9:00 AM EDT, June 20, 2013
I received a citation from Baltimore County stating that I had gone 43 mph in a 30 mph zone on Cromwell Bridge Road. There were two pictures attached, showing my car 30-50 feet apart, both labeled 4/26/13 at 6:34:13 p.m.
When I called listed information phone number to try to get the exact time for the two pictures and the distance between them so that I could calculate my speed, I was told that they only had the same information already shown in the pictures. I requested a court date to get this information.
At the hearing on Tuesday, the judge and police officer both told me that the exact times of the photos were not available to the public, that it didn't make any difference because the car's speed was calculated by a laser, and that the exact time and distance between the two pictures was irrelevant.
It seems to be grossly unfair that the public has no way to check whether the speed was correct and must simply accept that the camera was properly calibrated and must be infallible. During my 1-1/2 hours in the courthouse, every driver was found guilty, and had to pay not only the $40 fine but an additional $22.50 in court fees. At the very least, the citation should point out how the speed was calculated and that they was no hope of appealing the citation so that the drivers could avoid wasting hours in court, paying for parking, and then paying an added $22.50 court fees!
Steve Luckman, Baltimore
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