Red-light cameras in the Baltimore area are catching a surprising category of drivers violating the law: police officers. The Baltimore Sun says even on-duty officers in marked patrol cars aren’t getting out of paying the fines ($75 for running a red light, $40 for speeding). Many Maryland jurisdictions are holding officers and other emergency workers personally liable for the tickets, unless they can prove they were responding to legitimate emergencies at the time.
Four Montgomery County police officers sued their department over speeding tickets and lost before the state’s highest court. Just how many police officers get caught could not be ascertained. The policy for Baltimore police is the same for most other jurisdictions when a marked emergency vehicle is captured on camera speeding or running a red light: Unless the driver is responding to an emergency, he is held responsible for any tickets issued. Police union leaders say that rules requiring lights and sirens when responding to emergencies aren’t always practical.