7/17/2010Traffic Cameras Worldwide Go Haywire
Speed cameras and red light cameras in the US and Australia accused innocent motorists of wrongdoing.
Speed cameras in California, Florida and Australia are not living up to their image of providing infallible evidence of traffic crimes. To the contrary, officials must find clever excuses to cover for the mistakes that are uncovered with increasing frequency.
In Hallandale, Florida, the private firm American Traffic Solutions mailed a $125 ticket to Phil Kodroff accusing his car of "running a red light" at the intersection of Federal Highway and Hallandale Beach Boulevard on May 22. The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that Kodroff's vehicle committed this crime at the speed of 0 MPH.
To explain the lack of speed noted on Kodroff's ticket, Hallandale Beach police spokesman Dwayne Flournoy told the Sun Sentinel, "Zero doesn't mean zero."
A motorist in Capitola, California received a red light camera ticket after his car stopped and made a legal turn from 41st Avenue onto Clares Street, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. Police once again struggled to come up with an explanation.
"It may have not been the person involved that tripped the light," Capitola Police Sergeant Matt Eller told the Sentinel.
In San Diego, red light cameras are randomly flashing motorists who have done nothing wrong, generating up to thirty complaint calls every day. Local police told KGTV-TV that the flashing happens when the red light camera reboots.
A Queensland, Australia electronic engineering teacher is fighting an A$200 speed camera ticket he says is clearly bogus. The Gold Coast News reported that Philip Williams' motorcycle photographed in Robina last November at 79 km/h (49 MPH) in a 60 (37 MPH) zone. Williams argued that even the radar device's manufacturer, Gatsometer, said the device should not be used on a curve. Moreover, other vehicles are visible in the citation photograph, and radar is unable to determine which vehicle produced the speed reading (the citation shows a Gatso radar, not a lidar device).