Takoma Park Mobilization testified on December 1, 2020 in support of Maryland local bill MC 4-21, which would allow Montgomery County to move automated traffic enforcement — speed cameras in particular — to the county Department of Transportation. This bill, introduced by Delegate Vaughn Stewart, is state legislation that would apply only in Montgomery County. The hearing was convened by the Montgomery County legislative delegation. If this enabling legislation is advanced by the delegation — it has unanimous support of the Montgomery County County and the support of the county executive — and passed by the Maryland General Assembly, the county should move expeditiously to de-police routine traffic enforcement, starting with speed-camera administration.
The following is TPM’s testimony —
Takoma Park Mobilization supports MC 4-21, which would allow Montgomery County to assign speed-camera program implementation to the county Department of Transportation.
The Mobilization (tpmobilization.org) is an advocacy organization with over 2,100 followers. We’re active in climate action and other environmental concerns, immigration, police and justice reform, and economic equity concerns.
You’ve heard from other TP Mob members in support of Community Choice Energy. We anticipate working with you during the 2021 legislative session on matters that include policing – for instance, repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and elimination of School Resource Officer programs – and a Trust Act, immigration data-sharing, and a Dignity Not Detention Act.
We’re pleased to support Councilmember Hans Riemer and his colleagues by backing MC 4-21. Montgomery County should have the option to move automated traffic enforcement to the county Dept. of Transportation, both as a matter of principle – the racial disparities in traffic enforcement call for careful examination of moving civil enforcement out of the Police Department — and as a near-term step toward enabling a comprehensive reexamination of authority and the use of automated technologies for traffic enforcement.
We wish that MC 4-21 could be extended to allow Montgomery County municipalities – Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park – to move their automated traffic-enforcement to a city department of their choice, but Maryland’s Constitution doesn’t allow exceptional treatment of a subset of state municipalities. So we support the bill in its current state.
Please do move MC 4-21 forward.