Monday, March 10, 2014

Baltimore Knew of More Problems than Previously Reported

The City of Baltimore experienced more errors in its currently mothballed speed camera program than were previously reported, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The Sun reports that in March of 2013, Baltimore issued a speed camera ticket to a bus company with one of its buses clocked going 42mph on Harford Road.  The city voided the ticket after concluding the vehicle's speed had only actually been 26mph.

The internal city documents, which the Sun described as having been "leaked", revealed other problems as well:
In addition to the misprogrammed camera and inaccurate P.O. box, the report notes that about 100 tickets were issued with “repeated images and timestamps,” making them invalid. There were also “a few erroneous citations,” including one that showed two different cars in the pair of photos meant to show a speeding vehicle’s movement. 
The same document stated that Brekford’s data “had continuous errors, missing or transposed information,” that information in the company’s system “keeps changing” and that 474 red light camera tickets somehow appeared in the system as speed camera tickets. 
A separate PowerPoint presentation showed that as of April 15 — a day before the city announced the camera program’s suspension — city officials had noticed discrepancies in Brekford’s own data. 
The issue was noted again in a May 7 memo marked “privileged and confidential” and addressed to Rawlings-Blake and top aides. It said the Department of Transportation “expressed a lack of confidence in the Brekford data due to 30,000 events missing from iP360 reports,” it said. Brekford’s system is called iP360. Every time a camera records a car it’s considered an event.
The errors occurred in early 2013 after Baltimore City ended their contract with Xerox Corporation, amid report of errors (including tickets being given to stationary vehicles), and began a new contract with speed camera contractor Brekford Corp.  However the program was suspended shortly thereafter amid revelations of new errors.  Baltimore has since ended their contract with Brekford as well.