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Speed Tickets Challenged Based On Timestamped Photos

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  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:43PM (#35898482)

    which include timestamps of two photos.

    The obvious response? They will start sending ONE timestamped photo.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:48PM (#35898548) Homepage Journal
    I understand that speed limits are too low, but you're comlaining about getting a ticket for doing something illegal, because the exact extent to which you were violating the law was off by a fraction? "I'm sorry your honor, I only stole $320 from the victim, not the alleged $350 you're going to have to let me off."
  • by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@NOsPaM.digitalfreaks.org> on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:48PM (#35898562)
    Actually, by the central limit theorem, at at least one point, your instantaneous speed MUST equal the average speed.

    And at this scale, it's got absolutely nothing to do with Heisenberg.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:53PM (#35898630)
    The real travesty here is that the judge let other tickets issued by the same devices stand after it was demonstrated to him that they are not reliable. If there is reason to believe that the device was wrong in one case, there is reason to believe that it was wrong in every case.
  • by manekineko2 (1052430) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:54PM (#35898670)

    "In Prince George’s County, cameras are operated entirely by municipalities, which can set them up within half-mile school zones. The devices are installed by vendors that typically receive about 40 percent of the payout on each ticket, with the rest going to local, county and state government."

    How could anyone have thought that this was a good idea? If the only thing the private corps are doing is the installation, why are they getting 40% of all future proceeds? If the private corps are doing the on-going process of operating and maintaining the cameras, then you just incentivized them to do whatever causes more tickets to be mailed out.

    My guess is that it's the later, and the local municipalities are more than happy to incentivize the private corps to break the law, since they're getting 60% cuts. Then, when scandals like this one break out, they wash their hands of the matter and say we didn't know what was happening, it was that corrupt private contractor.

  • by farnsworth (558449) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @03:58PM (#35898724)

    but you're comlaining about getting a ticket for doing something illegal, because the exact extent to which you were violating the law was off by a fraction?

    It seems like he's complaining about a policy/protocol violation by the police. Similar in nature (but not in magnitude) to coming home and finding your house ransacked by the police and then getting arrested for having a joint on your coffee table. If the machines aren't supposed to be clocking him and taking his picture and mailing him a ticket, it seems perfectly legitimate to complain about that when they do.

  • by pz (113803) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:07PM (#35898880) Journal

    The devices are installed by vendors that typically receive about 40 percent of the payout on each ticket

    In this neck of the woods, that would be called a conflict of interest. If I were caught in such a situation in my professional work, it would be grounds for dismissal without recourse.

  • by suso (153703) * on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:10PM (#35898946) Homepage Journal

    Consider things like paying for public works(plowing, winter damage repair to roads, etc), and other operating expenses; then $6 million is about right if it's a smaller town. Otherwise it could get higher than that.

    My "wow" wasn't over the size of the budget, but of the percentage that was paid for by speeding tickets alone. I mean, what if nobody speeds some year, which is what you want anyways, right?

  • by Ruke (857276) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:16PM (#35899026)
    The machines aren't supposed to be taking his picture unless they measure a speed greater than 10 MPH over the limit; this is surely to ensure that they only catch people speeding, not to ensure that they only catch people going at least 10 MPH over the limit. The manufacturers (and police) know that those guns can be off by about +/- 5 MPH; that's why they set the camera threshold to double that. It seems to me that the system worked exactly as intended in this case.
  • Re:camera con? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexo (9335) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:22PM (#35899130) Journal

    Lengthening the time of the amber light decreases accidents without the trade-off.

  • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shmlco (594907) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:25PM (#35899176) Homepage

    So the rich are free to speed as much as they want, only because they can afford to do so?

  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @05:16PM (#35899898)
    Once laws were published so citizens could read them, governments learned three things --

    1) Make them vague, as specific laws are easiest to circumvent
    2) Make them plentiful, as you never know when you might need one
    3) Make them byzantine, as the government should be the only one who can decide what they really mean

    This may seem diabolical, but it is merely the consequence of having to manage a large population of humans. One last rule -- if a law is truly wrong to the point of threatening the stability of the nation, change it and admit culpability but only after everyone who was affected by it has died, including those who enforced it.

    Of course, this sounds silly, but then trying to get a third of a billion people to behave sounds silly, too.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

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