After rescinding a bill to expand speed camera hours, Del. Dereck Davis (D-Dist. 25) of Mitchellville is proposing legislation to stop use of the devices in school zones during school holidays and summer breaks.
Under current law, speed cameras may operate in a school zone only from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday — even on weekdays when school isn’t in session. Speed cameras may also operate in designated work zones.
Davis’ proposal would only allow speed cameras located in school zones to operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on days in which the school for that zone is in session.
Davis said he is still waiting on co-sponsors, but is intending to file the new bill no later than Friday.
“Breaking the law is breaking the law. It seemed kind of crazy to say you could speed at some times but not others,” Davis said.
Davis said the state’s speed camera laws needed to be clarified one way or another; if they are intended to control speeding, they should be allowed to operate 24/7, but if they are for school safety, they should only operate on days school is in session.
“I was going back and forth on which way to go, but this was my original plan,” Davis said.
John Mathew Smith of Laurel said he is in favor of Davis’ newest proposal.
“That’s a vast improvement. I think they could trim the hours down a bit, to 4 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., maybe, but that would still be better than what it is now,” said Smith, who ran for Laurel City Council in 2013 partly on a platform of revisiting the city’s speed camera program.