Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The new Darnestown speed cameras are not the only ones where citizens have complained about the extreme closeness of the cameras to the speed cameras to a significant drop in the speed limit. According to an article in the Potomac Almanac, defendants have gone to court to challenge citations issued by cameras on River Road in Potomac where the speed limit drops from 40 to 30, and the location of a speed camera van was just 100 yards (3-4 seconds driving time) past the 30mph sign.

According to that article, "the judge told everyone contesting their camera tickets that the only acceptable "not guilty" plea was if someone else had been driving their car at the time the ticket was issued, and to present that driver." This demonstrates that
  • the current law regarding speed camera has been interpreted by judges as placing the burden of proof on defendants
  • that the district court judges are NOT considering valid defenses about the fairness of speed camera locations or of the legality of the tactic being used by Montgomery County
  • that defendants are being considered guilty until proven innocent, that drivers are effectively being subjected to trial by machine,
  • that everything the county and state have told us about getting a fair, impartial hearing is a pack of lies
When confronted with the issue of placing cameras extremely close to a drop in the speed limit, the county defended the practice and indicated that there is no regulation in the law that specifies the distance between a posted speed limit sign and a speed camera. Therefore anyone driving in Montgomery county must assume that this will be done more and more in the future, and that we will be subjected to zero tolerance photo enforcement. Given the speed camera legislation which is before the General Assembly RIGHT NOW this may very soon apply to nearly every road in the state, not just Montgomery County.

If you do not find this acceptable and want to help us stop this FRAUD against local and visiting motorists, please CONTACT US.