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Multi-County Symposium on Speed Camera Policies, Best Practices Closed to the Public

Updated: Monday, December 9 2013, 05:55 PM EST

A symposium on speed camera policies, best practices and proposed changes for the 2014 session will be closed to the public. Critics say the lack of transparency is concerning.

"The meeting is basically discussing a game plan for pending legislation before the legislature next month," Maryland Drivers Alliance member and retired State Highway official Gene Simmers told FOX45." "It's AAA of Maryland and Montgomery County and PG County police getting their act together, to go to Annapolis and ask for certain things from the Maryland legislature."

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) along with the PG County Police Department, the Montgomery County Department of Police, the Maryland Municipal League, and AAA are sponsoring the symposium, which is only open to county and municipal officials who currently run a speed camera program or are considering one.

Simmers told FOX45 he takes issue with the reason he was given for being barred from the meeting.

"I was told the reason why I can't go into the meeting is they possibly would be discussing pending litigation which is an absolute joke," Simmers said. "With a room of 100 people you're not going to be discussing pending litigation you can't do it."

According to the symposium details posted online, the meeting is designed "to educate local governments on statutory requirements for speed camera programs and best practices for developing vendor contracts, compliance policies and procedures, forming partnerships, and program evaluation."

In response to a FOX45 inquiry on why the meeting would be closed, MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson emailed the following statement;

"MACo and the organizers of this particular event believed that a focused conversation to allow practitioners and advocates to exchange perspectives and practices directly best served the needs of the attendees.  While MACo made note of the meeting in publicly distributed materials, we did so with a clear statement that the event was designed for local government officials who currently operate or are contemplating launching these programs."

Multi-County Symposium on Speed Camera Policies, Best Practices Closed to the Public

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