Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lawmaker Proposes SHA Ticket Refunds

State Senator E.J.Pipkin (R, District 36) has proposed legislation to refund speed camera citations collected under the Maryland SafeZones program between June 22, 2010 and March 31, 2012.

The bill (SB 1048) comes in the wake of an audit of the SHA which revealed that the SafeZones program violated procurement rules and that specification which had been set for testing and certification of equipment had not been met.  The SHA also failed to have the equipment certified by an 'independent calibration laboratory' for the first 9 months it was in use, a requirement of state law, and instead allowed the manufacturer to 'certify' their own equipment.  This means that all SafeZones citations submitted during that nine month period were issued without a certification which is required evidence under state law.

Some of the information verified in the audit came from a whistleblower, whose recent testimony before a senate committee on pending speed camera legislation can be heard here:
where he stated that he had been ordered:  "not to review not to analyze or test the products from the ACS company'.  In other words, to give them the job.".
The legislation was submitted on 3/4/2013 and has been referred to the Judicial Proceedings Committee.  Passage of this bill may be unlikely since the legislation would need to clear committees in both houses and pass a vote in both the Senate and House of Delegates by the end of the session on April 8th.

Additional Coverage: