Monday, August 18, 2008

Montgomery County Speed Camera Mistakenly Accuses Innocent Drivers of 100mph Rampage

The Washington Post reported that a couple from Silver Spring driving a Toyota Echo economy car were ticketed by a Montgomery County "Safe Speed" camera for traveling 100 Miles per hour in a 30 mph zone, on a windy uphill road during rush hour. No they were not in fact driving anywhere near 100 mph. The couple had already paid the citation because a $40 ticket "wasn't worth the hassle of contesting the ticket in district court." The Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit in Rockville only responded to several letters they sent after the Washington Post and WTTG television got involved.

County Police eventually admitted the mistake and have said the $40 fine which the accused had already paid would be refunded. The county has also said it will revise it's procedures to ensure that similar problems to not occur again. It is unclear whether those new procedures would make it more or less likely for the county to admit a similar error if the speed reading were off by 11-12 mph rather than 70mph.