Speed camera legislation dies
Apr. 3, 2002

The effort to catch county drivers speeding on camera ended this year as two bills were tabled in Annapolis last month.

County officials endorsed the use of the cameras in March as a deterrent for speeding after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run accident while crossing the street in Silver Spring.

The legislation would have allowed law enforcement officials to set up cameras using a radar device to determine if a driver was speeding, and it would photograph speeding drivers. A similar system exists in the District of Columbia.

The cameras are useful, but should not be used as a money-making scheme, said Mahlon "Lon" Anderson, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, the local branch of a national automobile association.

"If this legislation had been enacted ... we could have had a model program in the nation," Anderson said. "The question is whether you want to use them to deter speeding or you want them to make money."

Anderson said he testified in favor of the bills, but "I just think the authors didn't know enough to know all of the pitfalls."

Another pedestrian-friendly bill is likely to become law this year, however. Both the state House of Delegates and the state Senate have passed bills unanimously making it a felony to leave the scene of an accident "involving serious bodily injury or death."

Spill disrupts downtown businesses

A few businesses in Silver Spring got a nasty surprise when an old grease barrel overturned last week.

The receptacle had been left behind on Mayor Lane by a restaurant that is now closed. A delivery truck was driving down the one-way street behind the storefronts on Georgia Avenue Wednesday afternoon when it knocked over the barrel, spilling about 150 gallons of oil and grease into the narrow back street.

"It's almost like a hit and run," said Geoff Durham, a county services manager who helped handle the situation.

Firefighters were called to the spill Thursday, but soon the state Department of the Environmental protection was called. A communications problem led local businesses to call a state senator, and the job was handed to local environmental officials. The clean-up was under way by Thursday afternoon.

In the meantime, a few parking spaces were lost, and officials closed the street most of Thursday causing some businesses to lose a day to a stroke of bad luck.

"It was kind of an inconvenience," said Charles Atwell, whose business is on Mayor.

More information

on office assault

Montgomery County Police have released new information on a January assault that has left a Laurel woman incapable of telling police information that could produce further leads.

There are no suspects yet in the attack, police said last week, but they said office equipment was taken from the Humanitas Inc. office at 8630 Fenton Street in connection with the crime. The missing laptop computers are a Dell Inspirion 7000 with a computer service tag of EKMWC, and a Chembook 6120 NN with serial number NB00116120NDT14036.

The 48-year-old woman had told co-workers on a Friday that she would be coming into work the next day. On Monday, Jan. 28, office workers found her unconscious from a blow to the head.

Police ask anyone with information about the attack to call 3rd District headquarters at 301-565-5835 or Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777.