Sykesville Town Council OKs ordinance allowing speed cameras

February 24, 2010|By Charles Schelle Patuxent Publications

Carroll County should have its first speed cameras installed this year after the Sykesville Town Council's vote this week.

At its meeting at the Town House and after a second public hearing, the council voted 5-1 in favor of speed cameras.

"I'm ecstatic," Police Chief John Williams Jr. told The Carroll Eagle. "Time and time again, the No. 1 issue in our town is speeding, speeding, speeding."

The ordinance will take effect in 21 days, Town Manager Matt Candland said.

The first step is to talk with the District Court to agree on a standard citation and charging document to be used, as well as to see what kind of caseload would be placed on the courts, Williams said. Other jurisdictions in Maryland have seen about 3 percent of violators contest the ticket, but 1.5 percent show up to court, he said.

A state law that went into effect Oct. 1, 2009, authorizes counties and municipalities in Maryland to use speed cameras, but local jurisdictions must approve an ordinance that defines school zones and areas where the cameras might be placed. According to the state law, cameras are only allowed within a half-mile of a school zone where the speed limit is 35 mph or less, or in a State Highway Administration construction zone.

As far as reviewing tickets goes, Williams will have the final say on whether a ticket is approved or not, he said.

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