8/15/2009Spain: Officials Refund 800 Speed Camera Tickets
Spain forced to refund 800 photo radar tickets issued at poorly signed speed trap location.
Officials in Spain were forced to refund 800 speed camera citations after three local mayors openly criticized a favorite ticketing location as nothing more than an unfair trap. Servei Catala de Transit (SCT) had ordered the installation of a photo radar device last May on the N-240 between Montblanc and Espluga. The machine was positioned so that motorists who enter the road from Espluga do not see a speed limit sign. The device was also stationed at the end of an acceleration lane, further confusing drivers. Three city mayors demanded that SCT issue refunds.
"Nobody informed us when the speed camera was implemented, and the signage is very confusing," Espluga Deputy Mayor Josep Maria Poca told El Periodico.
The limit at the location is 80km/h (50 MPH), but the device mailed several tickets to motorists accused of driving as slow as 81km/h. The low tolerance level left many drivers facing multiple tickets in the mail.
This is not the first forced refund for SCT. In 2007, the organization admitted that one of its photo radar devices falsely ticketed at least eight people for speeding. The bogus readings only came to light after a police officer accused of towing a large trailer at a speed of 213km/h (132 MPH) fought his ticket.