Is it time to fine traffic camera manufacturers for false positives?
For the record, I think red light cameras and speed trap cameras are a bad idea. They penalize people secretly for dangerous behavior but do nothing to stop people in the act or to catch DUIs. They always feel like a cash grab to me and not like they give a damn about public safety.
Following a report by the Baltimore Sun showing that five of that city’s 83 speed cameras were inaccurate, state Delagate Jon Cardin from Baltimore County has called for manufacturers to be fined $1,000 for each ticket issued in error.
Additionally, he wants to require that municipalities using these cameras submit regular audits of the cameras to prove they are working correctly.
“Over the last few weeks, the speed camera issue has really shaken all our confidence in what our government is here to do,” Cardin said yesterday. “Is government here to raise revenue, or is government here to keep our residents safe?”
State Senator James Brochin, also of Baltimore County, has called for an end to “bounty” systems that pay speed camera contractors a fee based on the number of tickets issued.
Since 2009, the city of Baltimore has earned about $40 million from traffic violations caught by speed cameras. Of the 1.6 million tickets issued during that time, it claims to have voided around 6,000.