Delaware considers use of ‘speed cameras’ in school zones

Delaware lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the use of automatic speed enforcement cameras in Dover and Wilmington. Motorists violating the speed limit would be notified of fines up to $75 through the mail.

State Rep. John “Larry” Mitchell said the bill he introduced would establish a pilot program to provide speed monitoring through video and radar, similar to red light cameras at intersections.

“Each jurisdiction would be allowed five school zones to place them in their respective jurisdictions,” said Mitchell, D-New Castle. “As far as the speeds, we’re allowing in the statute itself — up to 11 miles over the speed limit before you’re actually issued a ticket for speeding in a school zone.”

Mitchell said lawmakers have been forced to look at innovative ways to provide safety and quality of life to people in Delaware, because right now there isn’t enough money to keep adding officers.

“This has really been brought about because the way the economy is,” he said.

Ronald Ely, the editor of the StopBigBrotherMD.org, opposes use of the speed cameras.

“They’re trying to use our justice system as a revenue system. What we have observed in Maryland is there have been some cases where speed limits have been lowered as the cameras were introduced,” said Ely. “They create a new school zone and lower the speed limit just so they can put up a speed camera and issue tickets.”

Violations would not be made a part of a person’s driving record and could not be used to affect a driver’s car insurance rates.

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