23 Aug 2014
72° Rain

Howard County Speed Cameras Susceptible to noPhoto

But not all red-light cameras are.

Howard County Speed Cameras Susceptible to noPhoto


Comments on an article about new technologies popping up that help drivers to avoid speed camera citations took issue with one of the claims: a new technology wouldn’t work in Howard County because the cameras don’t use flashes.

Ostensibly, that's because the newest gadget – noPhoto – uses its own flash to blind speed cameras. The noPhoto license plate cover has a built-in flash that is triggered as soon as it detects a flash from a speed or red light camera; it obscures the plate, distorting any picture captured by the camera. 

In the article, published on Friday, officials said noPhoto - as well as other product that depend on the flash of a camera to work – were useless against cameras that don’t use a flash “such as those in Howard County.” But that’s not exactly accurate.

“The county’s two speed cameras have a flash,” according to Howard County Police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn. Most red light cameras in the county also use a flash, she said, “With the exception of three.”

According to Maryland law, however, it is illegal to sell or to advertise such products that would “Distort a recorded image of any of the characters of a vehicle's registration plate recorded by a traffic control signal monitoring system.”

Speed camera facts:

  • The County has two mobile cameras which operate in school zones, Mon. - Fri., from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Since Nov. 16, 2011, when the cameras stopped issuing warnings and began issuing $40 citations, 22,149 have been issued.
  • Since then, 19,246 citations have been paid which, at $40 each, amounts to $769,840. 
  • Forty-seven drivers who received citations have gone to court, according to Llewelyn; three of those challenges have been successful.

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