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11/8/2005
Canada: Speed Cameras Disguised as Utility Boxes
Edmonton, Canada deploys speed cameras disguised as common roadside metal utility boxes.

Utility box camera
Police in Edmonton, Canada are using a new speed camera disguise in an effort to entrap motorists. The portable device is designed to resemble the power transformer or utility boxes commonly seen on the side of the road.

"Is it fair?" Edmonton Police Association president Peter Ratcliff told the Edmonton Sun in defense of the program. "Well, I guess you have to ask yourself the question, is driving over the speed limit fair?"

The profits generated by the device are directed to the Edmonton Police Service. The embattled force is being investigated for attempting to frame a journalist who described the Edmonton program as a "cash cow" and for offering a no-bid contract to ACS to operate the speed cameras in return for luxury vacations in Vegas for police officers. The department's acting chief is also under investigation for accepting illegal gratuities from ACS.

In May, South Australian officials purchased a similar US $100,000 speed camera disguised as a trash can or "wheelie bin." Opposition members in parliament complained last week that the device wasn't being put to use. Edmonton officials have also tested a version of the camera disguised as a trash bin.

Article Excerpt:
Stephen Jenuth, president of the Alberta Civil Liberties Association, said it appears Edmonton police are engaging in some clandestine tactics to maintain the number of speeding tickets they're issuing. "To now go and try to disguise photo radar strikes me as trying to generate revenue rather than reducing the speeds, and all I can say is shame on them," Jenuth, a Calgary lawyer, told the Sun yesterday.
Source: City police disguise roadside speed traps (Edmonton Sun (Canada), 11/8/2005)

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