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City Awards Red Light Camera Contract To Company That Issued Bogus Tickets In Baltimore

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 14, 2013 4:10PM

Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc. was one of two companies in the running for the city’s speed camera contract. Although that bid eventually went to Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, Xerox did receive a fine consolation prize in addition to the “Chicago Speeding Camera program” home game. The Chicago Department of Transportation awarded Xerox with the contract for the city’s 400 red light cameras.

Negotiations between the city and Xerox are ongoing, but the Tribune reports the company was eventually released from its contract to maintain speed light cameras in Baltimore earlier this year because faulty equipment resulted in thousands of bogus tickets issued to motorists.

The Baltimore Sun conducted a series of investigations that showed, in some cases, Xerox’s speed cameras had a 5 percent error rate, a motionless car being issued a speeding ticket, and Baltimore eventually replacing their entire speed camera network. The Sun’s attempts to fact-check the accuracy of the speed camera program was hampered somewhat by government agencies being barred from releasing photos from the intersections the cameras operated. A Xerox spokesman told the Tribune the company doesn't foresee a repeat of the problems they had in Baltimore in Chicago, but this bears watching.

Xerox won the bid for Chicago’s red light cameras because they were amenable to using most of the infrastructure currently in place. (Maybe they assume Xerox can't screw it up?) The red light camera contract was up for bid after the previous holder, Redflex Traffic Systems, was booted in the wake of a bribery scandal involving a high-ranking CDOT official.