Speed camera company reimbursing drivers, Greenbelt -- Gazette.Net


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More than $26,000 in speed camera tickets issued in Greenbelt are being voided, and drivers who paid fines are being reimbursed, according to the Greenbelt Police Department.

The Greenbelt Police Department issued a statement saying a speed camera in the 7700 block of Hanover Parkway had not been properly certified from Dec. 27 to Jan. 27 and another speed camera in the 5900 block of Cherrywood Lane was not properly certified from Jan. 19 to Feb. 19.

Maryland law requires the radar calibration on each camera be certified as accurate.

“Under state law, every 12 months, every camera needs to be certified by a third party. These cameras were not properly certified within that time period,” said Greenbelt Master Police Officer Jonathan Lowndes.

Speed cameras are devices that capture a photo of the license plates on vehicles traveling at least 12 mph over the speed limit. Owners of the vehicles are sent a $40 citation.

Lowndes said the department was notified of the expired certifications on May 23 by Hanover-based Brekford Corp., the company that maintains and calibrates the speed cameras.

A Brekford representative said the company declined to comment for this story and referred all questions to the Greenbelt Police Department.

Lowndes said 664 citations were issued by the two cameras during the affected time period, but due to the lack of certification, those tickets have been voided.

Drivers who paid their tickets will be reimbursed by Brekford, Lowndes said, since the police department does not collect speed camera fines. Citation payments are made directly to Brekford, Lowndes said.

Unpaid tickets will be voided and any related Motor Vehicle Administration records will be cleared, according to a Greenbelt Police Department news release.

Lowndes said he was advised by Brekford that notifications would be sent by mail to affected drivers on or near July 26.

The city will be compensated by Brekford for citation revenue lost, the release stated.

Lowndes said the citations were each $40, which would equal $26,560 for 664 citations. According to a letter from Greenbelt Police Chief James Craze, the city requested reimbursement from Brekford of $15,936, Greenbelt’s portion of the camera revenue.

Lowndes said all five speed cameras in Greenbelt are now up to date on their radar certification.

In May, WTOP reported that Brekford was to pay more than $27,000 to Hagerstown due to a lapse in speed camera certification.

Speed cameras have been in operation in Greenbelt since September. In addition to the two that had lapsed certifications, speed cameras are also located on Crescent Road, between Northway and Greenhill roads; in the 7700 block of Mandan Road; and Edmonston Road at Springhill Court.

John Persons of Greenbelt said he is glad the city quickly put out information regarding the cameras.

“It gives more public trust that they’re using it for what it’s supposed to be used for: getting people to obey the law rather than lining their pockets,” he said, adding that he’s not a big fan of speed cameras in general. “... It’s too Big Brother-ish, in my personal opinion.”

janfenson-comeau@gazette.net