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Road For City Speed Cameras Gets Bumpier As Secret Audit Sparks Cover-Up Claims; Mayor Reacts

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Bui Linh 370x278 XL (2) Linh Bui
Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a reporter/weekend...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The controversy continues over Baltimore City’s speed cameras. New information shows thousands were wrongly charged.  And now there are accusations of a cover-up to which the mayor is denying.

Linh Bui has the revelations from a secret audit.

The rough road for Baltimore City speed cameras gets even bumpier.

The city shut down the entire speed camera system in April after some cameras were caught issuing false citations.

“As soon as one fails, they should all come down. It’s not a foolproof system,” said Brian Lennon, driver.

But the problem is even worse than the city reported.

Our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, obtained a secret audit conducted two years ago that the city refused to release.

The audit found an error rate of more than 10 percent, resulting in thousands more erroneous tickets.

“It’s more than a mess. It’s a sham,” said Councilmember Carl Stokes, Baltimore City.

Stokes says he will ask the council to subpoena the audit, so that it’s released to the public.

“The cover-up is worse than the crime. Had they just released the audit originally and said there were very large mistakes made, then we could have dealt with it two years ago,” Stokes said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s team released the following statement:

“This 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.”

The audit found 12 cameras had no errors, but 13 cameras had double-digit error rates.

According to the audit obtained by The Baltimore Sun, a speed camera on Loch Raven Boulevard had a 58 percent error rate.

“I think they need to take them down and put real people back on the street. Because machines can’t make judgment calls,” said Penelope Garcia, driver.

“What is more wrong than the error of the cameras is the fact that people knew that these cameras were wrong, and they did nothing but continue to collect money from citizens,” Stokes said.

Xerox, the company that operated Baltimore City’s speed camera system, is also the speed camera vendor for Baltimore County and Howard County.

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