Lawmakers target speed camera operators

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Baltimore's speed camera system has been under fire for their performance to the point where the system was shut down last year.

Now some lawmakers want to hand out tickets to the speed camera operators. After two companies, failed to provide a reliable service for Baltimore's speed cameras, the city shut down the whole program.

An audit found about 10 percent of the speed cameras handed out invalid violations. In 2012, 700,000 speed camera tickets were handed out, which at  $40 a ticket, translates to $2.8 million in invalid fines based on the 10 percent fail rate.

Some state lawmakers want to stop the problem from happening again. A bill on the table would force the company that hands out an erroneous ticket to pay the person receiving the ticket $125.

Del. Jill Carter, a Democrat of Baltimore City feels that may not be enough.

"Everyone should be refunded, not just the money they have been paid but any kind of inconvenience having to go through this," Carter said. "Some people have gotten multiple tickets, six or seven or eight tickets that have accrued penalties as a result of this and now we come to find out that many of them are false or fraudulent."

There were reports of at least one speed camera that failed more than 50 percent of the time, Del. Curt Anderson said.

"There were a couple of cameras that were making errors around 35 to 55percent of the time," said Anderson, a Baltimore Democrat. "That's like every other one, so clearly that system wasn't working."

Added Carter:  "The city has to be accountable for the lack of vetting of the company and now needs to be accountable for its citizens and tax payers for making us whole."

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