From the Maryland Liberty Political Action Committee:
[Last week], a full speed camera repeal bill was introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates. House Bill 251, our speed camera repeal bill sponsored by Delegate Michael Smigiel (R – District 36), was introduced and assigned to the House Environmental Matters Committee. This is a tremendous first step for us, but this only begins our work.
Back in early January, we asked you to call Delegate Maggie McIntosh who serves as the Chair for the House Environmental Matters Committee to tell her to repeal speed cameras. You came through in a big way flooding her office with phone calls and e-mails. The receptionist on the other side of the phone was very surprised at the large volume of calls– now we have to double down. We need to dial up pressure on Maggie McIntosh again today.
First, we have to make a phone call to Delegate McIntosh and ask her to:
* Hold a public hearing on House Bill 251
* Hold a roll call vote in Committee on House Bill 251
* Vote FOR House Bill 251
After you make the call, follow up with an email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can click on any of the banners in this email and it will automatically open up a pre-drafted email for you to send to Delegate McIntosh. All you have to do is sign and send. If we don’t pressure Deleagate McIntosh, she is going to take our bill, throw it in the drawer, and never look at it again.
Speed cameras are nothing more than the privatization of our due process rights and the contracting-out of law enforcement duties. Our families deserve better. Our rights don’t come from government, and we must send a message that we will not sit by for these violations. We have the right to properly challenge and appeal tickets. We have the right not to be monitored 24-7 by our government. We have the right to question a malfunctioning speed camera system. The short-term lust for money should never trump the long-term preservation of our God-given rights and Constitutional protections.
Politicians should never view us as moving ATM machines to be poached from as we drive down the highway.
Our message to Maggie McIntosh and the House Environmental Matters Committee must be clear: we want full repeal of speed cameras and House Bill 251 is the way to do it.
This speed camera repeal battle is Maryland Liberty PAC’s first major legislative initiative. It won’t be easy, but we are committed to our plan for repeal, even if it takes years to accomplish. With the well-established cronyism existing in Annapolis it may take us several legislative sessions to ulimately be successful. What we do know is that we share company with some of the best Patriots in Maryland. You are the passionate resistance that fuels this movement. We are working as hard as we can to activate and we hope that you will join us in this initial squirmish in a long-term campaign against socialism and tyranny in Maryland. We believe in our true and time-tested principles. We can defeat speed cameras in Maryland and send a shockwave through the Maryland Government.
Jump in with us and let’s give the Establishment in Annapolis the most shocking and extensive fight yet as we tirelessly support full speed camera repeal in Maryland.
Patrick L. McGrady
Maryland Liberty PAC
Rita Lowe says
O’Malley, O’Bama – notice the likeness. O’Malley is doing that which he feels will put him in the limelight so people will know his name when he runs for President in 2016. God forbid. Now do you notice the likeness? Two morons
Yeah, and they’re both Irish.
Rita Lowe, you are the “Moron” for calling those fine (elected by substantial majority) men “morons”! You are certainly a partisan hack, still fuming over the fact that your boys lost (Romney and Ehrlich). Get over it, or move to another state (or country) where your minority opinions will be reflected by the majority at the ballot box! O’Malley for President! 🙂
Rita Lowe says
Well W.T.F. – I can only say that you are one of the people who be responsible for the demise of this country. God Bless.
Oh were you asleep during the Bush years? Did you vote for him twice because he was smarter than Al Gore and then because the Terrorist Color Code compelled you to? Did he elect to invade Iraq because he wanted to show his daddy it could be done even if it meant borrowing money that we now have to pay back? Did he ignore the signs of corporate malfeasance in 2002 while exciting you with his warnings about mushroom clouds over New York? Just how much absolute bull do you swallow on a regular basis and do you have a tongue stud to make it more enjoyable for the guy that you’re doing it for?
Common $ense! says
Rita, go bless yourself. I’ll take the facts over right-wing nay-sayers every time. W.T.F.? is correct! Me……I’m blinded by science!
Two things, One you can avoid the tickets by slowing down. Second If this passes should we send it to referendum too?
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence”
I want to cross examine the police officer that witnessed my offense. Oh wait, my accuser is a machine run by a for-profit contractor with absolutely zero bias towards increasing revenue…
Traffic violations are not “criminal prosecutions”. The distinction is really clear in the law. You’ll have to make another argument.
Speed and red light cameras are designated civic infractions because they could never pass the hurdles requried of criminal complaints. That doesn’t make them right or in compliance with our Constitution.
Kharn I have no problem with what you’re saying. Just pointing out the reference you cited in our law has absolutely nothing to do with traffic violations, so you may want to look for better reasoning to make that case.
beside you can have a trial with a judge and have the officer who signed off on the ticket there. It will cost you court fees should you lose. Slowing down is much cheaper!
Its not the cost, its the ability of a for-profit company to conduct police business. If it was a trooper (with arrest powers, not just a civil servant or a contractor) responsible for calibrating the camera’s instruments every shift and maintaining logs of that calibration, monitoring its operation (using a secondary form of measurement) and identifying the offender (not immediately blaming the registered owner), the situation would be different.
Do you have a problem for for profit companies conducting national defense buisness?
In national defense, “inherently governmental functions” are restricted to sworn civil service or military personnel, such as managing strategy, funds, contracts, military actions or orders.
General Dynamics making a tank, in response to government contracts, proper
Blackwater conducting operations in a warzone, under supervision and direction of military personnel, proper.
Dave’s Consulting Shop evaluating contract submissions due to lack of government personnel, improper.
Joe’s Military Inc devising operational plans and conducting offensive operations without military oversight, improper.
Gathering evidence, identifying potential violations of law, arrest (signing a ticket is agreeing to arrest and immediate release on recognizance, thus why those that refuse to sign go to booking), etc, should be similarly restricted.
There is oversite when the officer signs off on the ticket. Just like the oversight at the gate when you have rent a cops at a military instalation.
The rent-a-cops (if there are any, most are sworn federal, local or special police) are not:
1) gathering evidence outside the direct presence of sworn police
2) calibrating measurement equipment critical to the detection of alleged crimes
3) paid per bust.
When is the last time you pulled up to a military base? The folks working the gate are not MP’s but are private contractors. What about the contractors at ECBC who are trusted with access to the US’s supply of Chemical agents that are really nasty? You don’t think the company they work for is not in it for a profit do you?
You’re mixing different issues. MPs, federal police (or special police) and rent-a-cops are three different groups, MPs are military members, federal/special police are civilian employees. Both have full arrest powers. Rent-a-cops are private security contractors, neither MP nor federal police with almost no arrest powers (they’ll hold you at gun point until someone else arrives to cuff and Mirandize). None of the three recieve a cash bonus when they find contraband in a car, while speed camera companies receive a percentage of ticket revenue which incentivizes increased violations.
To apply your model, how would you feel if every time a Harford Sheriff’s deputy found a joint, he was given $50 as a bonus? Do you think drug arrests would increase beyond their current level? Do you think 100% of those arrests would be legitimate?
Lidar Expert says
No, you can’t avoid tickets by slowing down because the cameras and their operation are flawed. How do you explain a parked car in Baltimore City getting a ticket by a speed camera. Poor guy had to go to court to demostrate that his car was not even moving. Trucks with more than 30 square feet of sheet metal on the back are distorting the camera reflection and are causing the speeds to double. There are other issues with the Work Zone cameras lumping non speeding vehicles in with speeding vehicles. This whole process has some real issues. I have one documented issue of a vehicle pulling over on the shoulder for a flat tire that got a ticket for 69 in a 55. Turned out the car whizzing by in the middle lane was the actual culprit, but both cars got flagged.
I remember O’Malley proclaiming the limit for a camera ticket would be 12mph over when the law took effect, a coworker received a ticket for 7mph over the limit (62 in a 55 in an I95 work zone) a few months ago.
The Money Tree says
While I normally support tea party ideals in this case I couldn’t disagree more. What might be your idea of freedom is my idea of loss of freedom. I watch daily as people exceed the speed limits on all major highways, arterial roads and through neighborhoods where kids, pets and people play and live. I can’t imagine a more intrusive loss of freedom as I’m sure is felt by the folks unfortunate enough to live on Emmorton Rd. or Red Pump (for instance). The reason you don’t see kids playing outside along those routes is it’s far too dangerous – almost nobody respects their neighbors peace and tranquility because thier lives and time are apparently more important. We had another fatality this morning at the exit to 24 – the police can’t be everywhere so I suggest go ahead race to your next destination but be ready to pay an additional “tax” that is justified by the danger you put everyone else in on the road. As long as the technology is proven accurate (and I understand there are some kinks to ferret out), let the offenders pay an additional tax…maybe put those monies to the medical bills of the people the speeders end up maiming and/or killing.
ALEX R says
Okay, when the technology is proven (can anyone say ‘Baltimore City’?) and the money actually goes to the government and not to the contractors, and the money going to the government is designated for “medical bills of the people the speeders end up maiming and/or killing” as you suggest, then let me know and maybe I will change my mind.
Meanwhile, could we just stop the hypocritical charade?
The Money Tree says
Frankly don’t care where the money goes as long as it acts as a deterrent to the insanity on the roads that goes on everyday. Being ticketed for speeding isn’t the same as being taxed…it’s a fine for breaking the law so I’d say the lack of ability to determine where the money does is of no business of the criminals. I can’t avoid property taxes, nor state taxes, nor federal taxes, etc., but you can avoid paying a speeding ticket by not exceeding the posted speed limit. It’s a pretty simple fix really.
ALEX R says
Actually the infractions are designed to be money makers for the government under the guise of safety. Yes, you can slow down and you should. But notice that the amount is set just low enough to make sure hardly anyone goes to the trouble to take off work and go to court and that fact, coupled with no points, makes it just a big money maker. Of course the camera technology doesn’t work so people get tickets who shouldn’t but the government just promises to buy all new cameras and change contractors. The dumbest thing of all is that the people making money are the contractors who run the systems and not the government. And politicians wonder why they are even more despised than the biblical “tax collectors and sinners”.
So it is your position the ionfraction of running a red light is a money maker and not a traffic issue? If we got rid of the infraction how would you suggest traffic flow at an intersection of two roads? The infractions have been around long before cameras.
ALEX R says
No, it is my position that the cameras don’t work and have been proven not to work. Further, it is my position that contractors make more from them than the government does. Finally, that contractors know or should have known that the infractions were bogus. Emphasis on “should have known”. After all, didn’t their contract require QA checks? I wonder if all of those people who received tickets that were bogus could band together and do a class action suit against the contractors. Interesting point of law.
But then the contractors do know how to hire lobbyists and donate to campaigns don’t they?
When the contractor is allowed to change the timing of the yellow light, yes, it is about the money and not traffic safety.
The yellow is supposed to be timed so that vehicles approaching the light can react and slow from the average speed of travel (even if higher than the speed limit) without running the red while maintaing a safe deceleration rate (ie, not locking up the brakes on a max-weight tractor/trailer). A Honda can stop more quickly than an 18-wheeler, but with a shortened yellow, the Honda will slam on the brakes to avoid the ticket, ending up rear-ended by the truck.
The real solution to traffic safety at intersections? 1) Properly timed yellow lights, 2) an all-red pause (for ~1 second) before any light turns green, 3) properly set red light cameras to punish repeat violations.
I never knew the contractor could change the timing of the light? would you please show me where that is so.
Anyone with access to the control box can change the timing. There’ve been cases in NJ, CA and other states that have resulted in refunds to citizens for too-short lights.
I don’t if it’s the contractor or the local jurisdiction changing the timing of the yellow lights, but a lot (if not most places) that have wide spread use of red lights have indeed done just that when revenues start dropping because people don’t try to beat the yellow light.
Red light cameras are primarily about revenue generation, not traffic safety, despite what politicians claim. Several studies have actually shown that extending the duration of yellow lights slightly decrease the number of accidents at a given intersection and frequently places where red lights cameras are in use they do just the opposite.
The big problem I have with red light and speed cameras is that the driver isn’t getting cited, the registered owner is. Combine that with the absolutely ridiculous problems the speed cameras have had in Baltimore City (issuing tickets to parked cars??) they should not be used. Sure you can go to court and get the ticket thrown out fairly easily, but for most people with jobs it costs them more to do that than to just pay out the bogus ticket and the government knows it. You shouldn’t even be in that situation (and wouldn’t if the tickets were being issued by a police officer face to face with the driver.)
Lidar Expert says
The contractors do not change the timing of the yellow cycle , but the State, County and local jursidictions do it all the time, many times over the objections of traffic engineers who ARE about safety. The politicians who run these departments are all about the money.
Jaguar J says
And so have police, CDEV. Is it too much to ask that laws be enforced by police?
Do you think Police should not use radar guns?
ALEX R says
Radar guns must be calibrated on a frequent schedule and, at trial, the accused can demand to see the latest calibration and courts have held that police must provide it. Charges are dismissed if calibration is not done by certified technicians and timely.
And the same can be held for speed camera’s!!!!!! Look when Radar first came out people flipped the same way as people are now. Technology.
But its not a police officer doing the calibration, it is someone with a motive to increase the recorded speed of motorists to benefit their company.
Interesting enough, I was speeding this morning-in the rain. I did not see one police shooting radar. Over the last two nice days, there were many police shooting radar. They never take radar in the rain, most of the time it is about money and not all about safety.
My guns are safely locked up though. Prediction: That will be next area where they make it a civil infraction to get money; similar to making speed cameras tickets 40 bucks. Just enough for nice income to the state or county but not enough for the working man to fight.
Another thing that would help prevent people from running red lights is to stop trying to read text messages and check Facebook during the red lights. I know I personally check the intersection before going on a green light, but if you look around you everyone is looking at their phones while they wait, which causes delays when the lights turn green, which means less people get through, people get impatient, etc, etc.
More people should try just sitting at intersections and learning how they work. You can make your life much easier.
Or if we switched to German-style traffic light programming, where the yellow light illuminates for the last second of the red and everyone is paying attention when it turns green so traffic starts moving immediately.
Lidar Expert says
Keep in mind, the only states using these money generators are states that have financial troubles. Even traffic engineers will privately tell you it is all about the money. Why else would they shorten yellow light signals 1 to 1/2 seconds at red light intersections when it is proven that lengthening the yellow cycle actually cuts down on accidents. Money people. That’s it.
If any of you doubt that speed cameras are a complete and utter fraud just check out our website. We have been tracking this for 5 years and have more data on O’Malley’s scamera fraud than you ever wanted to know.
The platitude that “if you don’t speed you won’t get a ticket” is FALSE. In Maryland (and particularly in Baltimore) the rule of the road is “Money from the innocent is the same as money from the guilty”. And more to the point, all the state’s speed camera programs think they are above the law and break the law with impunity…. starting (but not ending) with the ‘bounty system’ which even O’Malley now concedes is illegal. If those who would hang cameras on every street to fine people for mistakes they make while driving cannot or will not comply with the law themselves, then it has nothing to do with law enforcement and is all about money.
No Kidding says
See post above from Lidar Expert at 2:49. He/she said the same thing.
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