Baltimore, MD – An automated police camera issued a speeding ticket for a motionless car. In what is being called a “perfect storm of errors,” the city of Baltimore issued a citation for a stationary vehicle, which was validated by a human police officer and not just a computer.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, police officers can sometimes be extremely generous, as one struggling father in Texas discovered when a $100 bill was found wrapped in a traffic ticket. Officer Christopher Izquierdo was not so generous when he validated a speeding ticket for a motionless car. According to The Baltimore Sun, the automated citation generated by the city’s camera system “alleged that a Mazda wagon was going 38 mph even though a video clip from the camera and two time-stamped photos given as evidence clearly show the car stopped at a red light.”
Based upon Maryland state law, every automated citation is first created by a radar-equipped camera system, double-checked by XeroX State and Local Solutions, and then finally approved by a human law enforcement officer before the speeding ticket is put into the mail. The city of Baltimore had suspicions that the camera system was not functioning correctly, so they started a “reasonableness” test on cameras thought to have problems.
Baltimore Police chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Baltimore Sun the results of their testing:
“It sounds like a perfect storm of errors. The equipment sends up the photos, the photos went through the process, it was authenticated [by police]. There’s no disputing that. This task force is designed to figure out how this happened, why this happened and how to fix it.”
The owner of the motionless car that was issued a speeding citation plans on contesting the $40 fine. While judges routinely throw out automated camera tickets for a variety of problems, police insist the overall error rate is low and that the cameras have made roads safer. Xerox spokesman Chris Gilligan also claims such blatant camera system problems are “rare and isolated.”
The Baltimore Sun notes that each police officer reviews 1,200 citations per day, leading spokesman Guglielmi to explain how police approach this problem:
“It’s no secret the volume of citations that have to be reviewed as authentic is a lot. You rely almost exclusively on the equipment, the validity of the equipment. That’s all you have. You have the photographs, the time stamps. You authenticate based on the equipment. We need to figure out: Is it an equipment issue? Is it oversight? We don’t know the answer to that. It could be both.”
According to LiveScience, motorist Daniel Doty said it was “shockingly obvious” from the police images that the car was stopped at the time the ticket was generated. Cash-strapped local government are turning to traffic violations to generate more revenue, although researchers have found camera systems may only generate an increase of 0.32 percent.
What do you think about cities using police camera systems now that you can see that they can issue a speeding ticket for a motionless car?