Maryland Speed Camera Infractions
Although they may sometimes be considered minor offenses, Maryland speed camera infractions can produce unwanted burdens on behalf of the individual involved. Enacted as a tool to reduce speeding in high-risk areas, speed cameras are able to capture an individual and their vehicle as they are speeding, and produce a citation as such. The penalties for a Maryland speed camera infraction include irritating fines, and a possible court date.
To avoid such frustrations, it is important that an individual contact an attorney after they have been dealt a Maryland speed camera infraction. If you choose to contest the ticket, a lawyer can assist you in mounting a defense to minimize or reduce any potential penalties you may be facing.
Purpose of Speed Cameras
Speed cameras are photo enforcement units that automatically capture a vehicle traveling 12 or more miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Maryland law requires that speed cameras only be used in residential areas and school zones where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. Speed cameras are located throughout every county in Maryland. To determine the specific locations for speed cameras, criteria such as the proximity of schools, parks, work zones, and crosswalks were prioritized.
The purpose of speed cameras is to reduce the number of speed-related crashes and increase pedestrian safety. The Maryland Transportation Article section 21-801 states that all individuals should control the speed of their vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with any person or another vehicle. Maryland speed camera infractions are used to promote safer driving on the roads.
Speeding is a traffic infraction, which carries a fine of $40 for each violation. There are no points assigned to an individual’s driver’s record for these types of convictions, and there are no criminal ramifications as these types of tickets are civil citations. The jurisdiction’s police department reviews and signs off on any citations that are sent to the registered owners.
Notification and Appeal
Once a police officer reviews the photograph taken by the speed camera, a citation will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, according to the license plate shown in the photograph. Once an individual receives a citation in the mail, they must either pay the fine or contest the ticket at one of the Maryland District Courts. Failure to respond to the ticket can result in additional fees and penalties.
An individual does not have to sign anything on the citation they received if they paid the citation, but in order to contest the ticket the individual must sign and mail the ticket to a P.O. Box. If an individual contests the ticket and is not satisfied with the judge’s decision, they have 30 days to appeal.
Contesting a Speed Camera Infraction
It is possible to receive a Maryland speed camera infraction even if the individual was not speeding. This can sometimes occur when an individual may be the registered owner of the vehicle, but was not the person driving at the time of the violation. Additionally, it is possible that at the time of the alleged violation, the speed camera machine malfunctioned. An individual must contest their ticket and appear at a hearing at one of the Maryland District Courts to prove their innocence.
If an individual argues that they were not the driver at the time of the violation, they should provide the judge with evidence. This evidence may include a certified statement from the individual’s employer stating that they were at work at the time of the violation, or documentation from a medical professional stating that because of disability or sickness at the time of the violation, the individual in question was in the hospital or at a doctor’s office.
Role of an Attorney
An attorney will be able to request a hearing at one of the Maryland District Courts, and appeal on your behalf at the scheduled hearing. The attorney will make arguments to the judge and provide the judge with evidence that may mitigate your violation or result in the citation being dismissed.