Thursday, August 25, 2011

Optotraffic Representative Caught Speeding

Public records reveal that the senior official and spokesperson for Lanham-based Optotraffic was recently issued a speeding ticket for traveling 15mph over the legally posted speed limit.

The Baltimore City court record shows Mickey E Shepherd was issued the ticket on 4/06/2011 at 3:38pm by an officer in the MD Transportation Authority Tunnel Command for traveling at the dangerous speed of 70mph in his red Nissan with license plate #6CXT98.  Mr Shepherd plead guilty to the charge and was given "probation before judgement" on 6/10/2011, which normally means that the defendant receives no points and the violation may be stricken from their driving record.  The record shows he was ordered to paid a fine of $70 plus court costs.

Mr Shepherd is the Senior Account Manager handling Optotraffic's speed camera contracts including those in Prince George's County, College Park, and Forest Heights.  He frequently appears at local government hearings and media/public relations events speaking about the dangers of speeding while selling speed camera services.

Mr Shepherd has also been appearing as an 'expert witness' at speed camera hearings of defendants who received tickets from Optotraffic cameras located in Prince George's County municipalities.  In those cases he often presents testimony about the technical workings of the devices, even though his primary role in the company is marketing and public relations, without being required to document or prove his claims.  Under its speed camera contracts, Optotraffic receives a percentage cut of every citation to build, deploy, maintain, and also processes and mails violation from cameras.  Optotraffic has also been permitted by the Prince George's County Court system to schedule court hearings.  This gives the company substantial control over the chain of evidence submitted at hearings and also the time and circumstances in which court hearings are held.  As a result the company has some ability to influence the outcome of speed camera court hearings in which they have a substantial financial, marketing, and public relations stake.  The Prince George's County government now shares that stake, as they have recently initiated a multi-million dollar a year speed camera program utilizing Optotraffic cameras.

Mr Shepherd did not respond to an emailed request for comment about this speeding offense after more than 24 hours.