The College Park City Council was unanimous Tuesday night in its opposition to a Maryland House bill that would amend existing speed camera regulations, stating it would cause privacy issues and an unnecessary burden to local jurisdictions.
Among several new provisions, House Bill 1044 would require local jurisdictions to keep and make public the records of all speed camera photos, whether or not a citation is issued.
“If someone is stalking you, they can request these records and find out at what times you drive past these cameras,” said the city’s Director Bob Ryan. “Keeping these records is irrelevant to public safety. It just creates an additional burden to the government.”
The city currently stores records through its system contractor for every citation issued, and they are kept confidential, according to a letter drafted by City Councilman . Council voted Tuesday evening to send the letter to the chair of the state's Environmental Matters Committee, which is assigned to the bill.
The letter outlines other areas of contention, including a requirement for an annual calibration of the speed camera equipment by a third party. This could create an unnecessary expense, as the city would need this service in addition to the maintenance that is already being performed, according to Wojahn.
“Calibrations are something we already do…by the same company that calibrates lasers for NASA,” Wojahn said. “To the best of my knowledge, their equipment has never been successfully challenged in court.”
This bill also has a provision that all speed camera equipment be certified by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“I am not sure why the IACP was chosen to certify the equipment,” Wojahn said. “They have no legal authority to set standards for the government.”