Baltimore Doubles Down on Speed and Red Light Cameras

Last week, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced that it is pushing its chips to the center of the table when it comes to speed and red light cameras.

Baltimore has a program called the City’s Automated Traffic Violation Enforcement System (ATVES).  Not so much to me because I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined by speed and running red lights, but ATVES sounds very Orwellian to many Baltimore City drivers. ATVES is in charge of the automated speed trap and red light enforcement cameras in Baltimore City.

ATVES also does something that troubles people less, particularly those who have seen truck accident statistics in this country. It has a Commercial Vehicle Height Monitoring System Camera Program to enforce violations of commercial vehicles traveling on truck restricted roadways in Baltimore City.  We got a million dollar verdict in a case a few years back in no small measure because the jury was annoyed that the truck was in a place that it clearly should not have been.   This system definitely uses some bring brother technology,  using the truck’s height to determine whether the vehicle is over ¾ of a ton).

Where Are the New Speed Camera?

speed red light camerasThe city is not playing hide the ball, here.  They tell us exactly where the speed cameras are located.

  • Yorkwood Elementary School: 5800 – 6100 Hillen Road
  • Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School: 1800 – 2200 North Calvert Street
  • Frederick Douglass High School: 2200 – 2600 North Monroe Street
  • Montebello Elementary/Middle School: 2000 – 2400 Erdman Avenue
  • Barclay Elementary School: 200 – 400 East 29th Street
  • Institute of Notre Dame & Henderson-Hopkins Elementary School: 800 – 2000 East Eager Street
  • North Bend Elementary/Middle School: 100 – 400 North Bend Road
  • Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary School: 1300 – 1600 Harford Avenue
  • Baltimore Collegiate School For Boys & Cardinal Shehan School: 900 – 1500 Woodbourne Avenue
  • Beechfield Elementary/Middle School: 4400 – 5100 Frederick Avenue
  • Dickey Hill Elementary: 2000 – 2200 North Forest Park Avenue
  • Patterson High School: 200 – 400 Kane Street
  • Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School: 1400 – 1700 Eutaw Place
  • Furman L. Templeton Elementary School: 1000 – 1300 Druid Hill Avenue
  • Alexander Hamilton Elementary School/Empowerment Academy: 2500 – 3000 Edmondson Avenue
  • The Mount Washington School: 5700 – 5900 Smith Avenue
  • Mercy High School and Leith Walk Elementary School: 1100 – 1400 East Northern Parkway
  • Roland Park Country School/Gilman School: 4800 – 5500 Roland Avenue
  • Baltimore City College High School: 1000 – 1300 East 33rd Street

Starting on March 9th, these speed cameras will get you if you are going 12 miles per hour over the speed limit. They are only turned on  Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The cost of an infraction is only $40.00 and these tickets do not impact the points on your license.

Where Are the Red Light Cameras?

baltimore red light cameras

Baltimore Inner Harbor

The big difference between the speed cameras and the red light cameras is that the red light cameras are on 24/7.  Why the difference?  Speed kills but the side impact crashes from running red lights really kill.

  • Eutaw Street and Saratoga Street
  • West Lombard Street and South Charles Street
  • The Alameda and East Cold Spring Lane
  • Park Heights Avenue and West Belvedere Avenue
  • Erdman Avenue and Federal Street
  • East 33rd Street and Loch Raven Boulevard (near Balt. City College)
  • Moravia Road and Sinclair Lane
  • Gwynn Falls Parkway and Reisterstown Road (most dangerous intersection in Baltimore)
  • Russell Street and Bush Street
  • Russell Street and Bayard Street
  • Falls Road and West 41st Street
  • East Cold Spring Lane and York Road (near Loyola)
  • Frederick Avenue and Beechfield Avenue
  • East Madison Street and North Broadway (near JHH)
  • East Monument Street and North Broadway (also near JHH)
  • East Fayette Street and North President Street
  • Reisterstown Road and West Northern Parkway
  • Reisterstown Road and West Cold Spring Lane
  • Dundalk Avenue and O’Donnell Street

What Are Your Options If You Get a Ticket?

We are not criminal defense lawyers.  But we know people coming here want to know what their options if they get a speed camera or red light camera ticket.  So it makes sense to give you some information on the law and your options.

Section 21-809(d)(5) gives the recipient of a speed camera citation two options. The person who receives a citation may either “(i) Pay the civil penalty…; or (ii) Elect to stand trial in the District Court for the alleged violation.”

What are the speed camera ticket defenses?

If the person elects trial instead of paying fine, the statute authorizes three defenses.  Those defenses are (i) the motor vehicle or registration plates were stolen, (ii) the person named in the citation was not operating the vehicle, and (iii) “[a]ny other issues and evidence that the District Court deems pertinent.” §21-809(3)(f)(1)(i) – (iii).

“I was not driving the car”

To satisfy the defense ‘that the person named in the citation was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation”, §21-809(f)(3) states:

(3) To satisfy the evidentiary burden under paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection, the person named in the citation shall provide to the District Court a letter, sworn to or affirmed by the person and mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, that:

 (i) States that the person named in the citation was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation;
(ii) Provides the name, address, and, if possible, the driver’s license identification number of the person who was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation; and
(iii) Includes any other corroborating evidence

So this is good news, right?  You can try to get out of this without a court appearance.  So what happens is the court receives and reviews the letter from the person named in the citation who was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.  From there, Maryland law requires the following procedure:

(i) If the District Court finds that the person named in the citation was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation or receives evidence under paragraph (3) of this subsection identifying the person driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, the clerk of the court shall provide to the local police department a copy of any evidence substantiating who was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.
(ii) On receipt of substantiating evidence from the District Court under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the local police department may issue a citation as provided in subsection (d) of this section to the person who the evidence indicates was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.
(iii) A citation issued under subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph shall be mailed no later than 2 weeks after receipt of the evidence from the District Court.

So there is a downside, right? You have to rat out your spouse, friend, or child that was driving the vehicle.

Please keep in mind that Miller & Zois is a personal injury law firm in Baltimore that focuses exclusively on fighting for victims who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in accident and malpractice cases. We do not handle traffic ticket charges.