Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PG County Cameras Now Live

Prince George's County's new speed camera program is now going live and now issuing tickets.  The initially selected locations are as follows:
File Photo of an Optotraffic Camera
8400-9000 block(s) of Allentown Road
9000-9200 blocks of Muirkirk Road
5700-6300 blocks of Ager Road
7600-6900 blocks of Adelphi Road
9400-9700 blocks of Temple Hill Road
6900-7400 blocks of Walker Mill Road
9100-10000 blocks of Ardwick Ardmore Road
6800-7100 blocks of High Bridge Road
1800-2400 Owens Road
2100-2600 blocks of Sansbury Road
11600-11900 blocks of Old Baltimore Pike
5400-6100 blocks of Sargeant Road
6700-7100 blocks of Columbia Park Road
2100-2400 County Road
9800-9900 blocks of Good Luck Road
9800-10000 blocks of Allentown Road
8300-8600 Contee Road
2200-2500 blocks of Ritchie Road
800-1100 blocks of Hill Road
000-800 blocks of Harry S. Truman Drive
6100-6400 blocks of Auth Road
2000-2300 blocks of Church Road
500-1100 blocks of Brightseat Road
4600-5600 blocks of Brinkley Road
5000-5300 blocks of Marlboro Pike

Tickets will be issued M-Fr 6am-8pm.  The cameras provided by the camera contractor, Optotraffic (a division of Sigma Space Corporation), are housed in a small trailer which is mobile.  New locations can thus be added at any time, including locations which might only recently have been designated as "school zones" specifically for the purpose of adding cameras.  No "warning period" will be required for new locations.  PG county has considered adding as many as 72 speed camera locations, including some locations not previously designated as school zones.  The county signed the contract with Optotraffic earlier this year and selected the initial 'school zone' locations from a list of proposed locations which included both existing school zones and locations never previously designated or marked as school zones.

Tickets will go to the owners of vehicles (not necessarily the driver) who are accused of  traveling 12mph over the posted speed cameras.  However speed cameras do sometimes issue tickets in error.  Optotraffic cameras in particular are of a proprietary design that works entirely unlike traditional police radar or lidar.  A number of drivers have independently asserted that they received erroneous citations from these types of cameras in Brentwood, Cheverly, Forest Heights, College Park, and other locations.

Recipients of questionable citations can either pay the $40 fine like a good compliant sheeple and encourage further negligence on the part of the government and contractors who run speed cameras, or they can request a court hearing.  In some cases people challenging Optotraffic speed camera tickets from Forest Heights have had to weight over a year to receive hearings (Optotraffic has been permitted by the court to schedule court hearings, giving them some control over the timing and setting of court hearings).  Some successfully had their citations overturned.  In ther cases judges accepted  the word of Optotraffic (a company paid based on the number of tickets issued) that essentially there is no evidence the court can accept to challenge the accuracy of the speed measurement and exonerate a driver who believes himself to be innocent -- worse than "Guilty until proven innocent" you are "Guilty even if innocent".  Those who have complaints or concerns should direct them to state and county elected officials who voted for speed cameras rather than to police or the camera contractor.  Officials in agencies which run speed cameras are required to implement and support policies which are set by elected officials.