Updated(8:25 a.m.)—Baltimore County will add seven new speed cameras and seven new red light cameras under the terms of a proposed contract to be discussed on Tuesday.
The contract with ACS State and Local Solutions would add the cameras within five months of approval of the contract by the County Council, according to notes on the contract prepared by the county auditor's office.
Currently, the county has 15 speed cameras installed in school zones around the county. Last year the council removed the cap on the number of cameras that could be installed.
The county also has eight red light cameras in intersections around the county. There is no limit to the number of red light cameras that can be installed. The county had nearly two dozen when the program began in the 1990s.
Under the terms of the contract which covers 37 total cameras, ACS State and Local Solutions would be paid about $6.2 million for the cameras over the initial five-year term. The contract contains two additional one-year extensions.
Over the life of the full seven years, ACS State and Local Solutions could receive more than $9.1 million.
In return, the company agrees to:
- Complete site evaluations on 15 red light camera locations as well as 60 possible speed camera sites.
- Install the initial 14 cameras within 5 months of contract approval.
- The total number of new cameras over the initial term of the contract is capped at 18 cameras.
Speed cameras in Baltimore County are restricted to school zones. Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit by more than 12 mph are issued a $40 ticket with no points.
Red light camera violations carry a $75 fine.
Last year Patch reported that ACS State and Local Solutions received nearly 90 cents of every dollar in speed camera fines that the county collects.
The county estimates that the new contract will generate nearly $1.2 million in fines paid. ACS State and Local Solutions will be paid nearly $19 per citation paid. The county estimates the program will cost about $1.1 million annually over the first five years of the contract, based on 55,440 paid tickets.
Last year the county collected nearly $3.2 million in speed camera fines. ACS State and Local Solutions was paid nearly $3.1 million. The county kept more than $184,000 that went to the general fund.
The county is still owed nearly $1.3 million in fines from 31,798 outstanding citations.
The county expects to generate about $97,000 in red light camera violations. Of that, about $69,000 will be paid to ACS State and Local Solutions. The estimate is based on the expectation that the county will be paid for more than 2,200 tickets, according to the auditor's note.
Most councilmembers were not immediately available to comment on the contract.
David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, said the contract should be closely examined.
"I voted against the speed camera bill, but it's now the law and I recognize the county has a right to implement the program," said Marks. "Still, the council should scrutinize the contract. Questions have been raised about the revenue the contractor receives, and I really don't like waiting until 2017 to decide whether or not to renew the contract once we approve it. "