One of my favorite uncles used to jokingly tell us kids to “go play in traffic.” In reality, not so good for kids. Or for politicians.
Maryland’s recent Senate Bill-277 brought this to mind. It authorizes the installation of cameras to monitor and ticket for speeding near highway work zones and schools. Legislators insist that the cameras will slow down traffic and bring in needed revenue.
How do voters feel? Well, according to a report at TheNewspaper.com “no photo enforcement program has ever survived a public vote.”
So, how come legislators don’t listen to the people? Maybe one reason is that as TheNewspaper.com also reports, “[P]arties with a direct financial interest in automated ticketing showered members of the Maryland General Assembly and the governor with $707,725 in gifts and campaign cash.”
Fortunately, Maryland voters have the right to referendum: They can petition to place this legislation to a vote of the people.
And that is exactly what the group Maryland for Responsible Enforcement is now doing.
Similar battles are being waged in other states. There’s an effort to take away the 200 speed cameras now on Arizona roads; Montana legislators just banned such cameras in Big Sky Country.
Maybe Big Brother should “go play in traffic.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.