Woman beats Maryland ticket when town doesn’t show up in court

MORNINGSIDE, Md. — Several months after WTOP Ticketbuster broke a story that caused serious questions to be asked about speed-camera accuracy in Morningside, another driver has come forward to tell her story.

Kristie, who asked we not use her last name, received a ticket on Dec. 12, 2013, from the camera at 6800 Suitland Rd.

Morningside, Md., is a town with about 2,000 residents and about 0.5 square mile between Suitland Parkway and the Capital Beltway near Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County.

As WTOP reported last November, two drivers came forward with videos showing them going the speed limit, yet still receiving speed camera tickets. WTOP was able to authenticate both videos independently.

“After I got the ticket, I started doing some research and that’s when I found the WTOP articles, which said there were people contesting these tickets in Morningside,” Kristie says. “When I read that, I starting thinking maybe there is something wrong with these cameras, I wondered if they are working correctly, if they are calibrated correctly.”

Morningside has told WTOP that it believes the Suitland Road speed cameras are accurate because their vendor — Brekford Corp. — gave it an annual calibration. Nonetheless, the Baltimore Sun uncovered an independent audit from URS Corporation that found Brekford cameras in Baltimore that were calibrated still suffered equipment malfunctions and defective radars.

“I wanted to go to traffic court and ask for certain things,” Kristie says. “Any type of documentation showing that the cameras were calibrated correctly. Also that they received permission from the county and also that they posted where the camera is located on their website and in a local newspaper.”

Each of those documents are required to operate a speed camera program under Maryland Annotated Code


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