"You could fool me," Sweeney shot back.

But going to court proved well worth Parker's time: Sweeney threw out 17 of his 27 citations.

She dismissed three after an official with the city's speed camera contractor said there was no video footage, even though the cameras should have recorded it.

And the judge found Parker not guilty on more than 10 others because other vehicles were visible alongside his pickup truck in the recorded images that the contractor presented as evidence.

Even when Sweeney found him guilty by a preponderance of the evidence, she sometimes cut his fine. He wound up owing $330, far less than the $1,080 it would have cost him to pay the tickets.

Afterward Parker expressed frustration with the speed camera program, saying it's difficult to defend against a photo months after the fact. He questioned the accuracy of the devices. But he acknowledged that he might not always obey the speed limit, and said getting the tickets had been a wake-up call.

"I do the speed limit," he said. "I really do."

Maybe so. On Sept. 4, his pickup got another ticket, this time from a speed camera in the 5100 block of Windsor Mill Road.

The Sun's investigation also included a broad look at speed cameras throughout out the area and found that the tickets themselves can be inaccurate, and the process unfair. Since the investigation was published, local and state officials have called for greater oversight, a city councilman announced plans for a public hearing and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has pledged to strive for "a zero-error program."



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