Courts Uphold Speeding Citations in School Zones
Lanham, MD; November 7, 2011—In two recent court cases, Maryland judges confirmed the accuracy of Optotraffic laser-based automated safety equipment. On October 20, Maryland District Court Judge Lawrence V. Hill, Jr. issued his decision in the case of Town of Forest Heights vs. Eastover Auto Supply. The judge found Eastover guilty on all 18 speeding citations brought before the court. Previously, Maryland District Court Judge Gerard Devlin, also found Eastover Auto Supply guilty on the 15 speeding citations before his court.
“Our equipment continues to meet or exceed all tests for accuracy and reliability. The judges’ findings certainly dispel any doubt about the accuracy and legality of our technology and the program,” said Tim Ayers, spokesman for Optotraffic.
A representative for Eastover argued that speed cameras are inaccurate and the citations should be dismissed. His unfounded argument generated significant local media coverage during recent months, drawing support even from misled representatives of AAA Mid-Atlantic who surprisingly made false claims regarding the legality of the automated speed enforcement program and the accuracy of the systems.
Maryland based Optotraffic is deploying portable automated safety equipment in Prince George’s County Maryland school zones. In testimony before the courts, it was explained that the police test and confirm the accuracy of the Optotraffic units on site, using police vehicles, in a two-way test: calibrated speedometer readings as well as independent RADAR. All three—the Optotraffic unit, the speedometer and RADAR—must register within plus-minus one mile per hour of each other. All Optotraffic units have passed this test.
In the Optotraffic system, speed is measured as a vehicle passes between two laser beams. If a speed violation is identified, a camera then takes a photograph of the vehicle. A common misconception is that “speed cameras” capture violations simply by photographs. Speed is measured by a sensor in advance of photographing the vehicle.
The Forest Heights automated speed enforcement systems were located in school zones. A recent independent study in four Prince George’s suburban municipalities shows a consistent—sometimes dramatic—reduction in vehicle speed and accidents when speed cameras are used near schools.