Dump cameras, install speed bumps [Letter]

December 29, 2013

Let me start off by saying that I am not opposed to speed cameras by themselves. I am only opposed to speed cameras that do not accurately measure speed and/or do not provide sufficient information in their documentation to violators to prove that the speed limit was exceeded by the amount specified by law.

Baltimore officials insist that the city's speed camera program is intended to protect the safety of schoolchildren and not to make money. Based on that stated objective, I would like to know why the city does not just install a series of speed bumps on the roads around the schools that pose the most risk to children. It seems to me this would be a lot less costly than spending significantly more taxpayer dollars trying to make a broken speed camera system work, including diagnosing the issues, repairing the inaccurate speed cameras and improving the software to provide the documented basis to prove the speed violation.

I believe Baltimore should avoid having to pay additional termination costs of $600,000 or more to another vendor if it also fails to successfully implement an accurate speed camera program ("Trouble persisted during Baltimore speed camera tests, record show," Dec. 21). It's bad enough that the city has to pay that kind of money to terminate its contract for non-performance with a vendor that never got the system successfully working as required by its contract. Not to mention the countless dollars returned to people who received speeding tickets that proved to be inaccurate and the countless taxpayer dollars spent by the police or other departments examining the violations for accuracy. That money could have been used toward installing speed bumps instead.

Accordingly, rather than spend any more taxpayer money on the cost of any future speed camera contracts, the cost of reviewing the violations for accuracy and the cost of any future contract terminations that will result if the new vendor does not successfully implement the program, use the amount of that saved money needed to install speed bumps. Then use any remaining money saved toward other city expenses.

Larry Scheinin, Baltimore

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