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NEWS
February 8, 2012
I read with interest the letter detailing abuses of the speed camera system in Maryland ("Speed cameras nail the innocent, too," Feb. 4). Abuses unfortunately also extend to the red light system. Some time ago I received a citation from Baltimore's Department of Finance, Bureau of Revenue Collections demanding $75 for committing an illegal turn on red at a city intersection. However, turning on red is perfectly legal at that intersection, and the photograph on the citation shows my vehicle not even yet in the intersection, with the brake light on to boot.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2014
A major speed and red light camera company is lobbying city government to take over the city's once-lucrative traffic camera system, records show. Throughout 2013, Arizona-based speed camera firm American Traffic Solutions Inc. spent $25,000 lobbying city government in hopes of winning a new traffic camera contract after the city shut the system down in April amid accuracy concerns. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said she intends to restart the system, which was once North America's largest, this year.
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FEATURES
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2011
Red-light cameras — reviled by many motorists as an intrusion by "Big Brother" — saved 159 lives in Baltimore and 13 other U.S. cities over a five-year period, according to a study to be released Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The report said its study of traffic fatalities in 99 large cities suggested that 815 lives might have been saved if all those cities had installed such cameras. Baltimore was one of 14 cities that had such cameras in operation during the study, which monitored the record of the cameras from 2004 to 2008.
NEWS
November 4, 2013
Imagine my dismay as I was rushing out the door on my way to a morning class only to spot a $52 parking ticket on the windshield of my car. I looked all around the area where I was parked to check for any possible infractions and then looked at the ticket and was stunned to see it was for parking in a two-hour zone overnight without a proper permit. This would be understandable, except for the fact that I do have a proper permit that is registered to my car, up to date, and clearly displayed on my windshield.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2012
As Baltimore's speed cameras rack up millions of dollars in fines, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is convening a task force to study the devices and the city's red light cameras. "Over the past decade, there have been more traffic and pedestrian fatalities in Baltimore City than fire-related deaths," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "This comprehensive review of the program will help ensure that our systems are improving traffic and pedestrian safety, and that the program is as accurate, efficient, and effective as possible.
NEWS
By Jody K. Vilschick and Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 9, 2004
I LOVE red-light cameras. Gotcha! I think, every time I see one flash. And when someone asks me the best way to "get out of paying" a red-light-camera ticket, I just grin. There is no "best way," and if their cars are in the photo, even my best friends don't get my sympathy. How hard is it to stop at a red light? Dawn Malmberg, also a fan of red-light cameras, is wondering why one appears to have disappeared: "What happened to the red-light cameras on Little Patuxent Parkway at Broken Land Parkway?
NEWS
By Jody K. Vilschick and Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 11, 2004
I'M ALWAYS amused by those who complain about red-light cameras. Inevitably, they'll confess to having received a ticket or two. Oops. If you're not a fan of red-light cameras, there's a simple way to ensure you never have to deal with one: Don't run red lights. Simple enough. I'm a fan of red-light cameras, and here's why: They are saving lives. According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Oxnard, Calif., "injury crashes" at intersections where the cameras were introduced in 1997 were reduced by 29 percent.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | September 6, 2001
Against the backdrop of National Stop on Red Week, Baltimore-area police and officials defended Maryland's use of red-light cameras, saying they differ from the San Diego program that was ruled to violate California law. Howard County took a step further from the San Diego program yesterday by announcing that it has switched from paying a per-citation fee to a per-month fee to its camera company. But AAA Mid-Atlantic said Baltimore's camera program is disturbingly similar to the one in San Diego, which has drawn national criticism for improperly outsourcing police work to a private company.
NEWS
By Artika Rangan and Artika Rangan,SUN STAFF | August 22, 2004
Red light runners in Bel Air soon will have digital cameras to thank for the fines they receive in the mail. Town officials plan to replace one of Bel Air's three 35mm red-light cameras with a digital system by the end of the month, providing officers with more precise photographs. The digital camera would be installed at Route 24 and Baltimore Pike, and its sensor would be above ground, rather than in its current location underneath the road. "The technology is better, and the quality of pictures will be clearer," said Chief Leo Matrangola of the Bel Air Police Department, adding that the department would receive the pictures electronically, rather than having to develop them.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,SUN STAFF | March 14, 2000
Calling Maryland's red-light camera law "unfair and un-American," a Baltimore lawyer who got a ticket thanks to one of the cameras filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging the constitutionality of the statute. Imad K. Dajani, 41, an arbitration and civil rights attorney, said the red-light cameras deprive motorists of their right to defend themselves. "The statute in effect creates a presumption of guilt," said Dajani, who in November was ordered to pay a $55 fine and $23 in court costs for running a red light at Fayette and President streets.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2013
Six months after Baltimore pulled its speed and red light cameras offline because of mistakes, officials say the city's vendor still isn't ready to begin issuing tickets — and no one can say when the program will resume. The city counts on the cameras both to enforce safe-driving laws and to generate millions of dollars in revenue. The continued delay and uncertainty are causing some to question whether Baltimore's new vendor, Brekford Corp. of Anne Arundel County, is up to the task.
BUSINESS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2013
Anne Arundel County-based Brekford Corp. reported a loss in the second quarter - a period that coincided with a decision by Baltimore officials to suspend the city's speed and red light camera program, which is supported by the company. "We anticipated a net loss during the second quarter, as we incurred significant costs in anticipation of our role as the primary vendor in the implementation of" the city's camera program, CEO C. B. Brechin said in a statement released Friday. The publicly traded company reported a net loss of $476,068 during the quarter, compared with net income of $126,535 in the year-earlier quarter.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
Two months after Baltimore stopped issuing tickets from its speed and red light cameras, city officials said Thursday they still don't know when the automated enforcement program will resume. "We want to be able to re-establish the public trust in what we're doing," said William Johnson, who was appointed transportation director by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in May. A Baltimore Sun investigation last year documented erroneous speed readings from several speed cameras supplied by a prior vendor and found that city judges routinely throw out tickets for various deficiencies.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2013
A task force studying Baltimore's troubled speed camera program will urge the city to increase oversight, change the way camera sites are selected and create a website containing maps and other information of interest to the public, according to draft recommendations released Wednesday. A final report is expected to be presented in the next two weeks to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who formed the task force last summer. "It's going to help us make a better program," acting Transportation Director Frank Murphy said.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2013
Anne Arundel County government hasn't supported the installation of speed cameras, but beginning Friday one slice of the county will have them anyway. Annapolis is set to launch its own enforcement program, even while state legislators consider overhauling Maryland's speed camera law in the wake of troubles with the Baltimore program. The Annapolis program, approved by the City Council in November 2011, allows for three speed cameras that, by law, must operate within school zones.
NEWS
January 23, 2013
Maryland law says that "if a contractor operates a speed camera system on behalf of a local jurisdiction, the contractor's fee may not be contingent on the number of citations issued or paid. " Baltimore City, like some other jurisdictions around the state, has nonetheless paid the private firms that manage its camera system on a per-ticket basis. The way Baltimore officials and others around the state have justified this apparent contradiction is by contending that the government is, technically, the "operator" of the speed cameras, and the vendor is merely under contract to "provide support services.
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | August 20, 2004
A $10 million class action lawsuit filed in Baltimore Circuit Court alleges that the city has been fraudulently sending out $75 tickets to people who it says run red traffic lights. The allegation is that the signals in question had unusually short yellow lights -- less than three seconds -- that placed unsuspecting motorists under the signals as they turned red. Then, cameras took pictures of their license plates, leading to fines for car owners. "These car owners are the unwitting victims of a fraud," reads the suit.
NEWS
By SHERIDAN LYONS and SHERIDAN LYONS,SUN REPORTER | October 9, 2005
The Carroll County commissioners are considering whether to install red-light cameras at dangerous intersections. The intent is to reduce accidents, not to generate revenue, said Ted Zaleski, director of the Department of Management and Budget, in a preliminary briefing last week at the commissioners' request. The vendor would receive a fixed fee, rather than a fee per citation or a percentage of the fines. The cameras snap a photograph only when the light is red, he said. The length of the yellow light, which has provoked criticism in Baltimore and elsewhere, would not be a factor.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2013
Baltimore officials said Monday they are scrapping all 83 of the city's automated speed cameras and "methodically" replacing them with newer models, after a Baltimore Sun investigation found errors with the system. The overhaul, estimated to cost about $450,000, comes after the city's new speed camera contractor, Brekford Corp., analyzed Baltimore's system and concluded the only way to cut down on the errors was to replace all the cameras with newer models, the company said. Maurice R. Nelson, managing director of Brekford, said hiring enough employees and police officers to catch all the errors the old cameras were generating would be too expensive.
NEWS
Marta H. Mossburg | December 18, 2012
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake became Mayor Speed Camera last week in the eyes of the nation. Too bad for her. She had almost achieved national sanctification as Mayor Race Car and Mayor Crime Prevention until revelations from Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Calvert that a city speed camera ticketed a stopped car made a top billing on the Drudge Report and went viral on the web. About 14 million people each month visit Drudge, known for its provocative...
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