8/3/2009South Africa: Chinese Car Accused of Impossible Speeds
For a pair of speed camera tickets in South Africa to be accurate, a car would have had to be traveling 549 MPH.
A set of speed cameras in Johannesburg, South Africa accused a Geely automobile of reaching impossible speeds. On April 26, a camera on the N12 South flashed the Chinese import belonging to motorist Francisca Al-Halaseh near Canada Road Bridge. Just 19 seconds later, according to the tickets, she was flashed driving 102km/h (63 MPH) in an 80km/h (50 MPH) zone at Randshow Road Bridge. The only problem is that those locations are 2.9 miles apart, meaning Al-Halaseh would have to have been traveling 549 miles per hour.
That would be difficult for the Geely CK-1 which was first sold in South Africa in 2007. The company's most potent flagship model boasts only 94 horsepower from a 1.5 liter engine. That gives the 100,000 Rand (US $12,850) economy car a top speed of just 105 MPH.
"There is no indication of cameras there," Al-Halaseh told the Saturday Star newspaper. "I did not expect this. I have never ever had a fine in my life."
Officials with the private company that runs ticketing operations, Traffic Management Technologies, insisted the speed cameras were accurate and only the clocks on the devices were wrong. Since there is no legal requirement for accuracy, the devices are not set properly.
Speed cameras around the world have accused slow vehicles of driving impossible speeds for any number of reasons. A UK camera accused an old 73-horsepower Honda of driving 98 MPH. A Silver Spring, Maryland camera accused an old man of doing 100 MPH in rush hour traffic. An Australian camera generated a 690 MPH reading in 2006, but a ticket was not issued. Just two years earlier the state government had been forced to refund $26 million in bogus tickets after an impossible speed ticket was issued to an old Datsun.