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Old 2008-03-10
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
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Exclamation Maryland Police Refuse To Pay Speed Camera Tickets

NMA Article: Maryland Police Refuse To Pay Speed Camera Tickets

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Speed cameras in Montgomery County, Maryland have been ticketing motorists for quite some time now. Under their program, the tickets go to the owner of the vehicle instead of the driver. This is a common flaw in ticket camera systems across the country.


Local authorities have decided that it’s acceptable to do this to avoid the hassle of tracking down the actual violators.


The average motorist who receives a speed camera ticket can either fight it in court or send in a check. However, the amount of effort and time necessary to get a speed camera ticket dismissed is substantial. As a result, most drivers — even innocent ones — choose to just pay the ticket in order to avoid taking time off work to go to court.


Limited court costs are a key reason why ticket camera programs are so profitable for local governments.


According to the Washington Post, police in Montgomery County are bucking the trend and have decided to use their union resources to avoid paying camera tickets:


Among the thousands of drivers who have been issued $40 fines after being nabbed by Montgomery County’s new speed cameras are scores of county police officers. The difference is, many of the officers are refusing to pay.


The officers are following the advice of their union, which says the citations are issued not to the driver but to the vehicle’s owner — in this case, the county.


So basically, they’ve decided to exploit the flaw in the system that they helped create. The article continues:


That view has rankled Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and County Council Member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), who chairs the Public Safety Committee.


“You can’t have one set of laws for police officers and another one for the rest of the world,” Andrews said.


Unfortunately, too often this appears to be the case, creating unnecessary tension between police officers and motorists:


In recent weeks, officers have twice been photographed speeding past a camera and extending a middle finger, an act that police supervisors interpreted as a gesture of defiance. “There is no excuse for that kind of behavior,” said Andrews, who was briefed on the incidents.


During the last eight months of 2007, the department’s cameras recorded 224 instances in which county police vehicles were nabbed traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit, the department disclosed this week in response to an inquiry from The Washington Post.


Of those citations, 76 were dismissed after supervisors determined that officers were responding to calls or had other valid reasons to exceed the speed limit. Nearly two-thirds of the remaining 148 fines have not been paid, including an unspecified number that remain under investigation, said Lt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. He said the number of citations issued to police employees this year is not yet available.


It will be interesting to see whether the officers will be held to same standard as normal citizens, who would most certainly face consequences if they refused to pay their tickets.


Image Credit: MikeSchinkel


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  #2 (permalink)   IP: 192.168.0.1
Old 2008-03-10
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Veil Guy Veil Guy is offline
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Default That's rich

NMA Reporter,

Now that's rich. You've got to love the irony in this.

Funny thing, I have been known to gesture the 'same' way to speed cameras and red light cameras myself.

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Protect yourself from speeding tickets[/b] with the VEIL stealth coating.

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  #3 (permalink)   IP: 72.17.137.218
Old 2008-03-11
steagall1000 steagall1000 is offline
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Cool They don't even care!!

Veil Guy,

This article you posted on the police refusing to pay, really pisses me off!! This is just one more reason why I can't stand COPS!!! Departments and the local government feel Cops don't have to abide by the same laws Motorist do apparently.. This is just another reason showing how our government spends our tax dollars. Problem is No one is willing to stand up and Fight other than people like you, and Me and the NMA. They just pay the ticket and forget about it. Our economy is bad enough as it is. We need someone to stand up for the people in this country, and put america back where it was 60 years ago!! Here is what I think of our government and its politicians
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Old 2008-03-11
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Default

GB,

The beauty of this story is that the officers are using this corrupted "system" against itself.

Since tickets/citations are issued to the owners of the vehicles (which, in these cases, may be shared by more than one officer on any given day) instead of the drivers the "owners" are either the county or state.

I applaud their position because this, I believe, can be interpreted as an objection to the nonsensical corruption [that] photo enforcement and speed cameras have on our long-established [and cherished] rights to due process under the law.

Veil Guy


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Protect yourself from speeding tickets[/b] with the VEIL stealth coating.

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  #5 (permalink)   IP: 72.17.137.218
Old 2008-03-11
steagall1000 steagall1000 is offline
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Default Silly Cops :)

Veil Guy,

Isn't that funny So the state gets the ticket huh! I love it. Maybe they will finally fix this serious issue. I don't think motorist realize how serious a problem this really is.
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