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Baltimore Issued Speed Camera Ticket To Motionless Car 286

Posted by Soulskill
from the cameras-take-into-account-the-rotation-of-the-earth dept.
SternisheFan sends this story from the Baltimore Sun: "The Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone — and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction. But the Mazda wasn't speeding. It wasn't even moving. The two photos printed on the citation as evidence of speeding show the car was idling at a red light with its brake lights illuminated. A three-second video clip also offered as evidence shows the car motionless, as traffic flows by on a cross street. Since the articles' publication, several lawmakers have called for changes to the state law that governs the way the city and other jurisdictions operate speed camera programs. Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that state law bars contractors from being paid based on the number of citations issued or paid —an approach used by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County and elsewhere. 'The law says you're not supposed to charge by volume. I don't think we should charge by volume,' O'Malley said. "If any county is, they need to change their program.'"
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Baltimore Issued Speed Camera Ticket To Motionless Car

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  • Re:Obviously guilty (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:48PM (#42292697)

    He is guilty.

    Just think how many other people just paid the ticket and didn't contest because they didn't have the time or assumed the judge would sustain the fine? While I have little sympathy for drivers who drive on the edge, pushing yellow lights and often running reds, in many places, Traffic Cams are a SCAM.

  • 90's Era Germany (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hovelander (250785) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:49PM (#42292723)

    This happened when I was in the military in Germany in the early 90's. Just about to leave for the US and I got a speeding ticket in my mailbox for my 67 VW Beetle. Thing is, that Beetle never even made it onto the autobahn or any other street since I had the engine out of it the whole time and didn't finish the project before I had to leave country. I also wasn't allowed to leave until the false ticket was paid. Back then, if you contested the ticket, you had to write in to get access to the photos. I didn't have enough time left in country for that, so I had to pay the ticket or get an Article 15 (which is like a speeding ticket for your life in the military). I had thought, and still think, that it was a scam played on GI's about to leave the country. I'll have to dig that ticket out and finally request the photos from that bit of glory...

  • Re:Not legal here. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:55PM (#42292871)
    Sounds like to me, every other photo radar defendant can cite this example as machinery that is not functioning properly, subpoena the calibration test records, and request for the ticket to be dismissed if the company can't provide recent calibration test records.
  • As a resident... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aryden (1872756) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:03PM (#42293073)

    Living in Baltimore now, What I would really like them to address is this:

    Why are the speed cameras concentrated in the predominantly lower class black areas?

    Why are cameras that were approved to operate ONLY in school zones ONLY during school hours, issuing tickets around the clock?

    Why are mobile speed cameras being used when they were only approved for stationary cameras in school zones?

  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:16PM (#42293371) Journal

    for a couple years. They were eventually removed because people simply ignored the tickets that came in the mail. Tickets delivered by mail are not delivered by a sworn peace officer so they were unenforceable. The state contracted with a private company because sending process servers out to deliver tickets would be too expensive.

    There were other ways around the tickets, too. Two car families would register husband's car in wife's name and wife's car in husband's name. If the face in the photo doesn't match the license photo of the registered owner, the ticket would not be mailed. One guy in Scottsdale collected >30 tickets without having to pay because he wore a gorilla mask when he drove past the cameras. He admitted to owning the car and the mask, but denied being at the wheel and no one could prove that he was behind the wheel when the photos were snapped.

  • Re:Not legal here. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freeze128 (544774) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:30PM (#42293749)
    Current laws require these photos to be reviewed by a live human police officer who has to testify that the suspect car was in fact speeding. In this case, the failure can be attributed to "Human Error".
  • Re:Not legal here. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:57PM (#42294341) Homepage Journal

    can't provide recent calibration test records.

    And in-court sworn testimony from the person who signed-off on the calibration and the calibration of that calibration instrument, all the way back to NIST.

    We only give so many speeding tickets because we have a RADAR gun - people focus on what they can measure. I've been thinking of using OpenCV to create a tailgating gun. That's an actual danger, unlike speeding which usually isn't.

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