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Business owner casts reasonable doubt on accuracy of speed cameras, gets tickets tossed
wasingtontimes.com ^ | Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | David Hill

Posted on 04/22/2011 9:28:07 AM PDT by rawhide

Will Foreman has beaten the speed cameras.

Five times and counting before three different judges, the Prince George’s County business owner has used a computer and a calculation to cast reasonable doubt on the reliability of the soulless traffic enforcers.

After a judge threw out two of his tickets Wednesday, Mr. Foreman said he is confident he has exposed systemic inaccuracies in the systems that generate millions of dollars a year for town, city and county governments.

He wasn’t the only one to employ the defense Wednesday. Two other men were found not guilty of speeding offenses before a Hyattsville District judge during the same court session using the same technique.

“You’ve produced an elegant defense and I’m sufficiently doubtful,” Judge Mark T. O’Brien said to William Adams, after hearing evidence that his Subaru was traveling below the 35-mph limit - and not 50 mph as the ticket indicated.

Mr. Foreman, examined dozens of citation photos of his company’s trucks that were issued along a camera-monitored stretch of Indian Head Highway his employees frequently travel.

The camera company, Optotraffic, uses a sensor that detects any vehicle exceeding the speed limit by 12 or more mph, then takes two photos of it for identification purposes. The photos are mailed to violators, along with a $40 ticket.

For each ticket, Mr. Foreman digitally superimposed the two photos - taken 0.363 seconds apart from a stationary point, according to an Optotraffic time stamp - creating a single photo with two images of the vehicle.

Using the vehicle’s length as a frame of reference, Mr. Foreman then measured its distance traveled in the elapsed time, allowing him to calculate the vehicle’s speed. In every case, he said, the vehicle was not traveling fast enough to get a ticket.

So far the judges have agreed.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: camera; speedcamera; speeding; ticket

1 posted on 04/22/2011 9:28:11 AM PDT by rawhide
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To: rawhide

No more two photos. Justice served.


2 posted on 04/22/2011 9:32:21 AM PDT by blackdog (The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop)
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To: rawhide

Great work! I’d love to see these damn things banned. But the one thing that really got my attention is that a ticket costs 40 bucks? In LA they’re 400 to 500!


3 posted on 04/22/2011 9:35:26 AM PDT by drew
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To: drew

LA / California have bigger deficits to finance.


4 posted on 04/22/2011 9:37:52 AM PDT by hattend (How much do you have to invest in the future before you've spent it and no longer have one? - Steyn)
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To: rawhide

Interesting. The vehicle measurement would have to be very precise and would have to account for the changing aspect angle due to the short timeframe between photos.


5 posted on 04/22/2011 9:38:10 AM PDT by Terabitten ("Don't retreat. RELOAD!!" -Sarah Palin)
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To: rawhide
Mr. Foreman said he is confident he has exposed systemic inaccuracies in the systems that generate millions of dollars a year for town, city and county governments.

Good for him but the state, including judges, will circle the wagons to protect these cash cows.

6 posted on 04/22/2011 9:39:53 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("The time will come when Winter will ask you what you were doing all Summer" -- Henry Clay)
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To: blackdog

Justice won’t be served until the Judge, The City Counsel, The City Attorney are behind bars for State Sponsored Extortion. This makes a mockery of Law, and Justice, and is dangerous in the sense that it will foment a public rebellion. That is how you get government functionaries rightfully hung from trees. Because if the Judicial system offers no outlet and recourse then rebellion is all that is left. The Judge let this guy off because he took the time to research and present a defense. That’s because he has 40 of these tickets, at $40 dollars each. Joe bag o’ donuts with his one $40 dollar ticket won’t fight it. So a tyranny is being knowingly perpetrated by this judge, and this city counsel. What remedy is left?

It’s dangerous because only a 2nd Amendment remedy remains.

This is not a threat. This is a warning to government. Anarchy and revolution are so very dangerous. You don’t know when something like this starts where it will go. The best defense for government is good government and responsible remedy.


7 posted on 04/22/2011 9:40:03 AM PDT by DariusBane (People are like sheep and have two speeds: grazing and stampede)
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To: rawhide

This just screams for a civil RICO case to be filed.

If you can’t shut down the faulty cameras or the predatory government agencies and apparatchiks that use them to print money by defrauding the public, try going directly to the source and putting the manufacturers out of business.


8 posted on 04/22/2011 9:41:00 AM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: drew
Ticket prices are an interesting phenom. If the ticket is priced at the same or less than a person's daily wage, they will pay it in most cases unless points put them in peril.

Increased ticket rates do not alway's go step function to increased collections. Of course outrageous ticket costs just create more clerk of courts jobs, enrich collection agencies, and increase labor and data entry costs at all levels of the DMV and court system.

So it's a balance of what your end game is?

9 posted on 04/22/2011 9:43:01 AM PDT by blackdog (The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop)
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To: rawhide
Mr. Foreman’s tickets were all issued in Forest Heights, a town of about 2,600 where officials expected $2.9 million in ticket revenue this fiscal year, about half the town’s $5.8 million budget.

A town which gets half of its revenue from traffic tickets is pretty much the definition of a speed trap.

10 posted on 04/22/2011 9:43:51 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: rawhide
I like it.

Now, some attorney needs to file a RICO complaint against the speed camera vendor and the municipalities that use the system, along with a class action lawsuit seeking punitive damages. If the discovery phase there should be some interesting emails about what is happening along with revenue projections and promises to the cities.

I don't like redlight and speedtrap cameras, but if a community puts them in, they have (in my mind) an obligation to make sure that they are fair and not a kangaroo court revenue scheme. If they shorten the yellow light, or the speed is not properly calibrated, then what the city (with the help of the camera company) is doing is fraud and theft.

Companies and government organizations that practice fraud and theft should brought to their knees and destroyed by the courts.

11 posted on 04/22/2011 9:45:13 AM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: DariusBane
Joe bag o’ donuts with his one $40 dollar ticket won’t fight it.

See post #9.

12 posted on 04/22/2011 9:45:17 AM PDT by blackdog (The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop)
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To: KarlInOhio

“A town which gets half of its revenue from traffic tickets is pretty much the definition of a speed trap. “

The most disturbing thing about smalls towns that do this is that the residents, are willing participants in this scam. Towns like this should be burned to the ground and the ashes scattered to the four winds to the sweet sound of the lamentations of their women.


13 posted on 04/22/2011 9:46:57 AM PDT by DariusBane (People are like sheep and have two speeds: grazing and stampede)
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To: rawhide
A co-worker of mine did this very thing. He measured the distance he traveled through the intersection, based on the vehicle position in the two photos, and showed how the photos showed his vehicle was not far enough through the intersection based on the timing of the photos and the speed cited.

Judge ignored all his evidence and ruled in favor of the revenue enhancement.

14 posted on 04/22/2011 9:49:17 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmit in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: IYAS9YAS

That’s what I would expect, but still you have to fight it out. To beat that kind of rotten scum-judge you need a good lawyer and an expert, and put some fear of God into the scum-judge. They are usually found to be like most bullies — fearful little men at heart.


15 posted on 04/22/2011 9:55:10 AM PDT by bvw
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To: DariusBane
Towns like this should be burned to the ground and the ashes scattered to the four winds to the sweet sound of the lamentations of their women.

That happened to New Rome, Ohio. Well, not the burning it to the ground, but it was disincorporated for being a corrupt little 60 person village with almost a dozen cops running the traffic scam there.

http://www.newromesucks.com/

16 posted on 04/22/2011 9:59:23 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: KarlInOhio

That’s a great story!

But that is ONE town in the entire U.S. A very rare victory. Thousands of towns and entire STATES are engaged in State Sponsored Terrorism. The citizens living in these towns and States are culpable in my opinion. Everyone who sits back and says “if you don’t want a ticket don’t speed” while cops and courts use the thousands of traffic laws to subvert probable cause restrictions. Anybody that sits back and smirks “ha, that will teach em” and get a nice fat boner as they drool with pleasure at seeing somebody pulled over is part of the problem.

The reason we live in a Police State is because voters want it that way.


17 posted on 04/22/2011 10:11:33 AM PDT by DariusBane (People are like sheep and have two speeds: grazing and stampede)
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To: Robert357

Or the Texas red light camera companies demanding that yellow lights be shortened because they aren’t getting enough revenue.


18 posted on 04/22/2011 10:22:08 AM PDT by tbw2
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To: rawhide
Well, at 50 MPH, a vehicle is traveling at 264,000 Feet per hour. Which breaks down to 4,400 feet per minute, which then breaks to 73.33333 feet per second. So, multiply 73.33333 times 0.363, and you get 26.62 feet traveled in 0.363 seconds at 50 MPH.

I'm not certain if that truck is the vehicle in question, since the article mentions a Subaru. However, that vehicle looks like a full-sized Chevrolet pickup from the late 90s. Maybe later. It's a regular cab with what appears to be an 8-foot bed. This would have been just under 18 feet in length based on data from Edmunds.com.

Since there's no gap between the nose and tail of this 18 foot long truck, there is no way he's doing 50. At 35 MPH, distance traveled would be 18.634 feet in 0.363 seconds. That would be more reasonable based on the photo.

19 posted on 04/22/2011 10:22:08 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Rose, there's a Messerschmit in the kitchen. Clean it up, will ya?)
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To: Zeppo; Robert357; rawhide

I have your case ready ... I’ve been issuing FOIA requests and getting no replies ..

Here’s the background..

City running stoplight cams under their “city code” (rather than as a state statute violation) to cut the state out of the cashflow. Started about 6 years ago.

City code has major errors and provisions that aren’t being adhered to , including verification of the cams accuracy.

We have the infamously mysterious short yellows that nobody can explain..

Cams are camera only , no radar or laser to get the speed , same issue here with the computer system inferring speed by video frame,,, except as a computer programmer and a photog I have an argument that hasn’t been tried here or anywhere else (AFAIK).

I am in Central Florida ,, I’m ready to cash in ... This town is ARROGANT as all hell and had these cams before the state of Florida OK’d them ,, they will keep them after the state of Florida rescinds their OK .. (House Bill 4087) .. needless to saw 99% of the $262 tickets are for people making a right on red after stopping inches past the white line..

e:mail me directly brian_tracy AT cfl.rr.com

I am dead serious about suing them into the next county.


20 posted on 04/22/2011 10:23:35 AM PDT by Neidermeyer
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To: Terabitten
"The vehicle measurement would have to be very precise and would have to account for the changing aspect angle due to the short timeframe between photos."

It's a good thing judges are lawyers, not physicists.

21 posted on 04/22/2011 10:23:59 AM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: rawhide

Speeding tickets cost much more than that in the West, from Colorado on.


22 posted on 04/22/2011 10:27:25 AM PDT by familyop ("Dry land is not just our destination, it is our destiny!" --"Deacon," "Waterworld")
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To: Zeppo; Robert357; rawhide

Here’s the FOIA request ... just getting something like this delivered to them really makes their day .. Please use it as a guideline ,, make life hell for these pirates..

*****************************

Administrator / records custodian
Apopka Red Light Camera Safety Program

I am requesting the following information regarding the program in accordance with the FFOIA ( FS 119.01 ) …

1.) These QUESTIONS and INQUIRIES are directed toward all information known or available to the City of Apopka , the administrator and records custodian for the “Apopka Red Light Camera Safety Program” , the related parties that supply the cameras and electronics necessary for the system to operate and the Police officers that oversee and verify infractions.
2.) Each request is to be deemed a continuing one. If, after serving an answer you obtain or become aware of any further information pertaining to that request, you are requested to serve a supplemental answer setting forth such information.

DEFINITIONS

3.) “DOCUMENT” is synonymous in meaning and equal in scope to the usage of this term in FEDERAL RULE of CIVIL PROCEDURE 34(a) and includes computer records in any format. A draft or non-identical copy is a separate document within the meaning of this term. The term “DOCUMENT” also includes any “tangible things” as that term is used in Rule 34(a).
4.) “PARTIES” . The term, as well as the parties full or abbreviated name or a pronoun referring to a party, means the party and where applicable , (his/her/it’s) agents, representatives, officers, directors, employees, partners, corporate parent(s) , subsidiaries, or affiliates.
5.) “IDENTIFY” (document) When referring to a document, “identify” means to give, to the extent known, the following information: (1) the type of document ; (2) the general subject matter of the document ; (3) the date of the document ; (4) the authors, address, and recipients of the document ; (5) the location of the document ; (6) the identity of the person who has custody of the document ; and (7) whether the document has been destroyed, and if so , (8) the date of it’s destruction , the reason for it’s destruction and the identity of the person who destroyed it.
6.) “RELATING” The term “relating” means concerning, referring, describing, evidencing, or constituting, directly or indirectly.
7.) “ANY” The term “any” should be understood in either it’s most or it’s least inclusive sense as necessary to bring within the scope of the discovery request all reasons that might otherwise be construed to be outside of it’s scope.

INQUIRIES

1.) I am requesting information pertaining to any studies of vehicle accident and injury patterns in Apopka at the intersections where this program has been implemented, before and after implementing the program be brought forward, city code 78-82 states that this is the prime motivator for the implementation of the program.
2.) I am requesting information on any and all designated “traffic control infraction officer(s)” as to their qualifications and the supporting documents from the beginning of the program to the present.
3.) I am requesting information on the methodology used by the camera system to determine when an infraction has occurred , how the system determines if a vehicle has stopped (a detailed overview or flowchart of the decisions made by the video analysis program). Also what is the name of the program used and what version numbers have been in use in the Apopka cameras.
4.) Can you please direct me to a Florida case where this particular program and it’s various versions have been given judicial notice.
5.) I am requesting the methodology and logs of tests performed on the traffic control cameras by the traffic control infraction officer as outlined in 78-87.
6.) I am requesting in an electronically readable format all communications between the camera vendor and the city from the time of first contact pertaining to revenues , expected revenues and contract terms and all documents regarding distribution of proceeds from the program.
7.) I am requesting in an electronically readable format all communications with camera vendors that did not win the contract and any proposals they might have submitted.
8.) I am requesting that the city provide engineering data pertaining to the timing of all lights at which cameras have been installed and any maintenance or alterations to such timing from a time not less than one year prior to the cameras installation.
9.) I am requesting information as to any maintenance performed on the camera systems by the vendor ATS and others , and how those systems interact with the prior existing traffic light control system.
10.) I am requesting in electronic format ( on CD or DVD ) a spreadsheet detailing the intersection, the offense, the vehicle information , license plate number , DMV info regarding the registration of the license plate , whether an offense was determined to have actually occurred by the traffic control infraction officer , if a fine was levied , the amount of the fine, if a hearing was requested , the outcome of the hearing and if the fine was paid.
11.) I am requesting information as to the increase in fines from the code 78-92 mandated $125 , to the new higher fines, including any communication with the camera supplier.
12.) I am requesting information as to how infractions are handled with regards to license plate information where ownership information is not forthcoming from DMV/HSMV .
13.) I am requesting information as to the cost of the program , the revenues collected and the compliance rates in regards to collections.

Thank You for your cooperation in this matter

Brian F. Tracy


23 posted on 04/22/2011 10:29:34 AM PDT by Neidermeyer
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To: DariusBane

I nominate Council, Idaho.


24 posted on 04/22/2011 12:29:07 PM PDT by clbiel (Hey Islam! Satan's on the line- says he's not giving back your religion without a fight.)
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