Maryland Speed Camera Referendum (2010)

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A Maryland Speed Camera Referendum did not appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Maryland as a legislatively-referred state statute. The effort fell short as one third of the signatures were due by May 31, 2010. The number required was approximately over 17,000, but signature gatherers only collected just over 16,000 signatures.[1][2][3]

Daniel Zubari was organizing the effort through a group called Marylanders for Responsible Enforcement. The referendum proposed to reverse a decision made by the Maryland Legislature to begin implementing speed cameras in school and construction zones.[4]

Gov. Martin O'Malley was to sign SB 277, the bill that would have been the subject of the veto referendum, on May 19, 2009. The bill would have become effective on October 1, 2009 unless proponents of a vote collected enough signatures to force it to a referendum. If that had happened, the law would not have gone into effect unless and until it was approved in a statewide November 2010 vote.

Provisions of SB 277

SB 277 would:[2]

  • Allow speed cameras in highway work zones, and in school zones in jurisdictions that allow them.
  • Drivers photographed traveling at least 12 m.p.h. above the speed limit could be cited for speeding.
  • Drivers would be fined $40, but would not receive any points on their license.

Background

A statewide law to put speed cameras in school and construction zones passed during the legislative session in 2009. According to the passed legislation, cameras would take pictures of anyone going 12 miles above the speed limit in school and construction zones. The measure allowed for local jurisdictions to issue a $40 ticket to speeders in the mail. Drivers would not receive points on their license.[5]

Former Republican congressional candidate Daniel Zubairi, a supporter and leader in the movement against the use of speed cameras, said in late April 2009 that the state Board of Elections said that the initial paperwork to put the issue on the 2010 ballot was insufficient and incomplete.[6] But on April 27 the group was given the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures.

Support

Supporters argued that despite speed camera legislation passing in 2009, the cameras would give local government too much power and could lead to an increase in surveillance. Maryland for Responsible Enforcement and members of the Baltimore County Republican party were some of the supporters of the ballot measure. The group, Maryland for Responsible Enforcement, was formed in April 2009 in wake of the recent camera legislation that passed in the state.

According to Ann Miller, a supporter of the initiative. "I'm not opposed just because it's a money scam. I'm opposed to it because I don't feel it's an effective policy. I also feel that it erodes our right to a fair hearing."

The Car Connection stated reasons to vote to ban speeding cameras, listing specific local referenda in other states, and also stated: "Fighting camera enforcement citiations in court is usually fruitless. In Montgomery County, drivers were convicted 99.7 percent of the time"[7]

Opposition

In response to the proposed ballot initiative Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith said,"It's not Big Brother watching you, it's just trying to protect children and trying to protect workers who are out there improving public safety by improving the highways."[8]

Path to the ballot

53,000 signatures must have been submitted to election officials by June 24, 2009 to qualify the measure for the 2010 ballot. An initial batch of 17,667 signatures must have been submitted by May 31, 2009.[9]

See also

External links

References