We support House Bill 1044 http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/billfile/hb1044.htm
which would help protect the legal rights of Motorists and prevent innocent motorists from being punished. We believe that such legislation is necessary to address serious due process issues with the state's speed camera law.
Among the provisions of this bill:
- Requiring the actual operator of a speed camera to appear at a hearing if requested by the defendant of a speed camera citation
- Requiring that if speed camera images can be used to convict a defendant of a speed camera violation, the court must also permit a defendant to use such images in defense of a violation.
- Ensure that speed cameras are certified by a testing laboratory OTHER THAN one affiliated with the manufacturer of the device, which is a severe conflict of interest.
- Requiring that speed cameras meet national standards set by the IACP(International Association of Chiefs of Police) in order to ensure accuracy and reliability.
- Ensuring that members of the public have a right to inspect speed camera calibration records, including the use of such information to prepare their defense in advance of a speed camera hearing.
- Forbidding contractors who administer and process speed camera citations from being paid based on the number of tickets issued.
These provisions are extremely reasonable and are the minimum necessary to protect basic rights to due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to confront an accuser. Restricting such rights does nothing to benefit safety, it only serves to corrupt our justice system into a for-profit enterprise. The Maryland legislature should not permit any photo enforcement systems unless the basic principals of America's constitution and system of justice are protected.
This is needed to protect the right to confront an accuser and the right of defendants to have a fair defense which includes access to evidence they need to prepare that defense. Conflicts of interest must be removed from the system, including banning contingent contracts for companies which administer speed camera programs, and forbidding speed camera companies from certifying their own equipment rather than meeting national standards for accuracy.