Montgomery County Police yesterday slammed a District Court judge’s ruling on a controversial Bethesda speed camera and said the Department would not review other cases in which citations were issued by the camera.
Judge John Moffett on Monday ruled for attorney and political activist Robin Ficker, who claimed the speed camera in the 4300 block of Jones Bridge Road was improperly placed. Ficker got a $40 citation from the camera on Sept. 5 and argued the camera was not placed within 300 feet of a residence.
Moffett agreed and rescinded Ficker’s citation. But Police say Moffett misinterpreted Maryland Transportation Article 21-101, which defines a residential district as an area where there is at least 300 feet of residences.
Speed cameras can only be placed in residential areas, according to state law. Police made their disagreement with the ruling clear in a press release:
Based on the guidelines set forth by the Maryland Transportation Article and the data obtained from the Montgomery County DTS-GIS, the M-NCPPC, and the U.S. Census Bureau, the Montgomery County Police Department maintains that the speed camera was properly placed. The Department continues to monitor the speed-camera program to ensure compliance with state guidelines.
Judge Moffett’s decision does not establish a precedent that will be binding in other cases presented in court, and the decision in this case does not require a modification of Department policy. The Department will not be reviewing other cases in which citations were issued by this speed camera.
The camera is on the eastbound side of Jones Bridge Road near a golf course and across from the entrance to the Uniformed Services University on the Walter Reed campus. The nearest home is 270 yards away.