Sunday, November 4, 2012

Baltimore Saw Previous Problem With Cold Spring Lane Speed Camera

Baltimore has released an email in response to a Public Information Act request by StopBigBrotherMD.org showing that the city had experienced, and confirmed a previous problem with a speed camera at 1300 West Cold Spring Lane, which caused it to cite a vehicle for a speed it was not traveling.  This is at the same location where we recently reported about apparently erroneous speed camera citations which had been issued to trucks.

The email originated on February 7, 2012 from the safety manager for a well known food products company which operates a fleet of delivery vehicles.  (We have redacted the company's name and the name of a city employee from the email)

"Citation Number [redacted]
 Location 1300 block of W coldspring lane
 The video shows him not going fast.  Please review and consider citation.  Also, please request a calibration from the private company that owns the speed camera."

An engineer in the Baltimore Department of Transportation reported the problem to ACS State and Local Solutions (a part of Xerox Corporation).  Two days later ACS's product manager Donovan Wilson replied
"I reviewed this citation and it seems that the vehicle was not traveling 47 mph.  Should I request a void for this citation?"

On March 5 the Baltimore City employee followed up on the situation "Has the citation been voided?  Also, has the issue with the camera been rectified?"

Mr. Wilson replied for ACS on March 7 "The void request for this citation and te citations for The Alameda were sent to Parking Fines yesterday evening."

The final email response from ACS never stated the cause of the problem or whether the issue was "rectified".  We at StopBigBrotherMD believe it was NOT corrected.

In addition to the company who we previously reported had complained about erroneous speed readings being issued to their trucks, another company has also contacted StopBigBrotherMD.org, claiming they have evidence that citations which they received from 1300 Cold Spring Lane, as well as another camera of apparently the same type at 3800 GreenSpring Avenue, were in error.  They are contesting those citations.  This means at least 3 companies have separately complained about the accuracy of the cameras on Coldspring lane this year.

StopBigBrotherMD.org tried to contact the Baltimore DOT, department of Finance, and Police on October 18, asking for the citations mentioned in our original story to be re-reviewed, and for the names of the officers who reviewed the citations.  We have not received any reply to that request after 19 days, even after we tried to follow up several times, and even though the city was capable of providing an immediate response.