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Crime Transportation Technology

Baltimore Issued Speed Camera Ticket To Motionless Car 286

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.
  • Happens everywhere (Score:4, Informative)

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

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:54PM (#42292855)

    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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:29PM (#42293725)

    If you're going to put that in, than I also demand something about people cruising 20mph under while in the inside lane, because those are the people I tailgate. If you want to go slow, that's fine, just get out of the way of those who don't.

    If you're going to put that law into place, then how about computer controlled speed governors on every car, restricting them to the speed limit (with maybe a short override allowable for merging/passing)

    If I'm driving 65 in a 65mph zone and pass a block of cars driving 60mph, I don't need an idiot tailgating me until I complete the pass. He may want to drive 80mph, but that doesn't mean that I should have to drive 80mph to pass a car.

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

    by ShadoHawk ( 741112 ) <{mkreafle} {at} {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.
  • Re:Not legal here. (Score:4, Informative)

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

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson