Audit finds 5 faulty speed cameras

BALTIMORE -  

The company Xerox which currently has the contract for city speed cameras did the audit and presented it Friday morning to the mayor's task force looking at the issue.

Xerox found five of the cameras were issuing either unintelligible or wrongful citations in some cases but the company insists it is not the technology, rather the review process of the tickets.

Those cameras are located in the 1300, 1400, 1700 and 500 blocks of East or West Cold Spring Lane along with the camera at the 400 block of Franklin Street.

"There have been some very isolated incidents of human error, we've seen that in every program every vendor operates in the united states.  We all strive to get that to zero," said Xerox's Allen Shutt.

The cameras will make errors they say.

They call it ‘radar effect' which basically means the bending, refracting or bouncing of the signal off large trucks or multiple cars that causes the camera to snap a bad citation, but that should almost always be caught in the review process either by the company itself or the police officer who approves the tickets before they are sent out.

A review process the department of transportation says needs to get better.

"I will be again meeting today with the police commissioner and we will be looking again at additional reviews or additional people coming on board and looking at it from the police perspective.  We have an engineering group coming in and looking at these things," said the Director of the Department of Transportation Khalil Zaid.

In addition to more eyes reviewing the tickets, the task force suggested physically marking the roadway to better gauge an error, establishing an error rate that would trigger the shutdown of a camera and most importantly, better training for all those reviewing each citation.

All good ideas task members say, but some are still looking for specifics to the solution.

"Xerox isn't catching the mistakes and obviously the police department isn't and that is a concern so I'm really curious what those training processes are and what is going to prevent this from happening," said task force member and AAA's Ragina Averalla.

The task force is set to meet a couple of more times through February to discuss those specifics.

Its final report is due sometime in March.

The contract for the current speed camera vendor, Xerox is set to expire at the end of the month.

A company called Brekford will take over in the New Year and it said today it will incorporate the suggestions brought up this morning along with its own quality control solutions.

In the meantime, the five cameras at issue will remain in operation but its citations will be held and studied until further notice.

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