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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:42 pmApr 16, 20130

City suspends speed camera program, temporarily, it says

At least for a spell, motorists whizzing past schools and down city streets will get a reprieve, courtesy of persistent “mistakes” engulfing the Automatic Traffic Violation Enforcement  System (ATVES) – better known as speed cameras.

Frank Murphy, acting director of the Department of Transportation, said he ordered Brekford Corp., the new vendor, to cease producing speeding citations yesterday until the agency irons out “several concerns” about the performance of the system.

The concerns reportedly involve “clerical mistakes” in recent citations, including payment options listed on the citations and the posted speed limit along The Alameda in northeast Baltimore.

Checking the Entire System

“We do not have a date for resumption – we want time to check the entire program,” Murphy said in an email message to The Brew, which asked him to clarify a cryptic message tweeted by his agency this afternoon announcing the ATVES suspension.

Last November, the Rawlings-Blake administration ousted longtime vendor, Xerox State & Local Solutions, in favor of Hanover-based Brekford after The Baltimore Sun documented a spate of speed camera errors.

Brekford agreed to pay all upfront costs of the system and share about 25% of the fines paid by motorists from speeding citations issued by the machines.

Last week, the Board of Estimates agreed to pay Brekford $2.2 million to subsidize the purchase of 62 new speed cameras, after the old cameras were rendered inoperable when Xerox removed the software.

DOT stressed tonight that the clerical mistakes “do not relate to the accuracy of the radar technology.”

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