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4/14/2009
Netherlands: 289 Red Light Camera Tickets Refunded
Police in The Netherlands refund 289 automated tickets issued by a mistimed red light camera.

Dutch intersection
Police in the Netherlands were forced last week to refund 289 red light camera tickets issued by a mistimed red light camera. The device, installed in the town of Hoogeveen in Drenthe on March 17, never had its internal clock set properly. The camera continued to issue citations until March 31 when officials noticed that the timestamp on the violation notices did not match the date and time of any actual offenses.

Drenthe Police decided to cancel the issued citations while maintaining that the only problem was the internal clock and that the red light camera had not made any true errors. According to a press release, the automated ticketing machine has been reset and "now operates correctly in all respects." The embarrassing incident follows the February refund of 2640 tickets issued by an uncalibrated speed camera in the city of Assen in Drenthe.

Despite the frequent claim that such incidents are isolated, government agencies around the world have been forced to cancel hundreds of thousands of photo tickets on legal or accuracy grounds. For example, a Swiss speed camera last month issued 3000 tickets to motorists who were not speeding. In February, a German police chief was caught tampering with speed camera log entries. In January, a California appellate court had to issue a ruling to overturn a red light camera ticket issued to a woman who had run a green light. View more stories about photo ticket refunds.



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