The Town of Thurmont is preparing to launch its automated speed monitoring program in an effort to decrease drivers’ speeds in school zones throughout the town. The primary goal is to provide consistent enforcement to make the streets safer for children, citizens, and motorists.
An automated speed enforcement system (ASE) is an enforcement technique with one or more motor vehicle sensors producing recorded images of motor vehicles traveling at speeds above a defined threshold. Images captured by the system are processed and reviewed in an office environment and violation notices are mailed to the registered owner of the identified vehicle.
Transportation Article §21-809 of the Maryland Annotated Code, effective October 1, 2009, authorizes local jurisdictions and municipalities to use automated speed enforcement systems in school zones. The Town passed and adopted local enabling legislation for the use of speed monitoring systems in school zones in February 2019. (Ordinance 2019-02, Chapter 127).
A school zone is a designated roadway segment within up to a half-mile radius of school buildings or grounds, along which school-related activities occur, and/or where there is a school crossing. The speed monitoring system will be in operation Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Town of Thurmont designates the following school zones within the Town: Thurmont Primary School—Portions of East Main Street (Rt. 77), located within one half-mile radius of the school; Thurmont Elementary School—Portions of East Main Street (Rt. 77), located within one half-mile radius of the school; Thurmont Middle School—Portions of East Main Street (Rt. 77), located within one half-mile radius of the school; Catoctin High School—Portions of North Church Street (Rt. 550), located within one half-mile radius of the school.
Appropriate signage designating the school zones shall be erected pursuant to the Transportation Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and the guidelines for school zones established by the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Violators must be traveling at least 12 mph over the posted speed limit for the cameras to activate. The citations are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle and carry a $40 fine and no points. The citations are not reported to insurance companies. The vehicle owner may elect to pay the fine or contest the citation in court. The citation explains how to pay a violation or how to request a hearing in court.
The Town, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the State Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and State law, may give or cause to be given notice to the MVA of all vehicles registered by the State that are the subject of any outstanding and past due automated speed enforcement citations and request that the MVA suspend the registration, refuse registration, or refuse the transfer of registration of the subject vehicle until notified by the Town that the violation penalty has been satisfied.
A warning period began July 15 and will end on August 23. Once the warning period is complete, actual citations will be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle.
The violation is a civil citation, meaning there is no impact on your license status, no points assessed, and no insurance impact.
Senate Bill 350 Speed Monitoring Systems Reform Act of 2014 stipulates that a local jurisdiction that authorizes a program of speed monitoring systems shall designate an official or employee to investigate and respond to any inquiries related to the Speed Monitoring Program within a reasonable time.
The Town of Thurmont has designated Sgt. David Armstrong as the employee who hears and investigates complaints/concerns regarding the program. Sgt. Armstrong can be contacted at 301-271-0905, ext. 118, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.