Nothing feels worse than getting a speeding ticket in the post. What. The. Truck. As if they weren’t bad enough as-is, a report from the Washington DC metropolitan area suggest that the cameras used to catch speeders might not be playing by the rules. In fact, the camera contractors might be fudging the evidence to make sure you can’t challenge the tickets.
Driving politics website (yep!) The Newspaper reports that DC camera contractor American Traffic Solutions has started cropping photos and repositioning cameras to make the citations issued as a result of photo evidence harder to challenge in court. A court recently ruled that if any additional vehicles are visible in a gotcha photo, it can be questioned.
Cropping photos and moving cameras doesn’t totally eliminate multiple cars in one frame, but it does cut down on them dramatically. What’s more, the camera repositioning makes it impossible to see the lines drawn on the side of the road, which are designed to act as a secondary check against the radar.
And it’s not a problem we can just kick back and think we’re safe from just because we’re in Australia, either: stories about dodgy local speed cameras have trickled out in the media over the last 12 months, dashing confidence in the speed-hating totem poles on the side of the road. Both Victoria and New South Wales have launched speed camera reviews, while a glitchy system in Victoria was shut down after they started doling out dodgy fines.
The plain fact is that cameras are an inexpensive way for city governments to pull in an arse-ton of money. Lord knows we should all be driving slower anyway, but the next time you think you’ve been busted, look long and hard at that ticket to make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of by a shoddy contractor. [TheNewspaper via TechDirt]