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8/24/2005
Australia: Camera Fines Man Driving 88 in a 90km/h Zone
Some 119 Australian motorists have been ticketed for driving under the speed limit.

Hume Highway
Officials admit that 119 motorists have received speeding tickets on the Hume Highway in Victoria, Australia after speed camera contractor Tenix input the wrong speed limit into a speed camera. On July 21, the device was set up to ticket anyone driving 80 km/h on a stretch of the road that actually had a 90km/h speed limit.

Neither the police nor Tenix ever discovered the error. When Frank Torzillo, 49, received his fine in the mail for driving 88km/h, he knew he wasn't guilty. He enlisted the help of former speed camera operator Graeme Marr to help him prove his own innocence. Together they discovered the speed limit discrepancy after visiting the scene of the "crime." As a result of their efforts, the government will be forced to refund nearly A$20,000 to innocent drivers. Tenix has suspended the camera operator responsible for the errors.

"I have always stated -- from the day of my resignation on August 20, 2004 -- about incorrect set-ups, operators forced to use faulty cameras, and other incorrect happenings that would cause motorists to be incorrectly issued with infringement notices," Marr told the Herald Sun. "Mr Torzillo's saga adds to my claims that supervision is sparse, and [that] operators who have no feelings for motorists will set up the speed cameras to raise revenue."

Victoria Premier Steve Bracks has rejected new calls for an audit of the speed camera system which last year refunded A$26 million to motorists who lost their license from inaccurate speed camera citations.

"Victoria is Australia's most secretive state when it comes to speed cameras," Shadow Transport Spokesman Terry Mulder said. "However, Steve Bracks' desire to be Australia's most money-hungry leader is no secret."

Source: Speed camera bungle (Herald Sun (Australia), 8/25/2005)

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