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Baltimore Issued Speed Camera Ticket To Motionless Car

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the cameras-take-into-account-the-rotation-of-the-earth dept.

Crime 286

SternisheFan sends this story from the Baltimore Sun: "The Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone — and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction. But the Mazda wasn't speeding. It wasn't even moving. The two photos printed on the citation as evidence of speeding show the car was idling at a red light with its brake lights illuminated. A three-second video clip also offered as evidence shows the car motionless, as traffic flows by on a cross street. Since the articles' publication, several lawmakers have called for changes to the state law that governs the way the city and other jurisdictions operate speed camera programs. Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that state law bars contractors from being paid based on the number of citations issued or paid —an approach used by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County and elsewhere. 'The law says you're not supposed to charge by volume. I don't think we should charge by volume,' O'Malley said. "If any county is, they need to change their program.'"

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Not legal here. (4, Informative)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292359)

In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal.

Re:Not legal here. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292545)

Thank God we live in a quiet little red-neck po-dunk white-trash mountain town!

Re:Not legal here. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292769)

In my own area, a Judge has ruled they are not legal.

What is "they"?

Re:Not legal here. (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292897)

Lawyers. The judge outlawed lawyers.

Re:Not legal here. (4, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293423)

I'm no grammarian, but I'm pretty sure "they" is either Judges or Areas...

Re:Not legal here. (3, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292871)

Sounds like to me, every other photo radar defendant can cite this example as machinery that is not functioning properly, subpoena the calibration test records, and request for the ticket to be dismissed if the company can't provide recent calibration test records.

Re:Not legal here. (4, Interesting)

freeze128 (544774) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293749)

Current laws require these photos to be reviewed by a live human police officer who has to testify that the suspect car was in fact speeding. In this case, the failure can be attributed to "Human Error".

Re:Not legal here. (5, Funny)

Jesse_vd (821123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293799)

My father was a lawyer, we used to go on road trips to fight the speeding ticket we got on the last road trip.

My favourite defence was the calibration log. "Manual says it has to be calibrated at each shift, do you have records showing it was calibrated on the morning of _______? Nope? Thanks, have a nice day."

And then we'd sit in the back and watch every other defendant use the same questions and get let off :)

Re:Not legal here. (3, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292921)

The problem is that whether red light or speeding cameras improve safety is unclear. What we need are tailgating cameras. When people stop tailgating [wikipedia.org] ("driving on a road too close to the vehicle in front, at a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible"), they will stop colliding with others who slam on their brakes. This will dramatically improve the safety of other traffic enforcement cameras and justify their existence.

Re:Not legal here. (4, Informative)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293043)

Actually, theres sufficient evidence that shows they make the roads more dangerous because of sudden stops to avoid said tickets, and have done little to curb others that would run it anyway. They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

Re:Not legal here. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293579)

Actually, theres sufficient evidence that shows they make the roads more dangerous because of sudden stops to avoid said tickets, and have done little to curb others that would run it anyway. They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

Is there any evidence to show if they are effective at preventing pedestrian accidents? I regularly walk through some intersections with redlight cameras, and the cars *always* stop at the red light at the intersections with cameras - at the other intersections, drivers regularly do a rolling stops where the driver is only looking to the left to see if there's any traffic coming so he doesn't see the pedestrian in the crosswalk coming from his right-hand side.

As a pedestrian, I think it's fair to trade off a few more rear-end collisions for better pedestrian safety.

Even without red-light cameras, some drivers stop quickly when the light changes, so all drivers should be prepared for the car ahead of them to stop when the light changes, not just at intersections where there are cameras.

Re:Not legal here. (5, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293703)

As a pedestrian I try to always understand that in a battle of "Who can pay less attention to where they are going" the pedestrian will always lose.
So I do not play that game. I assume the drive does not see me till I know he does.
When I ride a motorcycle I do the same.
Pedestrians that step onto a road hoping that cars see them and stop need to fail at this before they pass on their defective genes to offspring.

Re:Not legal here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293943)

Pedestrians that step onto a road hoping that cars see them and stop need to fail at this before they pass on their defective genes to offspring.

So you never cross the road unless its empty or all cars are stationary?! Or do you just never walk anywhere?

Sure, keep an eye on the driver that hasn't stopped yet - assuming the fucker hasn't got tinted windows, you should be able to see his face. That should let you know if he's seen you or not, and if he hasn't, allow you to save yourself. But that doesn't mean the fucking driver shouldn't be charged for extreme negligence.

Re:Not legal here. (-1, Flamebait)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293745)

As a non-pedestrian, I think all you pedestrians are sick and deserve every windshield you get smacked into. Fuck you and your god damned walking. The number one cause of pedestrian accidents is fucking pedestrians setting foot in the road. Stop walking in the road, and I'll stop running your stupid ass over.

Re:Not legal here. (1, Troll)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293915)

As a non-pedestrian

How do you get to/from your car? Teleport?

Re:Not legal here. (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293931)

To be fair, if your walking you are taking a very large risk anyway and should be paying attention since you aren't protected by a steel cage, especially if you walk the Monday after daylight savings time switch happens (single highest pedestrian death day each year)

Re:Not legal here. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42294039)

As a pedestrian, I think it's fair to trade off a few more rear-end collisions for better pedestrian safety.

Or smarter/more aware pedestrians. Seriously, while it's a given that motorists have a responsibility to be mindful of pedestrians, if you're not *also* being pro-active as a pedestrian, watching the traffic to ensure that you're not going to get run over, then you're even more irresponsible and probably a future Darwin Award [darwinawards.com] winner. Just sayin' ...

I say this as a bicyclist who was once, many years ago, hit by a car at an intersection, even though I had the right-of-way. I had even looked directly at the driver as I approached and he looked at me, then he pulled out anyway. I ended up on the hood of his car glaring at him with my best "WTF" look and he looked *really* surprised - like I came out of nowhere. Luckily, I wasn't hurt, got off his car and he drove off. I'm a better, more alert, bicyclist - and pedestrian - because of this and hope he's a better driver.

Re:Not legal here. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42294017)

They also have a habit of taking pictures during green lights and submitting tickets for those.

That's the best part
Once you get the citation, it is YOUR problem to try and prove your innocence. If you do prove your innocence (at a greater expense than the ticket), then no penalties are imposed on anyone who was at fault.

The rational behavior for the contractors would then be to introduce a random chance of snapping/citing every passing car to make more money. Unless there are stiff penalties/bans, they will do so, if they are not doing so already.

Re:Not legal here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293091)

If you're going to put that in, than I also demand something about people cruising 20mph under while in the inside lane, because those are the people I tailgate. If you want to go slow, that's fine, just get out of the way of those who don't.

Re:Not legal here. (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293725)

If you're going to put that in, than I also demand something about people cruising 20mph under while in the inside lane, because those are the people I tailgate. If you want to go slow, that's fine, just get out of the way of those who don't.

If you're going to put that law into place, then how about computer controlled speed governors on every car, restricting them to the speed limit (with maybe a short override allowable for merging/passing)

If I'm driving 65 in a 65mph zone and pass a block of cars driving 60mph, I don't need an idiot tailgating me until I complete the pass. He may want to drive 80mph, but that doesn't mean that I should have to drive 80mph to pass a car.

Re:Not legal here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293171)

Not just tailgaiting. But not using turn signals.

Here in Texas, it's rare to see someone drive with them being used. I make it a point of using them to be a better driver.

Honestly, a law should be passed whereupon if you execute a turn without using your turn signal, it's an instant point on your license. Cause an accident because of it? Suspension of the license.

Re:Not legal here. (0)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293537)

What is too close? Does this distance assume that the car ahead is going the speed limit? Is it a worse-case scenario in which the car comes to a complete stop instantaneously? Is the stopping capability of the car behind taken into account? If I'm driving a Lotus Elise and someone else is driving an old VW Beetle towing a camping trailer, does that mean that they aren't allowed to follow as closely as me? If so, why should I be discriminated against based on what car I drive (and therefore my socio-economic status)? Huh? Huh???

Re:Not legal here. (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293967)

What is too close?

"Too close" is "a distance which does not guarantee that stopping to avoid collision is possible [wikipedia.org] ".

If I'm driving a Lotus Elise and someone else is driving an old VW Beetle towing a camping trailer, does that mean that they aren't allowed to follow as closely as me?

Correct.

If so, why should I be discriminated against based on what car I drive (and therefore my socio-economic status)?

Poor people don't own camping trailers, silly!

Re:Not legal here. (1)

geekd (14774) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293821)

When people stop driving too slow in the far left lane, I'll stop tailgating.

Obviously guilty (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292369)

He is guilty. Clearly guilty of embarrassing some government officials with his so called 'evidence'. Lock him up.

Re:Obviously guilty (1)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292467)

Ah... the McKinnon strategy...

Re:Obviously guilty (3, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292697)

He is guilty.

Just think how many other people just paid the ticket and didn't contest because they didn't have the time or assumed the judge would sustain the fine? While I have little sympathy for drivers who drive on the edge, pushing yellow lights and often running reds, in many places, Traffic Cams are a SCAM.

Re:Obviously guilty (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293287)

I am a Baltimore area resident, and one of the criteria for setting the size of the fine was to set it high enough to make some money, but not so high that people will take the time and effort to fight it, particularly if you have to go downtown, where parking is $15 near the court house, and you are automatically assumed guilty without overwhelming evidence. They have also gotten caught short timing yellow lights that have cameras on them as well. Supposedly they fixed that problem, but in my experience there is little if any wiggle room. Slam on the brakes or get a ticket describes many intersections here in the People's Republic of Maryland.

Happens everywhere (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292513)

This happens regularly in the UK too, often with slightly unusually shaped vehicles like flat bed trucks. Sometimes the police paint the road markings used to verify the amount of movement between two sequential photos the wrong distance apart as well (happened near me).

Best thing to do is record your journeys with GPS so you can always prove you were not speeding. In fact all you really need to do is record one journey and then just alter the dates on the log for whenever you need it. UK courts have consistently taken GPS data over speed camera images/radar data.

Re:Happens everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292791)

Police don't paint lines on the road...

Re:Happens everywhere (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293109)

Not technically true. They use chalk (for body outlines).

Re:Happens everywhere (1)

Firehed (942385) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293219)

Only in TV shows. In real life, that's tampering with a crime scene.

Re:Happens everywhere (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292855)

The problem is that in the US, most jurisdictions (including Baltimore) require you to be physically present at the court at a given time to contest the charges. For most people, it's far more cost effective to simply pay the fine than to spend hours in traffic/waiting/before the judge(s).

The camera was only out by 38mph! (5, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292517)

Well within the manufacturers margin of error!

Crooked cop (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292561)

The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

Re:Crooked cop (2)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292959)

Not fraud. Extortion.

Re:Crooked cop (4, Informative)

agallagh42 (301559) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292989)

The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

Not fraud. Perjury. The cop is basically swearing that he witnessed the accused committing the act of speeding, and it is quite obvious that he did not. He lied to the court, in a round about way.

Re:Crooked cop (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293493)

No fraud. Not perjury. Incompetence. The cop is basically incompetent. ...or lazy.

This just in: Lazy, incompetent people in all lines of work...

Re:Crooked cop (1)

rts008 (812749) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293777)

This just in: Lazy, incompetent people in all lines of work...

Old news. Dupe. See "The Peter Principle": "employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence."

Re:Crooked cop (4, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293807)

If you are supposed to look for the infraction and do not it is lazy.
If you attest to a court that you did when you in fact did not you are perjuring yourself.

Re:Crooked cop (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293713)

Fraud and perjury. Taking money to do a job and not doing it is fraud. Also perjury for the reasons you mentioned.

Re:Crooked cop (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293047)

From the article: " The city's speed camera contractor, Xerox State and Local Solutions, says each potential citation goes through two layers of review to weed out any that have a deficiency, such as an illegible license plate. Then a Baltimore police officer must review the citation before approving it for issuance to the vehicle owner. Each citation says the officer swears or affirms that the car was going at least 12 mph over the speed limit "based on inspection of the recorded images." The officer's signature is also printed."

Re:Crooked cop (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293089)

Perjury.

Signing off on the ticket matches the definition of perjury [wikipedia.org] . The officer willfully and falsely certified that the driver violated an ordinance (speeding over the limit), one which had a financial penalty to the driver (possibly above and beyond the $40, given insurance and other unknown factors). If I recall correctly, the statements for signing off on tickets for revenue enhancement cameras include statements that signing is under penalty of perjury.

The only out would possibly be mens rea, the intention. If the cop did so accidentially, then it could be incompetence (and not malice). Since the job was explicitly to examine these photos, then you're into malpractice territory. Doesn't speak well to the cop, nor to the program. If this is one case of a major foul-up, how many more were there, ones paid off false due to fifty dollars being less cost than missing a day of work to dispute it.

Note: IANAL. Also, obviously, I am strongly against the police acting as The Sherrif Of Nottingham, levying fines and taxes for their own benefit. Revenue cameras tend towards injustice; especially so when they change conditions like shortening the time of yellow lights to increase said revenue.

photo tickets don't go on you they go on the car (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293609)

photo tickets don't go on you they go on the car

Re:Crooked cop (4, Informative)

ehiris (214677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293113)

Did you ever see how they "sign" the citations? They are printed signatures in low dpi meaning noone really reviews them on a case by case basis.

I got a ticket once and tried to dispute it based on the fake signature but the judge was as crooked as the cop who showed up in court because he admitted the case even though the fake printed signature should have invalidated the complaint to begin with.

Someone high up in position of authority is filling up their pockets and the pockets of their cronies with money from those shotgun-approach speeding tickets.

Meanwhile, those freeway speed cameras are gone as they were ruled illegal but I did not see a dime back and I still had to deal with my insurance rates going up because of the points.

Re:Crooked cop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293879)

The cop who signed off on this ticket is obviously not doing his job. This should at least be fraud, if not something more serious. Of course, there's no chance of the thug with a badge getting any sort of charges laid against him. There is no justice in the US.

Officially it's called perjury. Unfortunately judges routinely refuse to prosecute police officers for perjury because it might give the people cause to believe that police are flawed human beings same as everyone else.

Do away with the fines. (2, Insightful)

reasterling (1942300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292589)

Speding fines are nothing more than a tax. If we realy cared about the safety of drivers on the road then speeding violations should be delt with using some kind of points system that will eventualy suspend your licence for a while. Instead we have a tax that encintivises harrassments of good citicens by cops. I have seen in many areas where city limits are extended for miles outside of any reasonable resemblence of a city just so the city can garner extra funds from speeding tickets. The use of financial punishment for these sorts of violations only leads to a more controling and harrassing atmosphere from those who reciave the funds (ie our local governments).

Re:Do away with the fines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292891)

People might be more interested in your well-crafted and finely argued points if you could FUCKING SPELL.

Speding delt eventualy encintivises citicens resemblence controling reciave

Are all you guys with 7-digit IDs complete morons?

Re:Do away with the fines. (2)

reasterling (1942300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293295)

I was typing in a hurry. Thank you for taking the time to proof read my comment for me. In truth I have the day off and was enjoying "The Last Command: Star Wars (The Thrawn Trilogy)" and wanted to get back to enjoying my book. Leia has just figured out that Luke and Mara are in trouble because C'baoth is hidden in the mountain surounded by ysalamiri.
Any way, its a great old book, and I have better things to do than to worry about spelling on an internet forrum. Besides, I do not have to worry about spelling when I have "Anonymous Cowards" to check it for me. ;)

Re:Do away with the fines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293507)

You, fine user, are my hero of the day for keeping things positive and continuing a conversation.

Thank you for your fantastic follow up comment, and book recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out.

(also, it looks like you have an extra "r" in that forum near the end there ;)

Though I do not have the day off myself, I appreciate that you spent a bit of your leisure moments to share an experience with us here online. Do enjoy the book!

Re:Do away with the fines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293901)

It makes you look careless and lazy. It isn't too much to ask that basic proofreading be done.

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

jaygatsby27 (894445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292979)

Good idea. Let's double insurance premiums because faulty machines misjudge our speed.

Re:Do away with the fines. (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293075)

I have seen in many areas where city limits are extended for miles outside of any reasonable resemblence of a city just so the city can garner extra funds from speeding tickets.

Or, are those the actual city limits where the city has jurisdiction and people just got caught speeding?

A municipality doesn't just end because most of the houses run out. If they're still charging taxes out there, they get to enforce speed limits.

If the speeding took place outside of their jurisdiction, sure, they've overstepped their bounds. Otherwise, you've just mis-judged when you can start speeding and are complaining you got caught.

Re:Do away with the fines. (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293705)

Exactly. There's many reasons why a town might want to extend their city limits out beyond where there's a lot of houses. They can collect quite a bit of property taxes out there from the few businesses and houses that are out there. Also, even, if there are only a few people, those people usually want water and trash service, which is usually provided for by the municipality. Timmins, Ontario [wikipedia.org] is famous for this. It was the largest (by land area) town in Canada up until 1995. This was because they wanted to be able to include all the surrounding mines and logging lands as municipal lands for taxing purposes.

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293115)

In both states I've been licenced in, you *do* risk having your license suspended if you accumulate too many points. but, since speed cams are notorious doe problems, those tickets don't accumulate points.

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293459)

Plus the fact you can't assign points or suspend a license without being able to 100% validate who was driving the vehicle. The vehicle can be fined (or towed if theres enough) for violations, but the "I let someone borrow my car" defense has worked in the past when they tried to suspend a license based on the camera.

Re:Do away with the fines. (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293163)

At least in my state, and I'm assuming it's not the only one, there is both. You get a fine with the ticket, but you also get a number of points put against your license. If you exceed a certain amount in a year, your license gets suspended for 6 months.

Re:Do away with the fines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293211)

If we realy cared about the safety of drivers on the road then speeding violations should be delt with using some kind of points system that will eventualy suspend your licence for a while.

Wait... you mean that's NOT how the rest of the country does it?

Seriously, I grew up in Michigan, and that's actually PRECISELY how things work up there. Well, plus a very ill-defined schedule of when said points expire from your licence, but yeah, moving violations meant points on your license, and too many points meant you got it suspended and had to take classes to get it back.

Re:Do away with the fines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293227)

In many jurisdictions there ARE points systems that lead to suspension.

For instance, here in North Carolina. (http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/license/violation/)
Any moving violation (including speeding) is at _least_ 2 points. 12 points in 3 years leads to a 2 month suspension. 8 points in 3 years after that leads to longer suspensions of 6/12/(infinite) months. Many speeding violations earn more than 2 points. Other moving violations that tend to occur in conjunction with speeding earn points as well (so don't assume this means you can speed 5x every three years and be fine).

It's a relatively tough system. As it should be. Oh. And you still have to pay for your speeding tickets. As you should.

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293291)

I do not know where you live, but at least three of the states near me use a points system for all traffic violations (as well as a monetary fine).

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293431)

Sorry for the second response, but I missed the point the first time. I know one area where the city limits extended well out into rural areas. However, I lived in the area when they were extended, so I know what the logic was for them being extended. The city in question was growing rapidly and the area within the city limits had been fully developed. They extended the city limits in order to facilitate further development. I have visited the area again a few years back and the area that was inside the city limits, but outside the "city" is now well within the city (although I would not call any of it "urban").

Re:Do away with the fines. (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293795)

If we realy cared about the safety of drivers on the road then speeding violations should be delt with using some kind of points system that will eventualy suspend your licence for a while.

Not sure where you come from, but they do in Illinois. Each speeding ticket is 1 point, unless it's over 25mph over the speed limit (used to be 35), then it's an automatic misdemeanor instead of a traffic citation. Additionally, if you get 3 tickets in any 12 month rolling period, your license is suspended, the duration of which is decided by how much you were speeding.

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292619)

This happens with red light cameras quite often locally. Two pictures are required, the first before the stop line and a second after the stop line showing the violation. I know someone who had to have the judge FORCE the prosecution to produce the second picture since it showed him stopped at the line (no violation). I thought he should have sued for wrongful prosecution since the prosecutor clearly knew there was no violation (he resisted producing the second photo quite strenuously), but he was happy enough just to get out of a $400 ticket.

There is a real easy solution to shake-downs such as this. In most jurisdictions a camera cannot write a citation, it still takes a real cop to fill out the paperwork and sign off on it. In situations like this you put that cop in prison for perjury and require the city to pay a $100,000 fine to the person wrongfully accused. That will stop this behaviour overnight.

Sounds like there should be a perjury charge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292633)

Then a Baltimore police officer must review the citation before approving it for issuance to the vehicle owner. Each citation says the officer swears or affirms that the car was going at least 12 mph over the speed limit "based on inspection of the recorded images." The officer's signature is also printed.

FMV... (1)

Xenoproctologist (698865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292645)

I'm so glad the no-motion speeding ticket warranted a full-motion video for its newscast...

I got nabbed by a robocam in Baltimore too (1)

patmandu (247443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292673)

About 6 months ago. My first speeding ticket in 35 years of driving. And curiously it was for 38 in a 25. Hmm...might have to dig out that info again...

Its all relative! (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292675)

From a point of view at the center of the solar system that car was moving at 30 km/s!

Re:Its all relative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292853)

So was the camera, who gets to ticket the computer controlling the camera?

Re:Its all relative! (2)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292951)

From a point of view at the center of the solar system that car was moving at 30 km/s!

The IAU as just unanimously voted in your favor.

Now they*cough*WE can all drive at the speed of our choosing because all data is relative and not permissible in court! :-D

Re:Its all relative! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293147)

Now they*cough*WE can all drive at the speed of our choosing because all data is relative and not permissible in court! :-D

I choose to drive at the speed of light!

See ya later, suckers!

Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292693)

A stationary vehicle charged with speeding is not substantial enough evidence to challenge the ruling against the state.

Baltimore City... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42292705)

SO Not surprised. Lived/worked in and around that shithole of a city for a decade.

Corruption doesn't even begin to describe it (and yes, that includes O'Malley).

90's Era Germany (4, Interesting)

hovelander (250785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292723)

This happened when I was in the military in Germany in the early 90's. Just about to leave for the US and I got a speeding ticket in my mailbox for my 67 VW Beetle. Thing is, that Beetle never even made it onto the autobahn or any other street since I had the engine out of it the whole time and didn't finish the project before I had to leave country. I also wasn't allowed to leave until the false ticket was paid. Back then, if you contested the ticket, you had to write in to get access to the photos. I didn't have enough time left in country for that, so I had to pay the ticket or get an Article 15 (which is like a speeding ticket for your life in the military). I had thought, and still think, that it was a scam played on GI's about to leave the country. I'll have to dig that ticket out and finally request the photos from that bit of glory...

double fine (1)

rish87 (2460742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42292953)

My mother was driving through baltimore a few years back. A couple weeks later a red light camera ticket came in the mail. My parents paid it, only to have it show up again in their mailbox. At first they were really mad that the city screwed up and sent multiple tickets, even though the first payment went through....then they realized the timestamp was about 10 minutes later than the first. Yep, my mother accidentally ran the same stoplight twice in a row because she was lost...

Re:double fine (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293193)

My mother was driving through baltimore a few years back. A couple weeks later a red light camera ticket came in the mail. My parents paid it, only to have it show up again in their mailbox. At first they were really mad that the city screwed up and sent multiple tickets, even though the first payment went through....then they realized the timestamp was about 10 minutes later than the first. Yep, my mother accidentally ran the same stoplight twice in a row because she was lost...

Just when I was thinking these cameras were a bad idea, you had to post that. Running a light once, because you're lost is inexcusable.

My mom totaled her car that way. She's still driving and doesn't hold herself responsible. After all, she was just lost. It's not like she was drunk. Those people should go to jail. grrrr

What a racket... (1)

Onuma (947856) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293003)

Nothing like putting some road cones down in an area for a couple of years, slapping in some mobile (read: vehicle-mounted) speed cameras and reaping the benefits.

The Baltimore Beltway is notorious for being one giant speed trap. In all of my commuting around that area, I've yet to see any construction zone actually have any workers.

Re:What a racket... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293619)

Start driving with chains on your tires, that will change...

Re:What a racket... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293965)

In all of my commuting around that area, I've yet to see any construction zone actually have any workers.

It's not only in Baltimore. We have that here in Chicago too. Seems like some roads have been under construction for 8 months now, and I think I've seen them being worked on twice. It's just sad that they get away with this crap.

Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293063)

Maybe a fellow Marylander can help me out with this: if we are truly a democracy, why can't there be a state referendum to either vote Yay or Nay on these cameras? Where I live in Montgomery County it seems like there are speed cameras every mile or so. Would it REALLY be that tough to just have them removed? Seems like a no brainer that you could definitely get the signatures to put it up for a vote.

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293349)

Maybe a fellow Marylander can help me out with this: if we are truly a democracy

No, you're not a democracy. You're a republic.

Whatever the fuck that means, but I see it here on Slashdot all the time, so it must be true.

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

N3Bruce (154308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293627)

There is no democracy I can see here. Welcome to the People's Republic of Maryland.

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293481)

Something to do with spending appropriations are not subject to voting referendums - the Arundel Mills casino is an example of this (the people voted to appose putting it there, judge ruled that the people have no authority to object).

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

joshgs (71451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293727)

Then how do we get a referendum to change the "spending appropriations are not subject to voting referendums" law?

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293987)

If you're talking about question 2 back in 2008, that one passed, with 58% of the vote; the lawsuit was about the language of the question on the ballot.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Maryland_Casino_Measure,_Question_2_%282008%29

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

joshgs (71451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293601)

My wife and I were just recently talking about this. We would love for it to go to a referendum and would both vote against it. The speed cameras are inaccurate and only make people slow down for the block/area right next to the camera. The best way to make a signaled intersection safer is to increase the yellow light time and possibly add a short period 1sec when it is red in all directions, not to put in a red light camera which just causes more rear endings. Does anyone know how to make this go to a referendum?

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (1)

joshgs (71451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293665)

I meant to say <1second red in all directions.

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293623)

Go ahead and start collecting signatures then.

Oh, you don't care enough to actually go out and pester enough strangers to make it happen? Well, now you know why no one else has done so either.

Re:Why can't we just have them removed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293715)

Maryland's state constitution only allows for public petitions to start veto referendums (referenda? whatever the plural is); and not actual initiatives. (This happened earlier this year with a referendum on repealing the same-sex marriage law). You can only petition to repeal a law, and not (for example) amend the state constitution to ban traffic cameras. State constitution amendments need to originate in the state legislature (and pass with a 60% majority before going on the ballot as a ballot question).

Traffic camera citations make up a non-trivial amount of the state's revenue; if you get rid of it you'll need to replace it with something, presumably higher taxes. Or spend less money, I guess. Neither option is popular. (this is the part where someone comes in and says that all the money spent on things he doesn't care about is "wasteful" but don't touch whatever he does care about, etc. etc.) There's a substantial chunk of voters who like traffic cameras, because they're pretty sure they'll never need to pay one of the fines, but they still benefit from the revenue. And, of course, some people have the incorrect but understandable misconception that they make the roads safer for everyone.

As a resident... (3, Interesting)

Aryden (1872756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293073)

Living in Baltimore now, What I would really like them to address is this:

Why are the speed cameras concentrated in the predominantly lower class black areas?

Why are cameras that were approved to operate ONLY in school zones ONLY during school hours, issuing tickets around the clock?

Why are mobile speed cameras being used when they were only approved for stationary cameras in school zones?

price in cali (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293139)

in libtard cali... the price for me was 480, good that the cop did not show up

Class action (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293229)

I hope this guy's experience moves all of those who got tickets in the same area to file a class action lawsuit against the vendor and jurisdiction that implemented this particular camera system. They should both pay through the nose.

Was it a red Mazda? (3, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293243)

Obviously the car looked fast.

Moving so fast... (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293257)

the "red tail lights" were actually red shifted light from the car

We had speed cameras on the freeway in Phoenix (4, Interesting)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293371)

for a couple years. They were eventually removed because people simply ignored the tickets that came in the mail. Tickets delivered by mail are not delivered by a sworn peace officer so they were unenforceable. The state contracted with a private company because sending process servers out to deliver tickets would be too expensive.

There were other ways around the tickets, too. Two car families would register husband's car in wife's name and wife's car in husband's name. If the face in the photo doesn't match the license photo of the registered owner, the ticket would not be mailed. One guy in Scottsdale collected >30 tickets without having to pay because he wore a gorilla mask when he drove past the cameras. He admitted to owning the car and the mask, but denied being at the wheel and no one could prove that he was behind the wheel when the photos were snapped.

My idea (5, Insightful)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42293563)

I have an idea for making traffic safety laws about traffic safety and not revenue generation:

Pass a law that says all proceeds from moving violation citations go into a statewide fund. Then every 12 months, the funds are distributed evenly to every licensed driver in the state who has a 36 month clean driving record. Good drivers get rewarded by bad drivers, who pay into the fund with their tickets, and municipalities can't turn traffic laws into a cash cow with bullshit like speed traps, red-light cameras with short yellow lights, and other shenanigans.

Re:My idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42294051)

As there is absolutely no incentive for the state to do this, It'll never happen. Or it would, but "some" of the funds would be used to cover the costs of administering the program, which naturally means the people won't see a dime of it.

Re:My idea (3, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42294053)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to vote you into office.

whatever next (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293847)

dear dear .... next thing you'll know is they'll be 'tazering' Women for wanting to buy too many iPhones ...
ohh wait ...

Fight this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42293893)

Fight this bureaucracy if you let them have an inch they will take a yard its happened in Melbourne Australia where they have speed and red light cameras on almost every street corner and now the the people that don't drive but write the law have said that going 4 miles over the speed limit is speeding its a fucking shame that we let the bureaucrats take over our personal freedom day by day

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