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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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  • Not legal here. (Score:5, Informative)

    by HexaByte (817350) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:35PM (#42292359)
    In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal.
    • In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal.

      What is "they"?

    • 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.
      • 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, Insightful)

          by meerling (1487879) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:44PM (#42295351)
          It shouldn't have gotten to that point because the machine shouldn't have triggered on that, and the contractor should have caught the error, but besides all that, there is a lot more than 'human error' involved, it's human indifference, and most likely intentional.

          Remember, "The department has said that a single officer can review up to 1,200 citations in a given day.". So if you have an awesomely diligent cop reviewing these things, who's working on it non-stop for a full 80 hours, that means he's devoting about 24 SECONDS to each one. So loading the data, reviewing the pictures and the video, making a decision, and clicking on whatever buttons and possibly filling out supplementary information required of him (whatever that may or may not be) all in 24 seconds. Yeah, the donut eating coffee swiller is just rubber stamping them. Hell, he probably doesn't even notice what color the car is, nor does he care.

          This system isn't designed to improve safety or help anyone, it only does one thing, and that's to make money for the local government and the contractor.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I wouldn't talk so much shit about cops that can work an 80 hour day...

      • by Jesse_vd (821123) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:32PM (#42293799)

        My father was a lawyer, we used to go on road trips to fight the speeding ticket we got on the last road trip.

        My favourite defence was the calibration log. "Manual says it has to be calibrated at each shift, do you have records showing it was calibrated on the morning of _______? Nope? Thanks, have a nice day."

        And then we'd sit in the back and watch every other defendant use the same questions and get let off :)

      • 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.

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

      by Ichijo (607641) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:57PM (#42292921) Homepage Journal
      The problem is that whether red light or speeding cameras improve safety is unclear. What we need are tailgating cameras. When people stop tailgating [wikipedia.org] ("driving on a road too close to the vehicle in front, at a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible"), they will stop colliding with others who slam on their brakes. This will dramatically improve the safety of other traffic enforcement cameras and justify their existence.
      • Re:Not legal here. (Score:5, Informative)

        by crypticedge (1335931) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:01PM (#42293043)

        Actually, theres sufficient evidence that shows they make the roads more dangerous because of sudden stops to avoid said tickets, and have done little to curb others that would run it anyway. They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Actually, theres sufficient evidence that shows they make the roads more dangerous because of sudden stops to avoid said tickets, and have done little to curb others that would run it anyway. They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

          Is there any evidence to show if they are effective at preventing pedestrian accidents? I regularly walk through some intersections with redlight cameras, and the cars *always* stop at the red light at the intersections with cameras - at the other intersections, drivers regularly do a rolling stops where the driver is only looking to the left to see if there's any traffic coming so he doesn't see the pedestrian in the crosswalk coming from his right-hand side.

          As a pedestrian, I think it's fair to trade off

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

            by Dishevel (1105119) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:28PM (#42293703)

            As a pedestrian I try to always understand that in a battle of "Who can pay less attention to where they are going" the pedestrian will always lose.
            So I do not play that game. I assume the drive does not see me till I know he does.
            When I ride a motorcycle I do the same.
            Pedestrians that step onto a road hoping that cars see them and stop need to fail at this before they pass on their defective genes to offspring.

          • To be fair, if your walking you are taking a very large risk anyway and should be paying attention since you aren't protected by a steel cage, especially if you walk the Monday after daylight savings time switch happens (single highest pedestrian death day each year)

            • by hawguy (1600213)

              To be fair, if your walking you are taking a very large risk anyway and should be paying attention since you aren't protected by a steel cage, especially if you walk the Monday after daylight savings time switch happens (single highest pedestrian death day each year)

              Are you sure you meant to say "fair"? Why should the pedestrian who poses the smallest risk to everyone have the largest responsibility to look out for errant drivers? Sure, it's realistic, but it hardly seems fair - to be fair, the guy in the steel cage that's capable of inflicting great harm on the unprotected pedestrian would be the one that's paying closer attention.

              • by idontgno (624372)

                No one has ever successfully protested their own imminent death as unfair. The Grim Reaper doesn't give a rat's ass. If you're vulnerable, the only one who can watch out for you is you.

                Pragmatically, "fair" is irrelevant or worse: distracting.

                I suspect the usage "to be fair" is just linguistic habit. "On the other hand" would probably been more semantically appropriate.

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

                by CanadianRealist (1258974) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:28PM (#42296217)

                I'd agree that fair is not the right word to be using here. "To be brutally honest" would probably be better (and more correct) than "To be fair".

                As a pedestrian I'm amazed at how stupid many drivers are. As a driver I'm amazed at how stupid many pedestrians are.

                Whether walking (or biking ) I treat it like a game where the drivers are actively trying to kill me and won't be punished if they do. That is definitely not true, and wouldn't be fair if it was, but thinking that way is a great survival tactic.

                As a driver I've many times let someone "steal" my right of way since that seemed preferable to being in an accident, even if it would have been the other driver's fault.

          • As a pedestrian, I think it's fair to trade off a few more rear-end collisions for better pedestrian safety.

            Or smarter/more aware pedestrians. Seriously, while it's a given that motorists have a responsibility to be mindful of pedestrians, if you're not *also* being pro-active as a pedestrian, watching the traffic to ensure that you're not going to get run over, then you're even more irresponsible and probably a future Darwin Award [darwinawards.com] winner. Just sayin' ...

            I say this as a bicyclist who was once, many years ago, hit by a car at an intersection, even though I had the right-of-way. I had even looked directly at the

            • by cusco (717999)
              Well, he probably was until he got a cell phone. Amazing the number of drivers that I see roll a red light because they're too busy texting to notice it.

              The first thing that I was taught as a motorcycle rider, even before I had figured out where the fuel valve was, is "Always assume you are invisible." Goes for walking too.
        • by Mitreya (579078)

          They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

          That's the best part
          Once you get the citation, it is YOUR problem to try and prove your innocence. If you do prove your innocence (at a greater expense than the ticket), then no penalties are imposed on anyone who was at fault.

          The rational behavior for the contractors would then be to introduce a random chance of snapping/citing every passing car to make more money. Unless there are stiff penalties/bans, they will do so, if they are not doing so already.

          • by jxander (2605655)

            I've had to fight my way through two different red light camera tickets. One wasn't even my car (different make and model, different lic plate, though only 1 digit off), and the other shows me clearly coming to a full stop before turning right on red (which is legal in California)

            Both incidents involved three trips to the courthouse. First to acknowledge the receipt of the ticket and set an arraignment date. Second trip for the arraignment, "How do you plead," and setting a trial date. Third trip was th

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

          by Ichijo (607641) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:45PM (#42294095) Homepage Journal

          Actually, theres sufficient evidence that shows they make the roads more dangerous...

          And there's at least [theatlanticcities.com] as much [azcentral.com] evidence [dot.gov] to the contrary [iihs.org].

      • by geekd (14774)

        When people stop driving too slow in the far left lane, I'll stop tailgating.

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

      by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:53PM (#42294273)

      "In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal."

      If "they" means red light cameras, they probably should not be legal.

      I did a bit of internet research last year, and found out that of the U.S. cities that surveyed the results of their red-light-camera use, many of them (a majority) found that they actually increased both the number and average severity of collisions.

      How is that possible? Some of the reasons are complex, but others are simple. For example: instead of just cruising through an iffy judgment call when the light is about to change, motorists now (fearing a traffic ticket that can be $100 + in some places) slam on their brakes, and get rear-ended by the inattentive driver behind them.

      Others cities have been caught deliberately shortening the duration of their yellow lights to create more ticket revenue.

    • In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal.

      That's good - in my State highway surveillance also is prohibited [state.nh.us].

      While most States were busy installing them, the New Hampshire legislature banned them. We have so many legislators that it's really infeasible to buy them off. I think this was the same year they told the Feds to got to hell on RealID also.

      236:130 Highway Surveillance Prohibited. â"
      I. In this subdivision, "surveillance'' means the act of determining

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:35PM (#42292369) Homepage Journal

    He is guilty. Clearly guilty of embarrassing some government officials with his so called 'evidence'. Lock him up.

  • Happens everywhere (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:40PM (#42292513) Homepage

    This happens regularly in the UK too, often with slightly unusually shaped vehicles like flat bed trucks. Sometimes the police paint the road markings used to verify the amount of movement between two sequential photos the wrong distance apart as well (happened near me).

    Best thing to do is record your journeys with GPS so you can always prove you were not speeding. In fact all you really need to do is record one journey and then just alter the dates on the log for whenever you need it. UK courts have consistently taken GPS data over speed camera images/radar data.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is that in the US, most jurisdictions (including Baltimore) require you to be physically present at the court at a given time to contest the charges. For most people, it's far more cost effective to simply pay the fine than to spend hours in traffic/waiting/before the judge(s).

      • by sjames (1099)

        In some districts, that wasn't enough, so in addition they charge an extra court fee to contest the ticket and if you fail tio prove your innocence beyond reasonable denial, you get to pay that, your time, the fine, and extra points on your insurance.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:40PM (#42292517)
    Well within the manufacturers margin of error!
  • Crooked cop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:42PM (#42292561) Journal

    The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      Not fraud. Extortion.

    • Re:Crooked cop (Score:5, Informative)

      by agallagh42 (301559) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:59PM (#42292989) Homepage

      The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

      Not fraud. Perjury. The cop is basically swearing that he witnessed the accused committing the act of speeding, and it is quite obvious that he did not. He lied to the court, in a round about way.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        No fraud. Not perjury. Incompetence. The cop is basically incompetent. ...or lazy.

        This just in: Lazy, incompetent people in all lines of work...

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Fraud and perjury. Taking money to do a job and not doing it is fraud. Also perjury for the reasons you mentioned.

      • by Yakasha (42321)

        The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

        Not fraud. Perjury. The cop is basically swearing that he witnessed the accused committing the act of speeding, and it is quite obvious that he did not. He lied to the court, in a round about way.

        The article didn't actually state that the officer's signature constituted swearing under penalty of perjury. Every document I've ever seen that is such, also requires you print your name to remove the problem in this case "Duur, we don't know who's signature that is".

        Of course the State of Maryland has numerous other problems concerning these cameras. First and foremost is that you don't have the legal right to force cities and counties to obey state law [thenewspaper.com]. Oh, and that includes when the officer's signatu [thenewspaper.com]

    • Re:Crooked cop (Score:5, Informative)

      by SternisheFan (2529412) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:02PM (#42293047)
      From the article: " The city's speed camera contractor, Xerox State and Local Solutions, says each potential citation goes through two layers of review to weed out any that have a deficiency, such as an illegible license plate. Then a Baltimore police officer must review the citation before approving it for issuance to the vehicle owner. Each citation says the officer swears or affirms that the car was going at least 12 mph over the speed limit "based on inspection of the recorded images." The officer's signature is also printed."
    • Re:Crooked cop (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:04PM (#42293089)

      Perjury.

      Signing off on the ticket matches the definition of perjury [wikipedia.org]. The officer willfully and falsely certified that the driver violated an ordinance (speeding over the limit), one which had a financial penalty to the driver (possibly above and beyond the $40, given insurance and other unknown factors). If I recall correctly, the statements for signing off on tickets for revenue enhancement cameras include statements that signing is under penalty of perjury.

      The only out would possibly be mens rea, the intention. If the cop did so accidentially, then it could be incompetence (and not malice). Since the job was explicitly to examine these photos, then you're into malpractice territory. Doesn't speak well to the cop, nor to the program. If this is one case of a major foul-up, how many more were there, ones paid off false due to fifty dollars being less cost than missing a day of work to dispute it.

      Note: IANAL. Also, obviously, I am strongly against the police acting as The Sherrif Of Nottingham, levying fines and taxes for their own benefit. Revenue cameras tend towards injustice; especially so when they change conditions like shortening the time of yellow lights to increase said revenue.

    • Re:Crooked cop (Score:4, Informative)

      by ehiris (214677) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:05PM (#42293113) Homepage

      Did you ever see how they "sign" the citations? They are printed signatures in low dpi meaning noone really reviews them on a case by case basis.

      I got a ticket once and tried to dispute it based on the fake signature but the judge was as crooked as the cop who showed up in court because he admitted the case even though the fake printed signature should have invalidated the complaint to begin with.

      Someone high up in position of authority is filling up their pockets and the pockets of their cronies with money from those shotgun-approach speeding tickets.

      Meanwhile, those freeway speed cameras are gone as they were ruled illegal but I did not see a dime back and I still had to deal with my insurance rates going up because of the points.

    • Re:Crooked cop (Score:4, Informative)

      by ShadoHawk (741112) <mkreafle.gmail@com> on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:31PM (#42293765) Homepage
      Well, last year we had a dead cop signing them! (I am from Baltimore.) http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110215/10424713107/dead-baltimore-cop-signed-certified-red-light-camera-tickets.shtml [techdirt.com] Not sure if we can fire him.
  • by reasterling (1942300) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:43PM (#42292589) Homepage
    Speding fines are nothing more than a tax. If we realy cared about the safety of drivers on the road then speeding violations should be delt with using some kind of points system that will eventualy suspend your licence for a while. Instead we have a tax that encintivises harrassments of good citicens by cops. I have seen in many areas where city limits are extended for miles outside of any reasonable resemblence of a city just so the city can garner extra funds from speeding tickets. The use of financial punishment for these sorts of violations only leads to a more controling and harrassing atmosphere from those who reciave the funds (ie our local governments).
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I have seen in many areas where city limits are extended for miles outside of any reasonable resemblence of a city just so the city can garner extra funds from speeding tickets.

      Or, are those the actual city limits where the city has jurisdiction and people just got caught speeding?

      A municipality doesn't just end because most of the houses run out. If they're still charging taxes out there, they get to enforce speed limits.

      If the speeding took place outside of their jurisdiction, sure, they've overstepped

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Exactly. There's many reasons why a town might want to extend their city limits out beyond where there's a lot of houses. They can collect quite a bit of property taxes out there from the few businesses and houses that are out there. Also, even, if there are only a few people, those people usually want water and trash service, which is usually provided for by the municipality. Timmins, Ontario [wikipedia.org] is famous for this. It was the largest (by land area) town in Canada up until 1995. This was because they wan
      • by Mitreya (579078)

        Or, are those the actual city limits where the city has jurisdiction and people just got caught speeding?

        A municipality doesn't just end because most of the houses run out. If they're still charging taxes out there, they get to enforce speed limits.

        It's not a question of jurisdiction, but of "residential area". At least I assume that's what OP was referring to.

        Presumably, once the residential area ends, the speed limit should be raised. Keeping speed limits low once the houses (i.e the reason for keeping speed limits low) ran out is most likely a revenue grab.

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      In both states I've been licenced in, you *do* risk having your license suspended if you accumulate too many points. but, since speed cams are notorious doe problems, those tickets don't accumulate points.

      • Plus the fact you can't assign points or suspend a license without being able to 100% validate who was driving the vehicle. The vehicle can be fined (or towed if theres enough) for violations, but the "I let someone borrow my car" defense has worked in the past when they tried to suspend a license based on the camera.

    • At least in my state, and I'm assuming it's not the only one, there is both. You get a fine with the ticket, but you also get a number of points put against your license. If you exceed a certain amount in a year, your license gets suspended for 6 months.
    • I do not know where you live, but at least three of the states near me use a points system for all traffic violations (as well as a monetary fine).
    • Sorry for the second response, but I missed the point the first time. I know one area where the city limits extended well out into rural areas. However, I lived in the area when they were extended, so I know what the logic was for them being extended. The city in question was growing rapidly and the area within the city limits had been fully developed. They extended the city limits in order to facilitate further development. I have visited the area again a few years back and the area that was inside the cit
    • If we realy cared about the safety of drivers on the road then speeding violations should be delt with using some kind of points system that will eventualy suspend your licence for a while.

      Not sure where you come from, but they do in Illinois. Each speeding ticket is 1 point, unless it's over 25mph over the speed limit (used to be 35), then it's an automatic misdemeanor instead of a traffic citation. Additionally, if you get 3 tickets in any 12 month rolling period, your license is suspended, the duration of which is decided by how much you were speeding.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:47PM (#42292675)
    From a point of view at the center of the solar system that car was moving at 30 km/s!
  • 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...

  • My mother was driving through baltimore a few years back. A couple weeks later a red light camera ticket came in the mail. My parents paid it, only to have it show up again in their mailbox. At first they were really mad that the city screwed up and sent multiple tickets, even though the first payment went through....then they realized the timestamp was about 10 minutes later than the first. Yep, my mother accidentally ran the same stoplight twice in a row because she was lost...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My mother was driving through baltimore a few years back. A couple weeks later a red light camera ticket came in the mail. My parents paid it, only to have it show up again in their mailbox. At first they were really mad that the city screwed up and sent multiple tickets, even though the first payment went through....then they realized the timestamp was about 10 minutes later than the first. Yep, my mother accidentally ran the same stoplight twice in a row because she was lost...

      Just when I was thinking these cameras were a bad idea, you had to post that. Running a light once, because you're lost is inexcusable.

      My mom totaled her car that way. She's still driving and doesn't hold herself responsible. After all, she was just lost. It's not like she was drunk. Those people should go to jail. grrrr

  • Nothing like putting some road cones down in an area for a couple of years, slapping in some mobile (read: vehicle-mounted) speed cameras and reaping the benefits.

    The Baltimore Beltway is notorious for being one giant speed trap. In all of my commuting around that area, I've yet to see any construction zone actually have any workers.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Start driving with chains on your tires, that will change...

    • In all of my commuting around that area, I've yet to see any construction zone actually have any workers.

      It's not only in Baltimore. We have that here in Chicago too. Seems like some roads have been under construction for 8 months now, and I think I've seen them being worked on twice. It's just sad that they get away with this crap.

  • Maybe a fellow Marylander can help me out with this: if we are truly a democracy, why can't there be a state referendum to either vote Yay or Nay on these cameras? Where I live in Montgomery County it seems like there are speed cameras every mile or so. Would it REALLY be that tough to just have them removed? Seems like a no brainer that you could definitely get the signatures to put it up for a vote.
    • by armanox (826486)

      Something to do with spending appropriations are not subject to voting referendums - the Arundel Mills casino is an example of this (the people voted to appose putting it there, judge ruled that the people have no authority to object).

  • 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 Magius_AR (198796)

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

      Might have something to do with the fact that Baltimore is predominantly black, and predominantly poor.

  • I hope this guy's experience moves all of those who got tickets in the same area to file a class action lawsuit against the vendor and jurisdiction that implemented this particular camera system. They should both pay through the nose.
  • by Qzukk (229616) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:11PM (#42293243) Journal

    Obviously the car looked fast.

  • the "red tail lights" were actually red shifted light from the car
  • 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.

  • My idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rk (6314) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:23PM (#42293563) Journal

    I have an idea for making traffic safety laws about traffic safety and not revenue generation:

    Pass a law that says all proceeds from moving violation citations go into a statewide fund. Then every 12 months, the funds are distributed evenly to every licensed driver in the state who has a 36 month clean driving record. Good drivers get rewarded by bad drivers, who pay into the fund with their tickets, and municipalities can't turn traffic laws into a cash cow with bullshit like speed traps, red-light cameras with short yellow lights, and other shenanigans.

  • by v1 (525388) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:02PM (#42295693) Homepage Journal

    The vendor on his video link goes into detail about all the checks that are done, and at one point says "a minute to do this, a minute to verify that, a minute to check this..." etc.

    The main article then states that "a single officer may check 1400 a day". OK, time for maths! There are 480 minutes in an 8 hour day, assuming no breaks for potty or lunch. We'll assume the officer is equipped with a sandwich and depends. But he obviously is spending LESS than "a minute" reviewing the entire citation so lets go down to seconds.

    28800 seconds in his breakless-day, / 1400 citations, means the officer is averaging no more than 20 seconds per citation review. If we add up the vendor's recommended "minutes" to be about 3 per citation, the officers are being pushed to spend 16% of the expected time reviewing and approving these citations.

    This is the police department's fault. If an officer is approving more than 500 citations a day, he's spending less than a minute on each review and is either not being given adequate time to do his job, or is just plain pencil-whipping/shortcutting to be lazy or work his quota/metrics.

  • 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."

    Really? And what are you going to do if they don't change their programs? Oh, I know the answer: nothing.

    Florida recently

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