Schools, cameras, action! Speeding fines start in Howard County
Devices that are currently being used in Howard County have been the source of much debate here in Maryland but throughout other areas of the country as well. Law enforcement tools such as speeding cameras and red-light cameras supposedly catch drivers violating traffic laws, snap pictures of the violation, identify the driver and lead to traffic tickets.
The controversy behind these law enforcement tools is that there is no actual officer of the law there to make the judgment call on whether to issue a ticket. Critics of the cameras believe that the tools violate rights to privacy and due process. Now, with speeding cameras at use around some Howard County schools, it won’t be surprising for local debate to increase in volume.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Howard County decided to use speeding cameras around schools because of rampant speeding that supposedly takes place in the child-populated areas. Up until this Wednesday, anyone caught speeding by the cameras in the last month was issued a warning. But the days of a mere warning are over.
If a driver is driving more than 12 mph over the speed limit, the camera will take a picture and identify the supposed offender by the vehicle’s license plate. The driver will be fined $40. That might not sound like a lot, but financial cost is not the only factor that is worth focusing on when it comes to justice.
The Baltimore Sun doesn’t report whether the traffic citations related to the cameras in the school zones will be sent through the mail or delivered in-person by a law enforcement official. Similar matters to this have been successfully challenged in some courts because judges have decided that a ticket through the mail is not sufficient to require a person to pay a fine.
If someone has any doubt whether he should have to pay a traffic ticket, he should not hesitate to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney in his area.
The Baltimore Sun: “Howard police issued 650 speed camera warnings in a month,” Andrea F. Siegel, Nov. 16, 2011