Baltimore to spend $11.7 million to add 45 speed and red light cameras

Nearly 50 new speed and red light cameras will be added to Baltimore’s existing traffic surveillance network following their unanimous approval by the city’s spending board Wednesday.

The new cameras — 25 for speed violations and 20 for red lights — will be installed and calibrated via three existing contracts, which are set to increase by more than than $11.7 million to finance the expansion.


The addition of the new cameras will bring the total number of red light cameras in the city to 155 and speed cameras to 165, according to the agenda for the city’s Board of Estimates.

According to agenda, the city Department of Transportation expects the number of cameras to further increase over the life of the contracts, which do not expire until May 2022.


“The DOT cannot accurately predict how many additional cameras may be needed and respectfully notes that it will be necessary for the Department to return to the BOE later to request additional funding for the remainder of the contract,” the agenda states.

The city’s spending board approved the camera spending without discussion.

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Baltimore’s current traffic camera program is actually its third. The first two were revealed to have issued erroneous tickets. A Baltimore Sun investigation in 2012 detailed several problems, including ticketing slow-moving or stopped cars.

Contracts for the current system were awarded in 2017. Baltimore initially paid out $5.4 million to American Traffic Solutions and $4.2 million to Conduent State & Local Solutions for the cameras. A third $80,000 contract was signed with MRA Digital LLC for calibration checks of the speed cameras.

With the addition of the cameras approved Wednesday, the city will have paid more than $19 million to American Traffic Solutions and $17 million to Conduent State & Local Solutions since 2017. Money spent on calibration has ballooned to $583,545.

The cost of the contracts is based on a flat price for each camera installed and set by state law.

Mayor Brandon Scott, one of five members of the spending board who also appoints two of its members, said this week he supports the expansion of the camera network as long as they are distributed equitably.

“I know when I go into community centers, I consistently get requests for [some areas] to have them and ‘Why don’t we have them in my neighborhood when they have them in this neighborhood?’” he said.


Baltimore Sun reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.