Ask A Cop: Installing Speed Cameras, Pedestrians in Crosswalks

Montgomery County Police spokesman answers questions submitted by Patch readers— including those about privately installed speed cameras, when to stop for pedestrians and court fines.

This week, Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police Department takes on questions from Patch readers about speed camera installations, cops and photography and court fines.


Reader Question: Since the speed cameras are operated by a private company for their own profit and the county's profit, can a private person or homeowner put one in the neighborhood?

Starks: No.


R: Do we have to bid to get one?

S: No.


R: If it's about safety, as we hear so often, why not [put a speeding camera] where speeding is occurring?

S: We do that.


R: How about canvassing neighborhoods to find out if one is necessary?

S: That is not a part of the process or the law. To learn more about the automated Traffic Enforcement Unit, please go to www.mymcpnews.com, click on the Divisions page then click on the Traffic page.


R: I know you have to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk but what about people still standing on the curb who might be crossing? Sometimes it's hard to tell if they are ready to cross.

S: You don’t have to but you should proceed cautiously to be safe and courteous.


R: Does a moving violation ticket (e.g. speeding, passing where prohibited, etc.) include a court fee in addition to the fine for the violation?  If so, can the court fee dramatically exceed the amount of the fine?  Last, if one is admitting the infraction and paying the ticket, is there any break on the court fee because no further proceeding is necessary?  This comes from an experience in another state and I am trying to get a reality check. 

S: The courts set the fines and fees.


R: What is the county's "official" policy about police officers being photographed by civilians? 

S: They may be photographed as long as it doesn’t interfere with an officer’s duties.


Have a question for our Ask A Cop feature? E-mail Editor Ryan McDermott at ryanm@patch.com or submit your question in our comments section. Remember to come back next week for answers.

The Painted Desert June 22, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Agreed, totally hostile-sounding non-answers.
Bob Hydorn June 22, 2012 at 01:40 PM
When it boils down to it, is this not just a source of cash for the County?
Joe Thomas June 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM
How much more can you say to a question like, "can I install my own speed camera"? Obviously the question is NO. What else is there to say about it?
Joe June 22, 2012 at 05:58 PM
if the concern is Safety as we here everywhere, Why don't they paint the cameras with florescent paint so they would be visible from miles away so the drivers would slow down and also why just like a 3rd world country's capital such as Tehran in Iran we don't put timers such as pedestrian timers but bigger on top of the traffic lights so on a big intersection we don't end up passing a yellow and get a traffic violation ticket. It's so easy to talk about safety of the county residents and not doing anything about it. Just extort money from the residents by issuing tickets.
Murphy June 22, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Hey, Comrade Joe Thomas, don't look now, but I believe the reader's question just went way over your head!


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