed legislation would turn the tables on local governments and speed camera companies.
On the roads of Maryland, Big Brother is watching.
"I don't like them," said Hugh Smith of West Ocean City. "I think it's just another scam, another way for them to make money."
"If it saves lives, it's better to have the speed cameras," countered Charlie Lockart.
The opinions on these speed cams may differ, but some say there is no arguing the devices are not always accurate. Recently released data by legislative auditors shows the cameras are not consistently calibrated, which translates to "bogus" tickets, at least some of the time.
However, the State Highway Administration argues calibrations are done every day.
"I think we need some kind of legislation to ensure the municipalities in fact do proper maintenance," remarked Fred DeMarco of Ocean City.
That is exactly what Maryland Del. Jon Cardin is proposing. His legislation would fine local governments and speed camera companies $1,000 for every ticket found to be unjust. It would also require the state to submit speed camera audits to the general assembly, and mandate time stamps on photos snapped by the cameras.
"If they're not 100 percent accurate, I'd agree with that," noted Jack Gulyash.
"Should there be a fine? Yes," said DeMarco. "Should it be $1,000? I think that's a little outrageous."
According to Cardin, his proposal is all about maintaining public confidence in the system.
The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office told WBOC the county's speed cameras are calibrated "more than required by law," and that revenues seen by the county from the cameras so far this year total about $12,500.
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