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Speed Camera Legislation To Affect Montgomery County

There are three bills focused on speed cameras being heard by legislators in Annapolis.

 

I'm not a blogger by nature, most of the time I don't think others want to hear what I have to say but I believe this is one time that they might.

As any driver is probably already aware of this, Maryland has a speed camera program in Montgomery County and a lot of other counties/municipalities in the state. There are three bills that are being heard by committees from legislators in Annapolis.

These bills are being heard by committees on Friday, March 9 and I would encourage everyone to come and voice your opinion about each bill.

I would encourage everyone to read the specifics for themselves, but here is a short synopsis of each:

HB1044 - to enforce local counties and municipalities to recognize constitutional due process and allow ticket recipients to challenge their ticket in a court of law, including asking to see calibration records and being able to use the photographs as evidence of innocence. This is necessary because some courts have adopted the position that the photograph can only be used to convict, but not to exonerate. In short this bill is to force the innocent until proven guilty mentality that our country was built on.

HB944 - removes the state oversight of ticket reviewing. Each citation is currently reviewed by a public servant and determined whether the tag is legible, whether there is only one moving vehicle in the picture and not a second that could be at fault, etc. HB944 seeks to remove this responsibility from the state and give it to the camera manufacturer. The problem with this, is that it is a conflict of interest between the entity that judges whether a violation is valid and the entity that receives profit from when a violation is valid, because they are one in the same.

HB857 - this bill exempts police offers from receiving speed camera tickets, including when they are not responding to an emergency. The problem with this bill is that it says police officers are above the law, as they can break the law without recourse, while the rest of us would receive the ticket/fine if we did the exact same action. This should anger everyone.

If you cannot make it to Annapolis, you can show your support for the constitutional right do being able to fight the ticket if you are innocent (due process) by signing this petition.

Speed cameras should be used as safety devices, and they should be held to the same constitutional laws that an officer issue speeding ticket is held to.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bubba March 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM
It does seem there are conflicting accounts from different government entities. I don't quite understand why a parent would bring their kid into court to transfer liability. Why didn't the parent just tell the kid he had to pay the bill? As far as I know, insurance isn't informed and it is just a simple fee. There were several articles in the gazette a few years ago about Montgomery County police officers getting speed camera tickets while on duty, but not for an emergency. The county tried to stick the cost to the officers who, by and large, refused to pay the fee. I don't recall the end of the fuss, but it seemed the union won the war. Maybe cops are getting speed camera tickets while on duty and actually paying them. Somehow I doubt that is happening.
Brigitta Mullican March 08, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Richard I tried to challenge calibration records of one of my speed tickets where I couldn't possibly have gone as fast as the speed the camera showed. Because the representative of the company in court stated the camera was calibrated correctly, my case was not considered otherwise. Why would the company admit the machine could be wrong? If I was speeding, yes I take responsibility. To this day, I still believe the camera was wrong on my tickets for speeding in front of Rockville High school (5:52 a.m.). I made a left turn from Twinbrook Parkway onto Baltimore Road. It was not a school day.
Brad Smith March 09, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Hi Brigitta, I'm sorry to hear about your frustrating case with the camera. Do you still have the pictures? Is there any way to do a time/distance calculation to try and disprove the ticket. I understand as far as a legal matter it is long over, but this might at least be able to put your heart at rest one way or the other. Have you seen the bills? The 1044 bill is designed to help eliminate miscalculations and wrongful prosecution of violations when the camera is out of calibration.
alez zhang March 16, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Hi Brigitta, My condolence. May I ask how much the court fee is? I got a citation from the speed camera at New Hampshire Ave. After examining the photos, I dare to challenge the citation. Wish me luck and will report back the result in weeks. Alex
ilkunta March 16, 2012 at 09:37 AM
Brad, Hello. If i give you the information from my ticket could you calculate for me?

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