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Baltimore City Probing Speed Camera Accuracy

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— More problems with speed cameras in Baltimore. City officials admit they found another camera recording inaccurate speeds.

Adam May has the latest black eye for the program.

This is the third camera with known problems. While the city is investigating what’s wrong, it’s still in operation.

The speed camera on Cold Spring Lane near Falls Road has recorded 11,000 speeders, but after a handful of challenges,  eight tickets have been voided because the camera was recording inaccurate speeds.

“The camera is having some kind of glitch, but what kind we really don’t know,” said Jack Young.

The City Council is planning to hold hearings on the growing problems. An investigation by WJZ’s media partner the Baltimore Sun also found problems with at least two other cameras, outraging drivers.

“I think they should give us our money back,” one driver said.

“I think it’s a money maker,” said another driver.

“That was a problem that was caught. How many are not caught they have made?” a motorist said.

The city Department of Transportation says they are working with the camera vendors to continue a rigorous investigation.

In fiscal year 2012, drivers paid more than $19 million in fines–more than $4 million more than projected.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake defends the program.

“I don’t want anyone to get a ticket in error, but I would rather face that person and correct the problem because you can’t bring a child back if we lose one because some think it’s more important to get to work 5 minutes late versus 10 minutes late,” the mayor said.

The mayor assembled a task force to look into the cameras well before these errors became public.

She tells WJZ the cameras are making streets safer.

Speed violations dropped by 80 percent last year, between May 2010 and September 2011.

The average speed of drivers is down at 44 of 48 fixed camera locations, meaning school zones are slower.

Despite these problems, city officials say the speed camera program has an error rate of less than one-quarter of one percent.

The City Council investigation is expected next month.

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