By: Josie Wawrzyniak
By the time you read this you may already be one of the unwary motorists who have been caught by one of the new speed cameras operating in the City of Frederick. Whether you are one of these unfortunate drivers or soon to be one, the fact is that these cameras are being installed throughout the city.
Installation of the speed cameras or the “automated speed monitoring program” as the system is known officially, began in May 2011. There are currently eight cameras in operation.
The cameras work by measuring a vehicle’s speed. They record the vehicle’s image when the vehicle exceeds a defined speed threshold. The date, time, location of the violation, vehicle speed and images of the vehicle’s license plate are recorded and mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle with a civil citation for the violation.
A sign is posted before each camera to alert drivers to its presence and to give drivers a chance to slow down. The signs measure about 18 inches high by 24 inches wide and are not especially noticeable. They are not orange, or yellow or red but have dark text on a light background. They look like many other road signs.
For the first 30 days following the installation of a camera, registered drivers of vehicles who exceed the posted speed limit by 12 miles per hour will receive warning notices in the mail. The second violation or one occurring after the first 30 days of camera operation will result in a citation. Each violation carries a maximum $40 fine.
A typical citation issued under the same circumstances by a police officer would be $140 and would assign two points to the violator’s license. Photo citations are not reported to insurance companies and no points are assessed to the violator’s driver’s license. Under Maryland law, photo camera images can only be used to issue a citation if a vehicle exceeds the posted speed limit by 12 mph or more.
Frederick speed camera locations (source: www.cityoffrederick.com): Southbound in the 1700, block of Opossumtown Pike, Westbound in the 7400 block of Hayward Road, Eastbound in the 7300 block of Hayward Road, Westbound in the 1300 block of Butterfly Lane, Southbound in the 1600 block of North Market Street, Northbound in the 1400 block of North East Street, Southbound in the 1400 block of North East Street, and Southbound Motter Ave. at N. Frederick Elementary School.
The City of Frederick may soon have up to 20 cameras. The camera systems are mobile and can be moved to other locations at any time.