A Bethesda businessman and former Congressional candidate, Daniel Zubairi, has launched a petition drive which would force SB-277, statewide speed cameras, to a referendum. They have created an organization “Maryland for Responsible Enforcement” and a website Statewide Anti-Camera Petition Drive Begins in Maryland to promote the referendum and have filed the required paperwork with the state. There is also a www.mdscamera.com dedicated to the effort.
Maryland rules on forcing a new law to a referendum are extremely strict, requiring a petition with signatures equal to 3% of the total number of votes cast for governor in the last election, or 53,650. Those signatures must all be collected within 60 days of the bill’s passage and must be hand-written (not electronic). However if the drive is successful the chances of a statewide vote overturning the legislature is strong : despite claims by speed camera supporters that the devices are popular, no speed camera program has ever survived a referendum vote.
We will have more on this as it develops.