Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Greenbelt Says Brekford's Speed Cameras Certifications Were "Not In Compliance"

The City of Greenbelt is asking Brekford Corp to refund 664 speed camera citations after finding that the devices did not meet a requirement of state law for annual calibration.

In a letter between Police Chief James Craze and Brekford CEO  C.B. Brechin, the chief wrote:
"It has come to our attention through Mr. Eric Weisz, Program Manager for the Brekford Corporation, tha two speed cameras (#07FDB5100 & 4EFEB512000) installed in Greenbelt by your company were not in compliance with certification by the manufacturer, to wit their certifications expired short of the one-year mandated requirement.  The dates spanned December 27, 2012 - Jan 23, 2013 for #07FDB1200 and January 21, 2013 - February 19, 2013.  The cameras are located on Cherrywood Lane and Hanover Parkway.  The result of this error caused 664 citations to be issued in error."

The City is asking Brekford to refund or void all 664 citation at a cost of $26,560.  However Greenbelt is demanding that Brekford compensate the city for its cut of the lost revenue amounting to $15,936.

A similar refund was issued in Hagerstown Maryland in May.

State law contains a provision that :
(4) (i) A speed monitoring system shall undergo an annual calibration check performed by an independent calibration laboratory.
(ii) The independent calibration laboratory shall issue a signed certificate of calibration after the annual calibration check that:
1. Shall be kept on file; and
2. Shall be admitted as evidence in any court proceeding for a violation of this section.
An investigation by the Maryland Drivers Alliance revealed in March that speed cameras deployed in Laurel and Hagerstown had "certifications" which were issued by the manufacturer of the device for at least the first 12 months.  Quite apart from the fact that calibration certificates were allowed to exceed 12 months, it may come as a surprise many motorists who read the above requirement that some speed camera agencies and contractors have interpreted the above requirement to mean that a manufacturer may certify their own equipment for the first 12 months.

Brekford corp is also the contractor for Baltimore city, Salisbury, Morninside, and Fairmount Heights.  Fairmount Heights was forced to shut down speed cameras after it was found to have not obtained permits from the county to deploy equipment at the locations.

Baltimore City was forced to temporarily shut down its speed camera program in April, after an incorrectly configured speed camera was found to have issued hundreds of erroneous citations.

City of Salisbury has reported that Brekford Corp is delaying a response to a public information act request sent to the city by the Maryland Drivers Alliance on June 5th for annual calibration certificates and daily setup logs.

The Town of Morningside Maryland had so far refused to acknowledge a Public Information Act request from the Maryland Drivers Alliance for similar documents sent to them on June 5 and again by certified mail.  Despite several attempts by us to follow up, the response from Morningside is now past the 30 day time period allowed by state law to respond to a Public Information Act request.

Additional Coverage:
TheNewspaper.Com: Another Maryland Town To Refund Illegal Speed Camera Tickets
NBC: Maryland City to Void Hundreds of Speed Camera Tickets