Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Speed Cameras, Bag Fees Part of Prince George’s Legislation

Similar to the installation of speed cameras along Route 210 in Fort Washington, more are proposed in other parts of Prince George’s County.

Businesses in the jurisdiction could be imposed with a 5 cent fee for the sale of disposable plastic and paper bags.

These are two pieces of proposed legislation state lawmakers which represent the county plan to present when the Maryland General Assembly convenes Jan. 8 in Annapolis.

Although public school education will be the most high-profile topic based on recommendations from the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission, lawmakers hope that isn’t sought to solve all problems.

“Let’s not use the Kirwan Commission as a vehicle to do everything,” said Del. Alonzo Washington (D-District 22) of Greenbelt.

Washington and others from the county’s House delegation discussed possible legislation that could be reviewed during the 90-day session that would only affect Prince George’s.

Lawmakers earlier this year approved installing no more than three speed cameras, formally known as speed monitoring systems, along Route 210, a highway designated as one of the most dangerous highways in the state.

Two more sets are proposed in areas some say are just as dangerous: along Croom Road between Mount Calver and Molly Berry roads in Upper Marlboro and on Church Road between Old Stage Road and Dunwood Valley Drive in Bowie.

In June, police said a 14-year-old boy was fatally struck by a vehicle at intersection of Church Road and Fairview Vista Drive. Six delegates are sponsoring the legislation on behalf of the delegation, according to a bill summary.

“It’s a tool to give Prince George’s County [and] for us to address, particularly traffic issues,” Prince George’s County Council Chair Todd Turner said in support of the cameras along Church Road. “We lead the state in some of those categories and we are trying to address those issues.”

Del. Jay Walker (D-District 24) of Fort Washington asked about certain statistics to determine whether speed cameras are needed, such as traffic congestion and number of vehicular and pedestrian accidents.

“I wasn’t a big fan of speed cameras,” he said. “However, one thing I’ve learned about speed cameras. They do make people slow down, but what are the numbers [to back it up]?”

“A young kid was killed on that street and that was enough for me,” said County Council Vice Chair Calvin Hawkins II.

Meanwhile, the county could join other jurisdictions such as Montgomery County to implement a 5 cent levy on disposable bags.

According to the legislation, money generated would go toward to provide reusable bags for residents, litter cleanup activities and other resources.

If approved, it would take effect in October 2020.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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