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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 05/ 3/2010

Woman finds traffic ticket loophole

By Washington Post editors

A Bethesda woman escaped her speed camera ticket after she uncovered maintenance problems with Gaithersburg's cameras, the Washington Examiner reports.

Peggy Lucero was nabbed by a speed camera in a 30 mph zone on Route 355 in Gaithersburg. Instead of paying the $40 fee like most Maryland motorists, Lucero dug up records on camera maintenance and asked the State Highway Administration to validate the area's speed limit.

Maryland law requires police to test speed cameras for proper functioning daily. But Lucero discovered the camera that ticketed her wasn't tested the day it photographed her license plate.

Officials failed to perform daily tests on a second camera down the road, as well, records revealed. A police officer tested the second camera Dec. 18, 2009, and did not return for the next checkup until Dec. 28. Records also showed two-day and four-day gaps between tests in December 2009 and January 2010.

By Washington Post editors  | May 3, 2010; 8:15 AM ET
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lucky for that woman she can afford to miss a day of work to save the $40 cost of a ticket.
For most of us, it would cost more to take the day off to prove our innocence then to just pretend we are guilty and pay the ticket.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 3, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

MarilynManson - you are correct. Most of these cameras are not in place for public safety, but rather for revenue generation. That is one reason the fines can be set up so that it is just underneath the amount required for a motorist to miss a day of work to contest the ticket. They know that, and so a great deal of the people that pay these tickets do so, because it makes more sense to pay the $40 or $50 instead of missing work. Many places where these cameras would actually be a great idea because of road safety are without them, and some of the places where they decide to place a camera is based on a high volume of cars + a potential for the cars to exceed the speed limit, thus allowing for more tickets, even when the slight increase of speed is really not a safety issue in those areas. It does however, allow the county or city to gain money from the tickets!

Posted by: Hotelguest0 | May 3, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Hotelguest0 , how can slowing traffic NOT increase safety?
is 'revenue generation' enough to toss a damper on dangerous activity?


Posted by: mloaks | May 3, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Hotelguest0 , how can slowing traffic NOT increase safety?
is 'revenue generation' enough to toss a damper on dangerous activity?


Posted by: mloaks | May 3, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey Marylanders

Read this:

Posted by: whataboutBob | May 3, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Remember the cost of the ticket is only the initial cost, there's court costs, insurance rate hikes and perhaps time off for license renewal to consider. If safety were really an issue then why is the speed limit the same, night or day, wet or dry, traffic or no, 24/7?

Posted by: ronjaboy | May 3, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

sweet, I was caught by the same camera, hopefully I can escape paying like this lady

Posted by: mocoresider09 | May 3, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll pay her $25 to mow my lawn. It should only take a couple hours. That's a better deal than fighting tickets.

Posted by: 21stCenturyCaveman | May 3, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Speed limits are not entirely driven by safety as many roads are designed for much higher speeds. Slow traffic is not inherently safer-- the slow driver on the interstate causes more harm than the moderately faster drivers. The key is finding the relative safe speed to the rest of traffic. Cameras are simply set, so if the flow of traffic all exceeds the set limit, all the cars will flag tickets. A human (smart) officer would recognize the flow of traffic and would go after the outlyers-- those much higher than the flow. Cameras, when they are known, can cause traffic mishaps as the driver, suddenly alerted to the "trap" slams on the brakes, thus disrupting the flow. The drivers who are not alert will collide with the suddenly slower traffic. Instead of trying to drain every cent out of commuters, who mostly are just trying to work and live their lives, how about improving the flow of traffic so we don't all waste our lives dealing with the consequences of poor planning? Traffic tickets should only be used to improve traffic safety, not to nail drivers who are otherwise acting safely.

Posted by: steveinWashington | May 4, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Why is it everyone is always looking for loopholes rather than just obeying the law in the first place? Speeding is speeding and that is breaking the law. Pay up! Good job speed cameras!!!

Posted by: dq1153 | May 4, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Great she found a loophole, but it doesn't change the fact she broke the law and the cameras caught it!

Posted by: lincolnprez | May 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

If people spent half as much time taking responsibility for their actions instead of doing what this woman did to get OUT of her ticket we'd all be better off. This is precisely the reason why we need red light cameras in the first place. I say keep them in place!

Posted by: 4evertennis | May 7, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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