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Update: MCP Response to District Court Ruling Regarding Jones Bridge Road Speed Camera

District Court Judge John Moffett ruled today for Attorney Robin Ficker agreeing that a speed camera on Jones Bridge Road was improperly placed. On September 5, 2012, Mr. Ficker was issued a civil citation for speeding in the amount of $40 from a speed camera located in the 4300 block of Jones Bridge Road in Bethesda.  Mr. Ficker argued that the speed camera was improperly placed.

According to § 21-809(vi) of Maryland Transportation Article, a speed-monitoring system may be placed:

  1. On a highway in a residential district, as defined in § 21-101 of this title, with a maximum posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour, which speed limit was established using generally accepted traffic-engineering practices; or
  2. In a school zone established under § 21-803.1 of this subtitle.

Maryland Transportation Article § 21-101 defines a residential district as:

  1. Not a business district; or
  2. An area that adjoins and includes a highway where the property along the highway, for a distance of at least 300 feet, is improved mainly with residences or residences and buildings used for business.

Mr. Ficker’s argument was that the speed camera was not placed within 300 feet of a residence.  The law, however, states that the speed camera must be placed on a roadway that contains at least 300 feet of residences, not that the speed camera must be placed within 300 feet of a residence.

Also, based on Montgomery County Department of Technology Services Geographic Information Systems (DTS-GIS), Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), and U.S. Census Bureau data, the section of Jones Bridge Road between Connecticut Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue is a zoned residential area.

Based on the guidelines set forth by the Maryland Transportation Article and the data obtained from the Montgomery County DTS-GIS, the M-NCPPC, and the U.S. Census Bureau, the Montgomery County Police Department maintains that the speed camera was properly placed.  The Department continues to monitor the speed-camera program to ensure compliance with state guidelines.

Judge Moffett’s decision does not establish a precedent that will be binding in other cases presented in court, and the decision in this case does not require a modification of Department policy.  The Department will not be reviewing other cases in which citations were issued by this speed camera.

For more information on the process for selection of a location for a speed camera, click here.

 
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