There’s a new controversy over speed cameras in one part of Montgomery County Monday night. The issue is around how to spend the money made from the fines imposed.
In Chevy Chase Village, the police department wants to buy tasers with the money — but that’s not sitting well with everyone.
Montgomery County expects to rake in $29 million from speed camera tickets this year. Now, one of its villages wants to spend part of its share on tasers — 12 of them for each officer in the Chevy Chase Village Police Department.
“It gives us the opportunity to equip each of our officers with a less-than-lethal device,” said Chief Roy Gordon of the Chevy Chase Village Police Department.
For some drivers who are already fed up with the seemingly ubiquitous cameras, the plan to spend the revenue on electroshock weapons is just icing on the cake.
“I think that’s about as backward as you could possibly sculpt a law and I say [thumbs down],” said David Bernstein, a driver.
Even Phil Andrews, president of the Montgomery County Council, has reservations. “I think the best use of the money from speed cameras is to have it go back into initiatives that improve traffic safety, pedestrian safety and emergency response to traffic crashes,” he said.
But Andrews says the village may we be within its rights. Under county law, funds from speed cameras must be used for public safety and it can be argued tasers serve that purpose.
“I think it’s fine. If that’s where they need to use the funds to make Chevy Chase safer, I think they should,” said Scott Foreman, a driver.
In addition to the $30,000 it would spend on tasers, Chevy Chase Village also plans to spend more than $1 million for a sidewalk on Brookville Road, and more than $4 and-a-half million for new streetlights.
It’s now getting feedback from the public.
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