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3/7/2006
South Africa: Court Rules Speed Camera Inaccurate
South African court rules speed camera evidence inaccurate after testing shows a building moving at 1km/h.

Humansdorp
A South African court dismissed the speeding case against Dr. Helen Bruwer this week after she proved the inaccuracy of the mobile laser speed camera that accused her of driving between 92 and 97 km/h in an 80 km/h zone in Tsitsikamma on three occasions.

Bruwer paid far more than the R350 (US $53) fine levied against her to present her legal defense over the course of three years. The most devastating moment for the prosecution came when magistrate Theresa Bothma ordered the testing of the speed camera that accused Bruwer. It recorded the Humansdorp pavilion -- a large, stationary object -- traveling at speeds up to 1km/h.

The testimony also uncovered that the camera's operator had not read the device's operating manual beyond page four. As a result, the camera was never calibrated hourly, as required by the manufacturer's guidelines. During the court testing, none of the traffic officers demonstrated any knowledge of the proper procedure to set up the device. The court also determined the device had been used 200 meters outside of the area allowed by law.

Source: Cops trap pavilion doing 1km/h (Die Burger (South Africa), 3/6/2006)

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