Maryland delegate pushes for speed cam punishment

(WJLA) - The speed cameras in the Morningside section of P.G. County are well-known around these parts for sending the wrong information.

"It'll probably clock you in driving 35, 45 when you're doing 25," says Edwin Williams.

The cameras in the area have long been criticized for snapping people for speeding when they actually were not. And now, hundreds of traffic cameras across Maryland have now become the focus of lawmakers in Annapolis.

There are several bills under consideration aimed at reforming where they operate, reconsidering the penalties associated, and fining camera operators for sending erroneous information.

Maryland delegate Jon Cardin wants to punish speed camera operators for giving bogus tickets, and is introducing legislation that would fine camera operators $1,000 for every ticket that gets overturned in court. He even advocates shutting them down completely until the problem is fixed.

"This would give a huge incentive to all these operators, these vendors, to make sure their error rate is what they claim it is," Cardin said.

A recent audit found cameras in one part of the state to have a 10 to 40-percent error rate. Driver Saul Orellana says inaccurate ticketing has happened to him twice in Morningside.

“I've traveled this road many times and I always go the speed limit and it says I'm five over," he explains.

But instead of fighting the tickets, he does what most people do – pay the fine.