Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brekford To Refund Camera Fines Over Hagerstown Calibrations

More bad news for speed camera contractor Brekford Corp, who will have to refund $54,000 worth of speed camera citations after it was discovered that the calibration of speed cameras they deployed in Hagerstown did not meet state requirements for calibration.

A provision of state law requires all speed cameras to be "certified" according to a manufacturer specification ever year by an "independent calibration laboratory".  We previously reported in March how annual calibration certificates which were obtained from the city of Hagerstown had in fact been issued by the manufacturer of the device, not an independent lab.  

Now, WJLA reports that a motorist challenging a speed camera citation issued on Northern Avenue in Hagerstown uncovered the fact that "Brekford, the contractor which runs the Hagerstown speed control system, had not independently calibrated the camera as is required every year."    The city has since revealed two other cameras with the same issue, and agreed to refund 808 of the citations.

The citations the city has agreed to refund constitute only a small percentage of the tickets issued by Hagerstwon without independent certifications.  Hagerstown speed cameras had issued approximately $1 million worth of tickets as of February 2013.  The same issue with Hagerstown's cameras was also noted in calibration certificates the Maryland Drivers Alliance obtained from the City of Laurel.

Brekford corp was recently the topic of bad news when a new set of errors were discovered in Brekford speed cameras deployed in Baltimore City, temporarily shutting down the city's speed camera program.  Brekford also was the contractor for Fairmount Heights, whose speed cameras were recently shut down after it was discovered that town failed to obtain required permits from the county before deploying them.  Brekford is also engaged in a lawsuit with speed camera supplier Sensys America over a contract dispute.
Brekford Corp is also the speed camera contractor for Salisbury, Greenbelt, Capitol Heights, Morningside, and Landover Hills.

The Maryland Drivers Alliance STRONGLY encourages everyone who contests a speed camera citations to file a Maryland Public Information Act request with the jurisdiction issuing the citation requesting the daily and annual calibration logs. You should do so more than 30 days in advance of your court hearing in order to give you time to examine the logs BEFORE your court hearing.  We have created a sample MPIA request letter which you can update and use.  We will be happy to help you analyze any records you receive.