Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Driving Rules

The Maryland legislature is moving forward on plans to allow cameras to enforce speeding limits. Support is also growing to require drivers to use hands-free kits when using cell phones, according to WaPo.

The speed camera bill that passed the Maryland Senate 26 to 21 would allow the state to install speed cameras in construction areas. It would also authorize local governments to use speed cameras in school zones and in residential neighborhoods with posted speed limits under 45 mph.

Maryland would join the District in allowing speed cameras and banning hand-held cellphones. Virginia does not allow speed cameras and has no cellphone prohibition.

Final action in Md. still awaits. The cell phone restrictions would only be enforced as secondary offenses, meaning the police would have to stop you for something else first. Infractions caught on cameras would bring fines but not points on your license, similar to the way the system works for red-light runners.

Montgomery has been using cameras to catch speeders as part of a pilot. A colleague of mine says he has gotten a ticket for going just four miles over the posted speed limit. Another says it has become almost comical in MoCo how drivers speed, brake sharply near the cameras, and then hit the gas again when they are free from their probing eyes.

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