City to expand speed camera auditor's contract

Baltimore is planning to expand its contract with an independent firm that monitored its latest attempt to install speed cameras throughout Baltimore and found numerous problems.

On Wednesday, the city's Board of Estimates plans to pay $237,000 to URS Corp. for "additional independent monitoring services" for Baltimore's speed and red light cameras — which likely will be off line for months.

The San Francisco-based company will monitor "engineering services, documents and preparing standard operating procedures and business rules," according to the board's agenda.

The company was paid $278,000 last year to monitor Brekford Corp.'s efforts to implement a new speed camera system in Baltimore. The consultant's findings showed that Brekford's program suffered from a number of flaws, including some cameras with defective radar, hundreds of tickets with incorrect citation numbers and preventable error rates that some weeks were as high as 30 percent.

Those findings contributed to the city's decision to sever its five-year contract with Brekford, of Anne Arundel County, in December.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said she's not giving up on speed cameras. City officials plan to pursue a smaller system in 2014.

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