Frequently Asked Questions
The City of Gaithersburg is joining the City of Rockville, the Town of Chevy Chase and Montgomery County in deploying speed cameras as part of the Safe Speed program.
Jurisdictions within Montgomery County were granted the authority to operate the cameras by the State of Maryland in 2006. The pilot program authorizes the use of the cameras in residential and school zones with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less, and requires that money from speed camera fines be designated for public safety programs.
The Gaithersburg Police Department has been conducting traffic surveys to determine locations most in need of speed reduction efforts.
The goal of the Safe Speed program is to reduce speeding on residential streets and streets near schools in an effort to prevent injuries and fatalities among pedestrians and motorists. The cameras are an additional tool available to police in speed enforcement. Officers will continue to enforce speed limits using other techniques such as hand-held radar or laser. For more information contact the Gaithersburg Police Department at 301-258-6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of locations identified for speed camera use in the City of Gaithersburg. Additional sites will be added in the future.
- South Frederick Avenue
- Diamond Drive
- Marquis Drive
- North Summit Avenue
- Quince Orchard Blvd.
- Quince Orchard Road
- Watkins Mill Road
- West Deer Park Road
- Christopher Avenue
- Clopper Road (Both directions)
- Girard Street (Both directions)
Gaithersburg Police Safe Speed Program Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the goal of automated speed enforcement?
A: The goal is to decrease speeding violations and crashes and, as a result, prevent injuries and save lives. Speeding in residential areas is a significant public safety problem. The Gaithersburg Police are participating in this program along with Montgomery County Police, Rockville Police and Chevy Chase Police to increase the effectiveness of speed enforcement in areas with recurring speeding problems. Safe Speed will provide consistent speed enforcement that will allow police officers to devote their time to other law enforcement duties.
Q: How serious is the speeding problem in Montgomery County?
A: According to the National Study Center at the University of Maryland, more drivers were cited for speeding in Montgomery County in 2004 than any other type of traffic violation (36 percent of all traffic violations).
Q: How do speed cameras work?
A: A vehicle passing one of the camera locations above the determined threshold speed will be the subject of a series of photographs taken to document the violation. The photographs will then be processed and the license plate will be reviewed to identify the registered owner. The owner will be sent the citation, which will include copies of the violation photos and the marked vehicle speed.
Q: Where are the radar units located, and how are the sites selected?
A: The Gaithersburg Police are using a variety of factors to determine the camera deployment areas, including a location's crash and violation history, traffic complaints from the public, and designation as a school zone.
Q: If I drive past a speed camera at 2 or 3 mph over the speed limit, will I automatically get a ticket?
A: No, the established threshold speeds are reasonable and will be based upon the speed limit of the enforcement zone where the cameras are in use.
Q: What is the fine?
A: Violators must pay a $40 fine. Since the violations are being treated as civil and not criminal violations, there are no license points assigned and vehicle insurance providers are not notified of the citation.
Q: Where do I pay my fine?
A: Citations may be paid online, by mail or in person as noted on each violation notice.
Q: How do I pay my ticket online?
A: Online ticket payments are collected by Montgomery County. You will need your ticket number and/or license plate number to access the payment information.
Q: Can I appeal a speed camera citation?
A: Yes, any vehicle owner who receives a citation will have the option to appeal. Citations can be contested in Maryland District Court. Details are included on each violation notice.
Q: How will the money from the fines be used?
A: Maryland law requires the City to designate money from speed camera fines for public safety programs.
Q: What if I wasn't driving my car at the time of the violation? Am I still responsible for paying the citation?
A: The law provides that the registered owner must provide a signed affidavit that states they were not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation and provide the name, address and, if possible, the driver's license identification number of the person who was driving at the time of the violation. The police have the discretion to then forward the citation notice to the person identified by the registered owner.
Q: Isn't it an invasion of privacy for a speed camera to photograph my vehicle without my permission?
A: No, individuals who are breaking the law are not entitled to privacy according to established court doctrine. Speed cameras only take photographs of vehicles whose drivers choose to violate traffic laws by speeding. When motorists apply for a driver's license, they are agreeing to abide by the rules of the road. The purpose of speed cameras is not to invade the privacy of citizens, but rather to detect motorists who violate the law and endanger the lives of other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Q: I'm worried about the erosion of our basic civil rights. What's the difference between speed cameras and surveillance devices?
A: Speed cameras only record vehicles traveling at excessive speeds; they do not continuously monitor all vehicles in the enforcement zone. Law abiding citizens are unaffected by the use of this technology, since it only activates when a vehicle passes the camera at an excessive speed.
Q: It may be weeks before a person is given notification of a citation. Won't that make it more difficult to challenge the citation?
A: Photo enforcement technology and processing systems mail the citation in a very short timeframe – usually within 14 days. This is comparable to many court dates motorists would receive from traffic citations given by police patrol officers.
Q: Where do I call if I have a question about the speed camera program?
A: Contact the Gaithersburg Police Department at 301-258-6400.