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Baltimore camera audit: Colossal speed camera error, 70,000 tickets may be wrong

A Baltimore camera audit has revealed a colossal speed camera error this week, one that may have resulted in over 70,000 tickets being wrongly charged to drivers in 2012 alone. A new report acquired by the Baltimore Sun reveals that a number of camera systems operated by Local Solutions and Xerox State held a statistical fault rate of over 10 percent, which is allegedly nearly 40 times the amount that city officials have claimed in the past. NewsMax describes this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, what may need to be done to resolve this issue that may have caused the public millions of dollars.

A speed camera on a local road
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The camera audit in Baltimore — which was cited by a local newspaper as a “secret audit” — was only received by the Sun this week, but was reportedly made known to city officials as early as April 2013. However, authorities failed to report the massively higher error rate that its city speed cameras were actually costing many drivers.

According to findings made by the Consultant URS Corp. in this Baltimore camera audit, almost 70,000 tickets may have been given out wrongly to drivers that were not in fact speeding. The testing source looked at a sample of 1,000 tickets from one random day back in 2012, and it learned that 37 of the 83 total speed cameras in the city’s local areas were not properly working.

“In 2012 alone, the city ticketed roughly 700,000 people as a result of their speed cameras, with each ticket costing $40. If 70,000 of those citations resulted from erroneous camera reports, as the audit has disclosed, that would mean the city of Baltimore received approximately $2.8 million from inaccurate citations.”

Several Baltimore City Council members said that they were nothing less than outraged to hear of this speed camera audit, as well as it yielding such inaccurate results and costing drivers money they should not have been fined in the first place.

"It's outrageous. No, it's beyond outrageous," City Councilman Carl Stokes said. "Who ever heard of a secret audit? 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."

"That is extraordinary," City Council member Robert Curran added. "Anything more than a 2 percent error rate is unacceptable."

A total of 13 cameras were found to have error rates identified in the Baltimore camera audit report as hitting the double-digit range, with at least one camera wrongfully ticketing innocent drivers with a colossal fault rate of almost 58 percent.

"Once it became clear that there were very high error rates, we didn't feel comfortable with the program, and we moved quickly to take it offline," Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "I think if you look at the actions we took, it's clear we did take it seriously, which is why we have voided and refunded all erroneous tickets and told the public immediately that the program would be discontinued until we could vouch for its accuracy."