Secret Audit Finds Baltimore's Speed Cameras Unreliable
Only 64 percent of tickets are verifiably correct
Data obtained by The Baltimore Sun showed inaccuracy rates 40 times higher than those claimed by city officials. Of the 700,000 tickets issued in 2012, 10 percent were errors and 26 percent were questionable. Before the audit, city officials repeatedly claimed the cameras' error rate was only two percent. Some cameras were issuing incorrect tickets nearly half of the time. One camera issued incorrect tickets 58 percent of the time. At $40 a pop, the city may be on the hook to pay back $2.8 million to unfairly ticketed motorists.
Baltimore's city officials are keeping the full report under wraps however, citing a a settlement agreement between the city and Xerox State and Local Solutions, the company that was contracted to run the cameras. The settlement did not go through the Board of Estimates or the city Comptroller.
"Who ever heard of a secret audit?" Councilman Carl Stokes told The Baltimore Sun. "We should have told the public immediately. We should have declared complete amnesty, that all of the tickets were null and void. If anybody paid, they should be paid back."
Officials quietly scrapped the speed camera program after receiving the audit last spring and tried to pay back some motorists. Baltimore's speed camera woes began in December when a camera tagged a motionless car as going 13 miles over the speed limit. In January of last year the cameras were replaced with newer, supposedly more accurate models.
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