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Two speed cameras go active in Prince George's County

Saturday - 3/15/2014, 2:49am  ET

WASHINGTON -- A speed camera taken down in January for violating Maryland law is back online issuing tickets to drivers going too fast.

The camera is located at 2300 Brinkley Road in Oxon Hill near St. Barnabas Road. Prince George's County Police put the camera up on Nov. 6, 2012 and remained there until Jan. 27 this year. After WUSA9 requested documents from the county, Prince George's County Police found it never advertised the location in a newspaper.

Maryland Annotated Code 21-809 states, "Before activating an unmanned stationary speed monitoring system, the local jurisdiction shall publish notice of the location of the speed monitoring system on its website and in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction."

Prince George's County Police tell WTOP the camera issued 2,059 violations in the 14 months it was active. Police say 1,457 drivers paid the $40 fine and 602 drivers did not. The unpaid tickets were dismissed. Drivers who paid their tickets received a $40 refund, which cost Prince George's County $36,716 and their vendor Optotraffic $21,564.

Since the discovery in January, Prince George's County officials poured over all the past advertisements. Police also re-advertised all 145 locations in the Gazette earlier this month to fulfill their legal requirement.

The second camera is at 550 Auth Road, near the Branch Avenue Metro and Joint Base Andrews. Prince George's County Police had a mobile camera at the location before, but had moved it away. Residents in the community asked the county to bring it back.

The speed limit at each location is 30 miles per hour. Under Maryland law, drivers cannot get a speed camera ticket unless they travel 12 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. The law also says that school zone cameras like these operate from Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Speed cameras also issue tickets on weekday federal holidays, regardless of whether school is in session.

Drivers can challenge speed camera tickets and appear before a judge at Prince George's County District Court in Hyattsville.

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