The Hagerstown Police Department Takes Corrective Action in Regards to Local Speed Cameras

The Hagerstown Police Department Takes Corrective Action in Regards to Local Speed Cameras

The Hagerstown Police Department is taking corrective action in regards to an oversight with the Safe Speed for Students Program, the City's automated speed enforcement system operated in school zones. Over 800 motorists who were issued citations over an approximate one-month period between December 2012 and January 2013 will be receiving refunds if they have already paid the fine. Checks performed by officers of the Hagerstown Police Department indicate the system was functioning properly during the timeframe; however, select radar units were not recertified under the guidelines mandated by State law.
Maryland law requires the radar units to be independently tested and certified every 12 months to ensure the units are calibrated and working correctly. During a court hearing on Monday it was discovered that one of the radar units on Northern Avenue had a lapse in certification of one month. The case involved three citations issued to the same vehicle during the month of January 2013, which were dismissed by District Court Judge Mark Thomas. It was noted during the case that even though the radar unit in the speed camera involved was found to be operating properly when it was recertified, the citations had to be dismissed because the original certification had expired.
As a result, Police Chief Mark Holtzman called for an immediate review of all radar certifications in the system to identify any citations that were issued from cameras with expired certifications. This resulted in the discovery of two additional radar certifications that had lapsed in January of 2013. A detailed listed of all camera locations are included in this notice. The police department recently completed a recertification on all radar units in the system and all cameras are currently operating with certified radar.
Next Steps:
* Notices will be mailed to anyone who was issued a citation in error.
* Refunds will be issued if payment has already been made.
The police department contracts with Brekford Corporation of Hanover, MD to supply its speed camera equipment. Under the agreement, Brekford is responsible for shipping the radar units to an independent lab for recertification every 12 months. Brekford has responded quickly to the requests from the police department and has identified the exact number of citations affected by the lapse in certification. Notices will be mailed this week to anyone who received a citation in error. Refund checks will also be mailed to those who have made payments in the amount that was paid. Brekford has agreed to pay the full amount of the refunds.
The police department and the officers who operate the speed camera program have worked hard to build confidence in the program since its beginning in April of 2012 by routinely conducting system tests that exceed state law requirements. In this case it was not the equipment that failed but the handling of the recertification.
Hagerstown Refundable Citations (referenced by Location, Dates, Amount Mailed, and Amount Paid:
40 East Memorial Blvd East Bound - 12/28/2012-1/27/2013 - 291 - 259 ($9,770)
700 Block Northern Ave West Bound - 12/29/2012-1/27/2013 - 482 - 423 ($16,150)
700 Block W Franklin St West Bound - 12/28/2012-1/27/2013 - 35 - 31 ($1,180)
Total Amount Mailed: 808 - Total Amount paid: 713 ($27,100)