I know we do not have speed cameras in northeast Florida, but it is just a matter of times before they are considered. After watching the national news the other night about a huge controversy in Baltimore, I hope city leaders pause before they consider bringing them here.
Baltimore City has had speed cameras for several years. The city shut down the entire speed camera system this past April after some cameras were caught issuing false citations. Recently, the Baltimore Sun obtained a secret audit conducted two years ago that the city refused to release. The audit looked at citations issued in the city in Spring 2012 and found an error rate of 10.6 percent. The city issued roughly 700,000 speed camera tickets at $40 each in fiscal year 2012. If 10 percent were wrong, 70,000 would have wrongly been charged $2.8 million.
For the audit, the City looked at a sample of nearly 1,000 tickets from a random day in 2012 at 37 of the city’s 83 speed cameras. The firm said it could vouch for the accuracy of about only 64 percent of tickets. More than 10 percent were found to be in error. Another 26 percent were described as questionable. While 13 cameras had double-digit error rates, 12 had no errors, the audit found. In all, errors in tickets were found at 25 of the cameras analyzed.
As the controversery has been splashed all over the papers and news across the country, Mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, released the following statement: œThis document is an inconclusive report that does not reflect any final conclusions about the accuracy of the speed camera program, as is noted on page seven. It is false to insinuate that the city sought to keep the public in the dark when we acted quickly to take the speed camera program offline due to errors, voided erroneous citations and provided refunds to impacted residents. The idea that there are more problems than have already been made public are not supported by this document. The mayor has been clear that the program will remain offline until we can vouch for its accuracy.
All I can say is WOW.
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