Monday, January 13, 2014

Wicomico County Teachers Question Redspeed Camera Accuracy

WBOC is reporting that seventeen teachers at a Wicomico County school have complained that they received tickets from a speed camera located outside the school where they work, but they believe the speeds on the citations are impossible.
"It hit me at 39 miles per hour, right here," noted Jeremy Michalski, pointing to a ticket he received after a speed camera caught him just after pulling out of the school's parking lot onto Morris Street.
He doesn't see how that speed would even be possible.
"At 2:45, there's school dismissal, so there's parents lined up to pick up their kids, there's kids walking all over the street," he noted. "Every time I drive by that car, which we all know it's there, I look down at my speedometer and I'm going 22 miles per hour to 25."
And he is not alone.
"I got a ticket the beginning of last month," explained Michalski's coworker, Laura Becker. "It said I was going 40 miles per hour and I have a mom-mobile, and I just don't think it's possible for me to exit this parking lot and get up to that speed in that short amount of time."
The camera is run by the Wicomico County Sheriff's office and their vendor, RedSpeed.  Both the Sheriff's office and Redspeed assured the public that the cameras are accurate because the devices are calibrated regularly.

WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico County also received prior complaints of errors. There were claims of "spikes" in the number of tickets being issued at certain locations monitored by Wicomico County cameras in 2012, with some local residents disputing the accuracy of the tickets.

This is not the first time cameras run by Redspeed have been accused of issuing erroneous citations.  In 2012 the town of Fort Dodge Iowa discovered that a camera deployed by Redspeed in that town was producing erroneous citations in one specific location due to what they called an "electromagnetic anomaly".  In that instance it was claimed to the public that "They've never found this anywhere else in the country."

The issue of speed camera accuracy has been a serious concern in Maryland since 2012, when a series of speed measurement errors were admitted by Baltimore City and their former vendor Xerox.  Documents obtained by the Maryland Drivers Alliance showed that the cameras in those cases passed all the calibration tests, even on the very day one camera issued a ticket to a motionless car, proving that the current requirements for testing speed cameras in Maryland are UTTERLY WORTHLESS.  After Baltimore changed vendors to Brekford, even more errors occurred, and Baltimore's program was shut down.