Friday, March 22, 2013

Baltmore City Calibration Certificates May be Incomplete

Under Maryland law, "A speed monitoring system shall undergo an annual calibration check performed by an independent calibration laboratory". The laboratory is required to issue a signed certificate of calibration for the speed monitoring system.

Baltimore City recently signed a contract with "Brekford Corporation" for speed camera services, so the Maryland Drivers' Alliance decided to have a look at a calibration certificate for the new speed monitoring systems.

After a lengthy delay, Baltimore City provided a certificate from Radar Lab of Maryland for a product manufactured by "Smartmicro". We checked with Smartmicro and learned that they do not manufacture speed camera systems.  Instead, they design and manufacture electronic components that are used in speed camera systems.  The model number shown on the certificate, UMRR303, is for a radar module that must be integrated with a camera, a computer, and various other electronic components to build an actual speed camera system. 

Based on the information in the certificate, Radar Lab of Maryland tested only the Smartmicro module, not the actual speed camera system.  State law specifies that a "Speed monitoring system" means a device with one or more motor vehicle sensors producing recorded images of motor vehicles traveling at speeds at least 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit."  The one tested component of the system does not 'produce recorded images', and so is not a speed monitoring system in and of itself.

Does testing and certifying just one component of a speed monitoring system, rather than the entire system, meet the requirements of the law? 

The Smartmicro UMRR303 is an interesting electronic component, but it's not a speed monitoring system and by itself cannot detect and record speeding violations.  You can get detailed technical information about the Smartmicro UMRR303 by going to the FCC ID web site,, and entering W34 for the Grantee Code and UMRR0A for the Product Code.

Baltimore City thinks this is a speed monitoring system