Friday, August 23, 2013

Salisbury Resident Complains About Camera Accuracy

A Salisbury resident wrote a letter to the editor appearing on the DelmarvaNow.com website.
Yes, there are others who were not traveling at the rate of speed the summons said they were. I was also sent a notice from a camera and picture that said my car was going 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. 
I am 76 years old and don’t go 52 mph anywhere. Now, what speed was I going? I don’t know because it was a while after the day I was taking my 88-year-old husband to the doctor, and who remembers that?  
But I am sure it was not 52 mph. I paid the fine because I knew I could not prove my actual speed. There should be a way to be certain those cameras are calibrated regularly.
The Maryland Drivers Alliance has been tracking Salisbury's program closely in recent weeks.  The Maryland Drivers Alliance chairman had filed a Public Information Act Request for annual calibration certificates and a small number of 'daily setup' logs from the city.  Salisbury responded stating that they had no such records on file.  Their contractor, Brekford Corp, then demanded a $535 tribute be paid to the speed camera company in order to see the documents.  Another motorist requested similar records, and the city initially denied his request as well.  The city eventually provided only one of the four setup logs that motorist requested, with an email from the city stating that the other three logs did not appear to exist.

During the last session State lawmakers rejected proposed legislation which would have provided "a way to be certain" that cameras were accurate, in the form of requiring citations to provide enough information to verify speed.  The amendment was killed primarily at the insistence of Montgomery County, the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Maryland Department of Transportation, who prefer the current situation where the government agencies and speed camera contractors which profit from speed cameras can maintain a monopoly on evidence which could prove errors.