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7/10/2006
South Africa: 3000 Inaccurate Speed Camera Tickets Issued
South African speed cameras issue 3000 inaccurate speeding tickets in one month.

Athlone, South Africa
Police officials in South Africa are blaming Labat Traffic Solutions for data entry errors that have resulted in 3000 improper tickets issued over the course of a month.

"We don't know exactly what happened in the back office of Labat," a senior traffic officer told the Cape Argus newspaper. "Somehow, information was mixed and most of the traffic fines showed that a speed limit was broken on the corner of Jan Smuts Drive and Klipfontein Road in Athlone. I know that innocent people were affected."

One of the ticket victims, Hennie Coetzer, was accused of driving in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone -- a distant part of the country he has never visited. The camera accused Coetzer of driving his Mercedes Benz through the intersection of Jan Smuts Drive and Klipfontein Road at 3:51pm. The same camera accused him of driving a Toyota sedan through the exact same location two minutes later.

A third ticket issued four days later brought the total fine amount to R800 (US $112). The tickets indicate he must appear at Simon's Town Magistrate's Court, which is not the court of jurisdiction in the case. Police refused to show him the alleged photographic evidence against him, instead suggesting he visit the Hillstar Traffic Depot to prove his innocence.

Labat is paid R60 million (US $8.5 million) to generate the automated speeding tickets.

Source: Row over 3000 dodgy speeding tickets (Cape Argus (South Africa), 7/7/2006)

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