New Carrollton's fledgling speed camera program is now in full swing and we have been getting many reports of tickets issued from there. The Gazette reported that in its first month New Carrollton issued 7,653 citations issued for a camera posted at the intersection of Good Luck Road and Cathedral Avenue, and 6,608 at the intersection of Riverdale Road and Lamont Drive. That total (14,261 citations) is more than the number of residents in New Carrollton. Assuming all citations were paid this works out to about $342,000 of net revenue for the City and about $228,000 of income for the contractor, Optotraffic.
Strangely enough the number of Citations issued in November is vastly more than the mere 150 warnings which the city previously stated they had given out during the legally required 30 day warning period in October. This indicates that New Carrollton may not have made a serious effort to issue warnings to drivers during the warning period.
New Carrollton has been using mobile units, apparently trailer based, which can function both as speed and red light cameras (See Company's description).
We have received multiple reports from ticket recipients who were given less than a week to either pay or challenge a citation from New Carrollton after the date it was received, in one case they even reportedly were unable to pay because the payment website was down. It is unclear whether New Carrollton will follow the policy of tacking on late charges immediately after the due date.
We have also received multiple reports from drivers who received citations more than 2 weeks after the date of the alleged violation. The Maryland law governing speed cameras specifies that citations issued to Maryland residents must be mailed within 2 weeks, or 30 days for out of state drivers. We strongly recommend you NOT pay any citations mailed outside of this due date. It is unreasonable to expect a defendant to be able to gather evidence in their defense weeks after an alleged violation has ocurred, especially signs may have been added or changed in that location in the interim. You should insist that these citations be dismissed without your having to go to court. Remember that the burden of proof is on the government: If you receive a citation 18 days later the fact that they deliberately did not include a postmark does not excuse the city's failure to comply with state law!
New Carrolton's program is particularly disturbing given their history of violating state and federal guidelines with their red light camera program resulting in large numbers of citations being mailed to drivers who came to a complete stop at intersections.
If you want to protest this situation, you should always direct criticisms and complaints to the state lawmakers who voted for the cameras, or to the local elected officials in New Carrollton:
Mayor Andrew C. Hanko
Phone: 301-577-0256 ; Fax: 301-459-8172 ;
Councilmember Duane H. Rosenberg
Phone: 301-441-3324; Fax: 301-459-8172 ;
Councilmember James A. Wildoner
Phone: 301-577-0992 ; Fax: 301-459-8172 ; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember June D. Garrett
Phone: 301-459-6100 ; Fax: 301-459-8172 ; Email: email@example.com
Councilmember Katrina R. Dodro
Phone: 301-513-9239 ; Fax: 301-459-8172 ; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Richard Bechtold
Phone: 240-770-7581 ; Fax: 301-459-8172 ; Email: email@example.com
Mailing Address for Mayor and Council Members:
6016 Princess Garden Parkway
New Carrollton, MD 20784
If you are challenging a citation you should contact Police in New Carrollton (or the appropriate jurisdiction) to request information pertaining to the defense of your case, but speed cameras are a political issue and police do not set public policy so you should not send them letters regarding public policy. You should never consider it acceptable for an elected official to have a police officer respond on their behalf (as the County Executive in Montgomery County frequently did for that county's program[ref]).
If you wish to contact the contractor, Optotraffic, they are a division of Sigma Space Corporation is headquartered at 4801 Forbes Boulevard, Lanham, Maryland, 20706; ph# 301-552-6300.
Other towns in Prince George's County are about to follow suit: Bowie, Berwyn Heights, Capitol Heights, Riverdale Park, District Heights, Cheverly, and Brentwood are among the towns which are in the process of adding cameras. Most of the planned locations are in school zones which were recently created specifically for the purpose of adding cameras, in some cases on major state highways which only barely come within 1/2 mile of the grounds of a school. And the county government has asked the County Revenue Authority to select approximately 50 camera locations. That is just for starters. Within a few years Prince George's County may have more ticket cameras per capita than any other part of the country.
It is now up to the people of Prince George's County whether they will allow themselves to be surrounded by so many cameras that even diligent drivers end up paying a monthly bill to every small town which sets their own standards without oversight, or whether The People are going to be patriots and fight back. Every time someone 'just pays the fine', they are saying 'I won't speak up, please add more cameras and send me more tickets'. Every time someone fails to challenge a citation, they say 'I'm willing to surrender my constitutional rights to face my accuser and to be presumed innocent'.
What are YOU going to do?
- ► 2016 (13)
- ► 2015 (39)
- ► 2014 (82)
- ► 2013 (102)
- ► 2012 (66)
- ► 2011 (88)
- ► 2010 (69)
- ▼ December 2009 (4)
Our Top Stories
- Rockville Falsely Accuses School Bus of Speeding
- Montgomery County Has Secret Speed Camera Committee -- Press and Critics Not Welcome
- Montgomery Speed Camera "OmBudsman" Won't Answer Questions
- Montgomery County Issues Erroneous Tickets
- College Park Cited Stationary Bus for Speeding
- Montgomery County ATEU Defends Culture of Secrecy
- How Two-Faced Triple-A Gave Maryland Speed Cameras
- "Secret" Baltimore Speed Camera Audit Found 10% Error Rate
- Speed Camera Reform Act Just a Big Fat Lie
- Court Rules Against Morningside on Public Records Access
- Speed Camera Company Celebrates "Bounty System" Loophole
- Montgomery County Steals Lanes for Expensive Bus Program
- Wicomico County Teachers Say Camera is Not Accurate
- Montgomery Council President Rice Racked Up Tickets
- Circuit Court Rules Innocence is a Defense, Rejects "Snitch" Requirement
- Baltimore Ends Camera Contract, Moves to Hides Records
- Montgomery Scamera Boss Lies About Red Light Camera "Warning Flashes"
- Montgomery County Camera Boss Blocks Public From Secret Meeting
- Salisbury Records Show Calibration Lapses, Sorry No Refunds!!
- Speed Camera Accuracy Questioned in Morningside
- Attorny General Gansler Depicted as "Reckless Passenger"
- Morningside Deployed Cameras Despite County Denial
- Morningside Admits Maintaining No Calibration Records, Doesn't Operate Own Cameras
- ACLU Documents Mass Tracking of Motorists By License Plate Scannrs
- Brekford Demands Tribute to See Calibration Records
- Access To Brekford Calibration Records Stalled in Salisbury, Morningside
- Public and Private Lobbyists Worked to Kill Speed Camera Reform
- Montgomery County Speed Camera Transforms Toyota into Dodge
- Montgomery County Boasts Error Rate "Under Ten Percent"
- Speed Camera Company Collects Dirt on Competitors
- Woman Gets 3 Tickets from DC Without Going There
- Legislature Raises Gas Tax
- Laurel, Hagerstown Circumvent Calibration Requirement
- Speed Camera Calibration Fails To Ensure Accuracy
- Speed Camera Programs Flout Sunshine Law
- Xerox Admits 5% Error Rate For Speed Camera Tickets
- Baltimore Cites Motionless Car For Speeding
- O'Malley Says Speed Camera Bounties Are Illegal
- Baltimore Ticketed Innocent Delivery Vehicle: Documents Prove Speed Camera Error
- Rockville Sees Huge Surge in Red Light Violations
- Trucking Company Challenges Accuracy of Baltimore Citations: Videos Prove Speed Camera Errors
- Speed Camera Salesman Caught Speeding AGAIN
- Riverdale Park Defends Forgery of Police Signatures
- High Court Rules Local Governments Above the Law
- Riverdale Park Allowed Civilians to Forge Police Approvals
- Baltimore Speed Camera Issues Ticket to the Dead
- Statewide Speed Cameras Now a $77Million Per Year Industry
- PG County Court Presumes All Defendants Guilty
- Town Releases Documents Proving Errors With Optotraffic Cameras
- Man arrested for asserting innocence in speed camera hearing
- Optotraffic Representative Caught Speeding
- Driver Uses Carchip to Challenge Optotraffic Camera
- Deceased Baltimore Cop Signs 2000 Citations
- Montgomery County Denies Right To Face Camera Operator In Court
- ACS Buys Steak Dinners For Lawmakers
- Baltimore City Issues Hundreds of Tickets in Error
- Baltimore Writes Speed Camera Revenues Into Budget Before Cameras Approved
- Camera Mistakenly Accuses Driver of 100mph Rampage
- Montgomery County Scamera Contract Includes Massive PR Campaign
- Optotraffic Investigates Possible Speed Camera Errors
- Speed Camera Legislation Attracts Lobbyists
- Sykesville Voters Overturn Speed Cameras in Referendum
- Traffic Engineering Techniques Out-perform Speed Cameras
- Transportation Planning Board Unveils Plan to Track and Tax Drivers