12/27/2007Ohio: Military Jeep Owner Sent Impossible Speeding Ticket
A photo radar ticket accused a military Jeep from the 1950s of exceeding its top speed in Cleveland, Ohio.
A Crown Point, New York resident received a speed camera ticket claiming his Korean War-era Blue Willy Jeep had been driving at a speed it is not capable of reaching. The city of Cleveland, Ohio insisted that Christopher Johnson's 56-year-old military machine blasted past East 71st Street and Chester Avenue at 48 MPH on September 1, even though the vehicle's top speed is well below 35 MPH.
"It's not a candidate for a speeding ticket," Johnson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
The Cleveland Parking Violations Bureau demanded $140 from Johnson who first learned about the infraction in October from a delinquency notice. Johnson was not interested in paying a ticket from a city he had not visited in more than a year-and-a-half. A copy of the speed camera photograph showed a red minivan and a silver SUV with unreadable license plates -- not a Jeep. Despite the city's claim that a human police officer personally reviews every photo after ticket vendor Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) issues the citation, it is clear no such review took place in Johnson's case.
When Johnson tried to resolve the problem through letters and phone calls, he was ignored. There is no financial penalty for either the city or ACS for issuing a bogus ticket, but there is a significant likelihood that many motorists will simply pay the ticket to avoid the hassle of a fight. When the Plain Dealer called the Cleveland Municipal Court, Johnson's ticket was quickly dismissed.