ANNAPOLIS, MD – Beginning October 1, a new Maryland law will allow the use of speed cameras in highway work zones and within a half-mile radius of schools. 

That means the speed cameras can be placed on freeways under these conditions, according to AOL news. Maryland is just the second state -- the first was Arizona -- to legislate the use of freeway speed cameras. On May 19, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law Senate Bill 277. 

Such programs have drawn considerable controversy and opposition. Hawaii once tried such a program but later dropped it. Similar efforts in San Jose, Calif., and southern Florida were also eventually scrapped because they conflicted with state laws. 

Some critics of speed cameras have characterized them as a thinly veiled means for taxing motorists. Critics have also argued that the cameras infringe on motorists' privacy. 

But supporters of speed camera programs argue that they ultimately save lives. 

"A pilot program in Montgomery shows it worked," said Sean Adamec, a spokesman for O'Malley. "It lowered incidences of fatalities, crashing and speeding and made neighborhoods safer." 

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet