Photo enforcement coming to residential areas
Shawn French
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A new city ordinance, authorizing the use of photo law enforcement, will be presented to the Camden City Council during their October meeting. The council unanimously approved to have City Attorney Andy Frazier draw up an ordinance during Monday night’s meeting.
Traffipax representative, Jimmie Leach, was present to answer questions about the system.
“There is no cost to the city,” said Leach.
According to Leach, Traffipax and the city will split fees on each citation, but the split amount still has to be negotiated.
The council asked Camden Police Chief George Smith for his thoughts on the photo law enforcement system.
“We are primarily looking at residential areas where patrol cars can’t sit or get turned around before the speeder gets away,” said Smith.
Smith said that the system is not a traffic light camera. It is a portable unit that will be used to help control residential traffic.
According to Leach, during the first 30 days warning citations will be issued to speeders.
“This is to let people get used it,” said Leach.
Leach told the council that the camera would be set at a specified speed and would monitor each vehicle as it passed and take a picture of the tags of speeding vehicles. The pictures will be sent to Baltimore, Md., where they photos will be evaluated.
“Any photos that obviously need to be discarded, such as emergency vehicles, will be removed,” said Leach. “The remaining photos will then be sent to the Camden Police Department (CPD) and they will review them and decide whether or not to discard the photo or issue a citation.”
Since citations would be issued to the owner of the vehicle, Leach was asked what would happen if the owner was not driving.
“There is a place on the back of the citation for vehicle owners to swear that they were not driving the car at the time the photo was taken and to tell who was driving,” answered Leach. “A citation will then be issued to the individual that was driving.”
Councilwoman Pat McLin asked what would happen is someone refused to pay. Leach told her that three letters would be issued in an attempt to get the citation paid. After that, it would be up to the CPD whether or not to take the matter to City Court or let it go.