Friday, November 13, 2009

Speed Cam Tickets Now For Real

The 30 day waiting period required by Maryland's new speed camera law has elapsed and it now appears that drivers have been receiving tickets from New Carrollton and Baltimore City. It may be that some drivers -- and perhaps some local governments -- are not aware of all of the restrictions on the use of speed cameras in Maryland. Some drivers pay the fines without questioning, but we urge the recipients of those tickets to examine them closely and ensure the following:
- Citations must be for at less than 12mph over the posted speed limit.
- Citations may be mailed no more than 2 weeks (for Maryland drivers) or 30 days (for out of state drivers) after the alleged violation. A citation dated more than 30 days prior is probably not valid, drivers should not accept the explanation that they attempted to mail it earlier. There have been cases of citations mailed with invalid timestamps.
- Citations must inform you of your right to contest a citation in court. You should always specifically request the operator be present or they are not required to present any witness at all.
- Speed cameras can only be set up in properly marked school zones with standardized signage or in highway work zones. A school zone does not automatically exist within 1/2 mile of a school, and both Baltimore City and New Carrollton have created new school zones simply to install cameras. It may be the case that some cameras were installed before signs were posted, this would not be in compliance with state law and ticket recipients should contest that.
- Locations where the cameras are used must include signs stating that photo enforcement is in use.

If you have recently received a citation which they believe to be in violation of one of the above please contact us.