1/23/2010Arizona, Hungary, Maryland, UK: Speed Cameras Plagued by Accuracy Problems
Human review of speed camera citations appears not to happen as bogus tickets are issued in Arizona, Hungary, Maryland and the UK.
Speed cameras worldwide were plagued by accuracy problems this week. In Scottsdale, Arizona, a black man received a white man's tickets on five occasions. Because this man happened to be Larry Fitzgerald, one of the top wide receivers in the National Football League, his case was received the attention of TMZ. In five of six automated ticketing photographs mailed to Fitzgerald, who is black, a white man is unquestionably behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety insists that a human police officer personally verifies the each and every photograph before it is issued. No such review took place for the alleged speeding incidents that took place August 23, August 27 (three tickets) and January 5. The identity of the driver in the sixth photo is uncertain. This is far from the first time such an incident has happened. In Louisiana, a white man received a black man's ticket. In 2006, another Scottsdale black man received a white man's ticket.
In Chevy Chase, Maryland, WTOP News reported that hundreds of duplicate speed camera citations are being generated as motorists drive past a fixed camera and a mobile unit parked right next to it. Despite a "rigorous" screening process conducted by the vendor that actually operates the program, a total of 174 duplicates were generated in the first three weeks of January alone. The Village cannot guarantee that only valid tickets were mailed.
"The duplicates are supposed to be eliminated, but some do slip through the screening process," Police Chief Roy Gordon told WTOP.
A similar problem is apparent in the town of Pecs, Hungary where a man received two speed camera citations for the same alleged offense. The tickets were timestamped less than two minutes apart, Dunantuli Naplo reported.
In Nottingham, England, motorist Jeff Buck, 55, received two speed camera tickets while his car was parked outside his home on Watnall Road on December 13. According to The Nottingham Evening Post newspaper, police insisted that his immobile Vauxhall Zafira was traveling at 37 MPH in a 30 zone. Far from an isolated incident, parked cars through Australia and Europe have received speed camera tickets, including England, France and The Netherlands.