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Baltimore must return $2.8 million after audit finds faulty speed cameras

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  • Baltimore must return $2.8 million after audit finds faulty speed cameras

    Xerox should stick to making printers and operating systems. . .

    Apparently, their traffic cameras for catching speeders are faulty; this was found out by a secret audit done by the city of Baltimore. Of the 83 cameras that were installed, only 12 were functioning in normal parameters, while the rest were faulty. So now, the city has to return 2.8 Million USD of those fines.

    The beauty in all this? The city can't release the audit details because of a NDA settlement.

    Source: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/balti...cameras_012014

    Baltimore must return $2.8 million after audit finds faulty speed cameras

    A secret audit conducted for the City of Baltimore found that local speed cameras had alarmingly high error rates, resulting in thousands of traffic tickets being issued that never should have been.

    The audit obtained by the Baltimore Sun covers the year 2012, when the city issued 700,000 speeding tickets, each costing recipients $40. The URS consulting group found that the city’s cameras had an error rate higher than 10 percent, meaning that 70,000 tickets worth $2.8 million could’ve been incorrectly issued to local drivers.

    These numbers are much higher than the city’s original claim of “less than a quarter of one percent.” While Baltimore officials received this audit in April 2013, they have refused to make the details public even amidst calls from the City Council to do so.

    “It’s outrageous. No, it’s beyond outrageous,” said City Councilman Carl Stokesto the Sun. “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.”

    Despite the new report, the city still does not plan to release the audit, since that would be a violation of the settlement terms reached with the camera system’s original contractor, Xerox State and Local Solutions.

    Although 12 of Baltimore’s 83 speed cameras were found to be functioning properly, 13 cameras had error rates in the double digits. Two had error rates of 35 and 45 percent, while another registered a nearly 60 percent error rate.

    Within a week of obtaining these results last spring, the city claims it halted the entire program even as it was being run by a new company, Brekford. According to an October report by local NBC affiliate WBAL, the city also recalled about 1,400 tickets believed to be issued in error.

    “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 to the Sun. “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.”

    Efforts to revive the camera system with Brekford have not been successful, however. In December, the city voted to pay out $600,000 to void its current contract in order to pursue a smaller program. It’s unclear when the operation could be up and running again, and officials did not say why they ended the contract.

    The results of the audit raise questions about Xerox’s ability to run this kind of program, said state Senator Jim Brochin, especially since the company sells cameras to the state of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Howard County.

    “I would hope that Baltimore County would look at this, study it, and do their own audit,” he told the Sun. “The one thing that’s clear is the technology has not been perfected. It’s not fair for the person that’s driving, going the speed limit and getting a bogus ticket.”
    - See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/balti....sdm3bFEj.dpuf
    This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.

    . . .that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    -- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America

  • #2
    Loose manufacturing tolerances could be one reason.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kermit315 View Post
      Loose manufacturing tolerances could be one reason.
      60% error rate is sure loose...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tmg View Post
        60% error rate is sure loose...
        Like a hotdog down a hallway.

        With numbers all over the place like that, I would start looking at the receivers, specifically the timers in the receivers. If they cannot keep constant time and frequency, you will get all kinds of funky numbers.

        Phase shift converters could do that too, I guess.
        Last edited by kermit315; 01-24-2014, 11:20 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Most permanent speed camera's don't use radar, that has a lot to do with it.
          Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

          "There is no happiness without tears; no life without death. Beware, I will give you cause to weep"

          R.I.P Hand Sanitizer, you will be missed…

          Remember, Gay, Straight, Black, White, or HIV+, on this forum you're "Blue" and that's what matters most.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BikeCop501 View Post
            Most permanent speed camera's don't use radar, that has a lot to do with it.
            Never knew that. My county does not have any speed cameras, so I do not have a ton of experience with them. I work on radar systems (among other things) in the Navy, so I know that side of things.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sad part is that Baltimore City spent the money before the so called "violations" were even committed.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have never liked the idea of red light or speed camera's. Texas does not allow speed cameras but we have red light cameras. The city I live in has them everywhere. I hate driving on those streets because every time the lights turn yellow, people lock up their brakes to stop since they are so scared of the camera. This causes all sorts of dangerous situations.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tmg View Post
                  I have never liked the idea of red light or speed camera's. Texas does not allow speed cameras but we have red light cameras. The city I live in has them everywhere. I hate driving on those streets because every time the lights turn yellow, people lock up their brakes to stop since they are so scared of the camera. This causes all sorts of dangerous situations.
                  Be happy you're not by me in DC, we have Red light cameras, speed cameras (both permanent and trailer mounted, as well as mounted on vehicles that sit in constructions sites), and DC just unveiled stop sign cameras, block the box cameras, and fail to yield ROW pedestrian cameras.
                  Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

                  "There is no happiness without tears; no life without death. Beware, I will give you cause to weep"

                  R.I.P Hand Sanitizer, you will be missed…

                  Remember, Gay, Straight, Black, White, or HIV+, on this forum you're "Blue" and that's what matters most.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bikecop501 View Post
                    be happy you're not by me in dc, we have red light cameras, speed cameras (both permanent and trailer mounted, as well as mounted on vehicles that sit in constructions sites), and dc just unveiled stop sign cameras, block the box cameras, and fail to yield row pedestrian cameras.
                    dang!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Speed cameras and red light cameras actually can work well in reducing collisions and lowering the average speed people drive at over a period of time. In 1970 there were 1061 deaths on the road and in 2013 there were 242. Obviously better roads and cars has an impact but enforcement plays a big role as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have the speed/red light cameras here.

                        They only catch the out of town, unsuspecting drivers, or the ones driving in "la-la land". The folks who drive those intersections regularly know exactly where they are located, so you can see them doing fifteen-twenty over the speed limit until they get within a block or so of the cameras, slow down to or below the limit, then as soon as they clear the intersection, drop the hammer and resume their previous speeds.

                        Oh, but they "make the roads safer". Yeah, right. And I have a bridge I'll sell you - cheap - today only.

                        .
                        "Yes sir, I know you have rights."
                        "In fact, I know your rights better than you do!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The referenced camera's are nothing but revenue producers for the jurisdictions which utilize them,and share the revenue with private contractors.

                          They have managed to do a convenient tap dance around the requirement that an Officer witness the violation prior to taking enforcement action. This is usually done by enactment of an ordinance which does not assess points against a person's MVR.

                          The foregoing is simply my .02. I agree totally with the comments/observations of my colleague expressed in Post #13.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John_crashes
                            If the cameras don't use radar or Lidar then how do they capture the speed of the vehicle?

                            - I'm ok with speed cam and red light cams. They do safe lives and decreases crashes - when they are properly utilized. I would love to see a hybrid system. Speed cam or red light cam that wifis the signal over to a nearby patrol car.





                            John, that really goes back to the basic issue. that of the Officer actually witnessing the violation, then taking action. Now there is an exception to that premise which goes more to what you're suggesting.

                            In Alabama, an aircraft can relay speeding/other violation(s) to officers on the ground. Still, the officer/witness requirement has been, met as with my Agency anyway, the pilot is a sworn officer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by John_crashes
                              If the cameras don't use radar or Lidar then how do they capture the speed of the vehicle?
                              A lot of ours use sensors in the road to calculate speed based on the time it took to drive between the two sensors.

                              Comment

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