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Mayor’s task force issues recommendations for speed camera reform

By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun3:45 p.m. EDT, March 20, 2013

A task force studying Baltimore’s troubled speed camera program will urge the city to increase oversight of the process, change the way camera sites are selected and create a new website containing maps and other information for the public, according to draft recommendations made public Wednesday.

A final report should be ready in the next two weeks, said Barbara Zektick, the city transportation official overseeing the task force. That report will be presented to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who formed the group last summer.

“It’s going to help us make a better program,” said Acting Transportation Director Frank Murphy. “We all want this to be a very successful program. We want it to be accurate and effective. We think these things will help us do that.”

Several members of the task force visited the Anne Arundel County headquarters of Brekford Corp., the city’s new vendor. Members of the news media weren’t allowed inside by a company official who explained that it is a “secure facility.”

Among the task force’s recommendations are suggestions that the city should:

  • Provide more police for citation review: “Officers should not feel rushed to review citations.”

  • Require the vendor to issue monthly reports to the city.

  • Require camera calibration by a third party.

  • Evaluate speed limits for “appropriateness.”

  • Initiate town hall-style meetings for issues of public concern.

  • Restrain media access to the task force to enable “frank, productive conversations.”

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