Monday, February 6, 2012

SafeZones Speed Cameras "Nail the Innocent Too"

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Baltimore Sun:
It seems everyone has a speed camera story, and here is mine. Just after Christmas I received a citation from Maryland Safe Zones Automated Speed Enforcement in the mail. It was not my car; I was not in the place at the time specified, and the picture of the license plate was virtually unreadable. I was offered the option of paying $40 or asking for a court date. I chose the latter and received a letter a couple of weeks later stating that I needed to appear in District Court in Towson at 9 a.m. on Jan. 31.

Fortunately, I appeared before a judge who was full of good humor, compassion and common sense. After my name was called and I walked to the front of the courtroom, I was asked if it was my car in the picture. I replied in the negative. Next, the judge looked at the citation and without hesitation said, "Case dismissed. I cannot read this license plate. Not guilty." All of that took about 30 seconds, and I didn't need to present evidence in my defense. Interestingly enough, the same thing happened to the man who was called before me.

To dispute this inaccurate citation, I had to drive 54 miles in morning traffic, which took me 90 minutes of drive time, and pay a $5 parking fee, not to mention the cost of gas and missing time off from work.
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