10/14/2006Canada: Automated Police Signature Machine Fails
Private contractors in Winnipeg, Canada give the false impression that a police officer reviews tickets before they are issued.
In Winnipeg, Canada automated red light camera citations must be signed by a police officer to be valid. This does not mean, however, that a live officer personally reviews and signs each $160 CAD ticket. Instead, the city's private contractor, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) digitally adds the signature without the need of for a personal review by a law enforcement official.
The Winnipeg Sun newspaper discovered this after investigating a ticket that was to be issued to Mayor Sam Katz. His wife Baillie drove his Lexus through a red light November 16, 2005, a ticket was generated but never issued.
Further inquiries by the paper revealed that a substantial number of tickets that week in November were never issued because the machine that prints the officer's signature broke down. Instead of having a live officer review and sign each photo, the tickets were dropped.