3/22/2021Accuracy Concern Shuts Down German Speed Cameras, Vigilantes Shut Down Others
German government standards agency halts use of laser speed camera over failed accuracy test. Vigilantes shut down cameras in France, South Africa.
Police in Berlin, Germany, announced last week that they would no longer use Leivtec XV3 laser speed cameras because of accuracy concerns raised during extensive testing. A motorist facing a 185 euro (US $220) fine and a driving ban hired the engineering firm iQvmt to examine the Leivtec. A team of experts found they could produce higher speed readings by placing the camera at certain angles to the road in which the car is not in the path of the laser over the entire measuring distance. Germany's scientific authority, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), confirmed the problem in a March 12 statement.
"The above mentioned expert tests showed that, in special cases, speed measurement values exceed error limits -- to the detriment of the person concerned," the PTB wrote. "The PTB immediately notified the manufacturer and responsible offices. Supervisory authorities were informed and their own tests are underway. The results are pending."
The experts performed over 900 vehicle passes as they experimented with the laser speed measuring devices. Two XV3 speed cameras were placed next to each other at slightly different angles to the road to see the influence that placement had on the speed reading. Instead of producing the same speed result, as would be expected, the speed readings were 16km/h (10 MPH) apart.
A court in Asnieres-les-Dijon, France, earlier this month threw out the speed camera ticket wrongly issued to a woman who had done nothing wrong. The 50-year-old woman had received a ticket in the mail claiming she had been speeding on the RD903, but she remembered that, at the time the photo was taken, she was stuck driving well under the speed limit behind a truck. She convinced the judge by pointing to the photograph showing a Citroen headed the opposite direction that must have triggered the camera. The ticket itself confirmed the speed was measured from the direction the Citroen was traveling, not the way her car was headed.
Vigilantes in Wihr-au-Val, France, this weekend shut down the speed camera on the RD417 by spraypainting the lens with bright green paint. In La Roche-des-Arnauds, the speed camera on the RD994 was blinded with black spraypaint on March 15, just two weeks after being installed. Red paint was the color of choice used to thwart the speed camera on the RD907.
In Hardegsen, Germany, vigilantes on March 15 blinded the speed camera on the B241 with pink spraypaint. Vigilantes in East London, South Africa, on Wednesday grabbed a speed camera from the side of the road on the R72 North East Express Way.