Baltimore Looks To Relaunch Speed Camera Program

BALTIMORE (WJZ) –Speed cameras could be going back on in Baltimore City.

The cameras have been shut down for for two years after widespread errors lead the city to refund thousands of drivers.

Now a new report details what went wrong.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how city officials are trying to fix it.

The cameras were turned off after it was revealed thousands of drivers got tickets and they weren’t even speeding.

Drivers could soon be seeing the familiar flash of speed cameras in Baltimore City.

The cameras before never ever worked.

That’s what caused the city to shut down the program in 2013 after refunding more than 3,000 drivers for erroneous tickets.

“They might catch you going a certain speed and you’re really not going that speed,” motorist Bianca Elliott said.

“Virtually everyone agrees that the program was too big,” Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft said. ” DOT did not have the proper personnel to handel it and too few people were assigned solely to its operations.:

Now a city council report lists recommendations for restarting a smaller program, including naming a full time director, reviewing site selection for the cameras and operating far few cameras.

The report also recommends keeping up the inoperable cameras. The dummy cameras to serve as a deterrent for speeders.

“I think it’s good for the city to find a way to finally put those speed cameras to use,” motorist Ron Schmelzer said.

But Ron Ely with the Maryland Driver’s Alliance says the cameras aren’t making roads safer.

“I think it’s definitely more about money than it is about safety,” Ely said.

While operating the 83 speed cameras made the city 140 million dollars.

Ely says even with a smaller program the cameras could be inaccurate.

“These were not defective cameras that were put on the streets. These cameras passed all their calibration tests,” he added.

Meaning they could still give tickets to drivers who are obeying the law.

At this point leaders don’t have a time frame for when a new speed camera program could begin.

Baltimore’s speed and red light camera system was once the largest in the country.

 

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