Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

MD General Assembly, Howard County Delegation Public Hearing Thur 11/29 @ 7:30 PM.

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thursday, 11/29 @ 7:30 PM in the Howard building Banneker room.

The Howard County delegation will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2008 local bills.   A full listing of the bills that will be presented can be found at the Howard County State Legislation page.

The bills to be presented include:

Come on out and show your interest in local affairs.  Senator James Robey and the other elected Democrats showed that your emails and phone calls are worthless, but it may be harder to ignore you in person.

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7 Responses to “MD General Assembly, Howard County Delegation Public Hearing Thur 11/29 @ 7:30 PM.”

  1. hocoterp said

    Compared to raising the sales tax or the gas tax, instituting speeding cameras may not be a bad way to raise revenue. However, if speeding cameras are installed, that’s what they will be. Primarily a revenue source with a side benefit of reducing speeding in specific areas where the cameras are installed. Once drivers learn where the cameras are they may be more cautious in those areas, but generally they won’t reduce speeding county-wide. In that sense they are comparable to red-light cameras. However, unlike red-light cameras, where you get a picture of your car in the intersection, with a camera speeding ticket I’m guessing you’ll get a statement saying you were going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone or something to that effect. How do you challenge that? Who remembers how fast they were driving a week ago? At least if you get caught in a speed trap you see the flashing red lights and you can look down at your speedometer and say “yup, I was speeding” or “geez, that cop is really looking to ticket people.” The cop also has to show up in court. In sum, there are too many problems with speeding cameras and not enough benefits.

  2. Terp,

    I agree with your sentiments. I don’t know about challenging it in court though. I imagine one could ask for the maintenance records on the camera to ensure they are being properly calibrated. If the county can’t produce suitable records then the ticket could be thrown out – my guess.

    Personally, I don’t believe that we have a right to privacy on public roads. However, I don’t like the idea of creating such a program for revenue purposes.

    I would support speeding cameras in school zones! “Once drivers learn where the cameras are they may be more cautious in those areas, but generally they won’t reduce speeding county-wide.” Absolutely correct.

    It would be nice if they could put cameras on school buses to catch those jerks who blow past schoold buses while children are getting on/off.

  3. horsewhisperer said

    I support speed cameras in general but if you look at the HoCo bill above you’ll see that the fine proposed for HoCo is $75 versus $40 in Montgomery and that it proposes allowing the cameras for roads with speed limits up to 45 mph versus 35 mph in Montgomery, i.e., highway versus residential. My point is that this is one of those programs that pushes the threshold of voter tolerance; a $40 ticket (w/no points) in a residential area is a nuisance but justifiable, but $75 on a highway can create a backlash. There is a fine balance here…

    Regarding enforcement – I am “familiar” with the Montgomery program and on the citation you get two photos of yourself compared to a fixed target in addition to the radar reading to show your speed. You can find a sample citation on the MCPD webpage. Also, many of the units are mobile so you can’t just get used to where they are and speed up afterward…

  4. Horse…, you are “familiar” with the Montgomery program? Unfortunately, so is my wife. Although that probably is not what you meant.

    As I said earlier, I would support these cameras in school zones but if it is just a money grab then no way.

  5. CCP said

    James Robey is pushing for speed cameras to be used in residential neighborhoods to combat the problem of speeding in Howard County . As I watched the delegates speak about this issue on November 29th, Mr. Robey stated that he did not understand what the term “BIG BROTHER” meant. His lack of understanding made me begin to worry about his judgment as a law maker. If he can not understand simple concepts then maybe he should not be in office. I can not think of anything more un-American then constant surveillance of our citizens. Red light cameras were the first step on the path of “Big Brother” and given the current situation in America and the current abuse of power the President has taken with warrant-less wire tapping, I think it is unwise to support such a matter. We must remember laws passed today are laws in effect tomorrow. We have seen first hand what happens when a person is elected to office with an ideological agenda and the abuse of power that comes with it. I am not willing to take that chance.

  6. Ed C said

    From a recent Gazette article (Speed camera roil some in Montgomery Village):

    The two speed cameras that monitor vehicles heading down Montgomery Village Avenue have drawn the scorn of residents who say the cameras have caused severe rush hour backups since they were erected in October.

    During rush hour on Tuesday morning, the southbound vehicles backed up hundreds of yards before and after the cameras, clogging Montgomery Village’s main thoroughfare as it bends past the planned community’s scenic centerpiece, Lake Whetstone. It is a favored route for Upcounty residents to get to Interstate 270.

    Also from the article, in 6 months Montgomery county has collected over $1.8 million dollars.

    From May 2 – Oct. 31, county police issued more than 45,800 $40 citations by speed camera.

    So, is this a safety issue or a new revenue stream for the counties?

  7. Ray Z said

    Speed cameras will be just another source of sucking money out of the people. Just like red light cameras, they are always placed in situations where they are likely to “get” people. At the bottom of hills, wide intersections and with short ambers. I got a ticket because the car infront of me suddenly stopped in the middle of the intersection under a green light. The poor driver was lost and ended up making a right turn from the middle lane, by the time he did this the light turned yellow and then red while I was stopped in the intersection. A live police officer would have seen that the other driver was the culpret…
    This is the kind of goverment we have today, all they do is sit around thinking of ways to rape the people of their rights and money. O’Malley, Miller and Bush are really good at sticking it to the average guy.

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