Thursday, April 28, 2016
Prince George's County Withholds Speed Camera Error Records
The editor of the Maryland Drivers Alliance website originally submitted a Maryland Public Information Act request to the Prince George's County police for several items, one of them being "Records showing the number of potential speed monitoring system citations rejected by Optotraffic and the reasons why the citations were rejected, for each month from January 1, 2014 to the present."
After longer than 30 days, the county police provided some heavily redacted documents responsive to other items in the request, but declined to respond to this item, stating that any such records would be in the custody of their contractor and providing no means to access them. The county furthermore did not provide the normal response letter typically included in a reply to an MPIA which is required to state the reasons for withheld records or portions of records and which is required by law to state the request's options for appeal.
We replied to the county's attorney, Eugene Pickett, stating that we required access to these reords and pointing out, among other things, that the issue of access to contractor records had previously been adjudicated in a case involving the Town of Morningside where the court ruled that speed camera records in the custody of a contractor are subject to the MPIA. Furthermore we pointed out that "The program administrator for all speed camera programs are required to take a "best practices" training course presented by the state, which specifically discusses records retention including "ALL SMS enforcement documents". " Additionally, we requested "pursuant to the MPIA please provide the email address of Prince George's County's primary contact with Optotraffic). In addition, I request that Prince George's County please provide a statement authorizing Optotraffic to release the data described in Item #4 of my MPIA request." The county attorney refused to respond to our complaint after multiple inquiries, and refused to honor our MPIA request for an email contact at Optotraffic -- an apparent flouting of state law.
After multiple attempts to obtain this data went un-answered, on March 16 we submitted a new request for two categories of records including both the same data on citations rejected by Optotraffic and also citations voided by Optotraffic. Prince George's County failed to provide a response after more than 30 days, as state law requires. When we attempted to respond to both the current and former MPIA representative for the county police, we received no reply from the current representative and the prior representative responded only with an angry letter stating that they did not want to be copied on such inquiries.
On April 25th we finally received a "response" letter, which did not reference any of the items in our March 16th MPIA request. Instead it referenced the four items in our December 4rth request plus a fictitious fifth item, which apparently was the county attorney playing a stupid game by pretending that a number 5 which happened to appear in the portion of a statute cited in the request was another item even though this was clearly not the case. The items referenced in our March 16th request were not addressed in the response and the records pertaining to citations rejected and voided by Optotraffic were not provided. The county furthermore refused to provide an email contact for Optotraffic and honor our request to direct Optotraffic to release records, making it impossible for us to obtain any such records from Optotraffic directly.
We inquired about this lack of response to these items and included Major Robert Liberati, who runs the Prince George's County speed camera program. The county has thus far not replied to that other than for Major Robert Liberati disavowing any responsibility for the matter by stating that all communications should go to the county Attorney Eugene Picket. Mr Pickett is not the county Police's designated MPIA representative, according to the OAG website, and has not been responding to emails.
The obstructed records are of particular concern because local governments have recently been claiming to the state legislature that the error rate locally operated speed cameras are exceedingly low, and specifically are claiming this is the rate of errors BEFORE the issuance of citations (essentially implying that errors after issuance are almost nonexistent). Data obtained from another local government revealed that the rate of errors identified by the vendor vastly exceeded the rate of errors identified by police. If it were in fact the case that Prince George's County Police do not have the requested data, then that would imply Prince George's County has absolutely no clue how many erroneous speed camera citations were being rejected and/or voided by their vendor or for what reason.
- ▼ April 2016 (2)
- ► 2015 (39)
- ► 2014 (82)
- ► 2013 (102)
- ► 2012 (66)
- ► 2011 (88)
- ► 2010 (69)
- ► 2009 (58)
Our Top Stories
- Rockville Falsely Accuses School Bus of Speeding
- Montgomery County Has Secret Speed Camera Committee -- Press and Critics Not Welcome
- Montgomery Speed Camera "OmBudsman" Won't Answer Questions
- Montgomery County Issues Erroneous Tickets
- College Park Cited Stationary Bus for Speeding
- Montgomery County ATEU Defends Culture of Secrecy
- How Two-Faced Triple-A Gave Maryland Speed Cameras
- "Secret" Baltimore Speed Camera Audit Found 10% Error Rate
- Speed Camera Reform Act Just a Big Fat Lie
- Court Rules Against Morningside on Public Records Access
- Speed Camera Company Celebrates "Bounty System" Loophole
- Montgomery County Steals Lanes for Expensive Bus Program
- Wicomico County Teachers Say Camera is Not Accurate
- Montgomery Council President Rice Racked Up Tickets
- Circuit Court Rules Innocence is a Defense, Rejects "Snitch" Requirement
- Baltimore Ends Camera Contract, Moves to Hides Records
- Montgomery Scamera Boss Lies About Red Light Camera "Warning Flashes"
- Montgomery County Camera Boss Blocks Public From Secret Meeting
- Salisbury Records Show Calibration Lapses, Sorry No Refunds!!
- Speed Camera Accuracy Questioned in Morningside
- Attorny General Gansler Depicted as "Reckless Passenger"
- Morningside Deployed Cameras Despite County Denial
- Morningside Admits Maintaining No Calibration Records, Doesn't Operate Own Cameras
- ACLU Documents Mass Tracking of Motorists By License Plate Scannrs
- Brekford Demands Tribute to See Calibration Records
- Access To Brekford Calibration Records Stalled in Salisbury, Morningside
- Public and Private Lobbyists Worked to Kill Speed Camera Reform
- Montgomery County Speed Camera Transforms Toyota into Dodge
- Montgomery County Boasts Error Rate "Under Ten Percent"
- Speed Camera Company Collects Dirt on Competitors
- Woman Gets 3 Tickets from DC Without Going There
- Legislature Raises Gas Tax
- Laurel, Hagerstown Circumvent Calibration Requirement
- Speed Camera Calibration Fails To Ensure Accuracy
- Speed Camera Programs Flout Sunshine Law
- Xerox Admits 5% Error Rate For Speed Camera Tickets
- Baltimore Cites Motionless Car For Speeding
- O'Malley Says Speed Camera Bounties Are Illegal
- Baltimore Ticketed Innocent Delivery Vehicle: Documents Prove Speed Camera Error
- Rockville Sees Huge Surge in Red Light Violations
- Trucking Company Challenges Accuracy of Baltimore Citations: Videos Prove Speed Camera Errors
- Speed Camera Salesman Caught Speeding AGAIN
- Riverdale Park Defends Forgery of Police Signatures
- High Court Rules Local Governments Above the Law
- Riverdale Park Allowed Civilians to Forge Police Approvals
- Baltimore Speed Camera Issues Ticket to the Dead
- Statewide Speed Cameras Now a $77Million Per Year Industry
- PG County Court Presumes All Defendants Guilty
- Town Releases Documents Proving Errors With Optotraffic Cameras
- Man arrested for asserting innocence in speed camera hearing
- Optotraffic Representative Caught Speeding
- Driver Uses Carchip to Challenge Optotraffic Camera
- Deceased Baltimore Cop Signs 2000 Citations
- Montgomery County Denies Right To Face Camera Operator In Court
- ACS Buys Steak Dinners For Lawmakers
- Baltimore City Issues Hundreds of Tickets in Error
- Baltimore Writes Speed Camera Revenues Into Budget Before Cameras Approved
- Camera Mistakenly Accuses Driver of 100mph Rampage
- Montgomery County Scamera Contract Includes Massive PR Campaign
- Optotraffic Investigates Possible Speed Camera Errors
- Speed Camera Legislation Attracts Lobbyists
- Sykesville Voters Overturn Speed Cameras in Referendum
- Traffic Engineering Techniques Out-perform Speed Cameras
- Transportation Planning Board Unveils Plan to Track and Tax Drivers