A Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone - and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction. But the Mazda wasn't speeding. It wasn't even moving. The two photos printed on the citation as evidence of speeding show the car was idling at a red light with its brake lights illuminated.
A three-second video clip also offered as evidence shows the car motionless, as traffic flows by on a cross street. City officials gave no explanation for how it happened. Doty, a lawyer who lives in Lauraville, said he and his wife were amazed that the ticket was issued, calling it "shockingly obvious" from the images that the car was stopped.
He has challenged the ticket. "It was like someone was so obviously asleep at the switch," he said. "I thought that was not supposed to happen." The city's speed camera contractor, Xerox State and Local Solutions, says each potential citation goes through two layers of review to weed out any that have a deficiency, such as an illegible licence plate.
Then a Baltimore police officer must review the citation before approving it for issuance to the vehicle owner. Each citation says the officer swears or affirms that the car was going at least 12 mph over the speed limit "based on inspection of the recorded images." The officer's signature is also printed. Transportation Department spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes offered no explanation.