12/6/2006Arizona: Impossible Speed Camera Case Settled
Man accused by Scottsdale, Arizona of driving 147 MPH in a rental Hyundai reaches plea agreement.
A man accused of driving an impossible speed in a Hyundai Sonata by a Scottsdale, Arizona speed camera entered a plea agreement out of fear of a vindictive jail sentence. The deal announced Monday means Lawrence Pargo, 27, will spend a month in jail, pay a $1239 fine, and enter into aggressive driving counseling for the crime of being photographed at a claimed 102 MPH. Pargo would have faced three additional counts had he challenged the system in court.
A Loop 101 freeway camera claimed the Hyundai Sonata that Pargo rented from Avis drove 147 MPH on May 21. The vehicle's top speed, according to testing by Car & Driver magazine and the vehicle manufacturer is limited by aerodynamic drag to just 137 MPH.
The case is similar to one last year in New South Wales, Australia where speed cameras similar to the type used by Scottsdale's Australian camera vendor Redflex had issued tickets to municipal buses for driving speeds that testing proved they could not reach.
The plea agreement stopped a court contest where Redflex would have had to prove the rental car was capable of reaching speeds that testing shows it cannot. Redflex spokesman Jay Heiler told the East Valley Tribune that the car's optimistic 160 MPH speedometer is evidence that the car can go 147 MPH.
So far, Scottsdale has issued at least $29,811,317 worth of tickets to 189,881 drivers.