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(WTOP)   Got a speeding ticket from a speed camera? Here's why you should always show up for court (and plead guilty)   (wtop.com) divider line 134
    More: Interesting, burden of proof, Eastern Shore, Silver Spring  
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30764 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Feb 2013 at 12:02 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



134 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-02-20 09:21:09 PM  
Got one of these a year ago, found a lawyer who charges $100 and if she can't get the ticket dismissed you get a full refund.  She got it dismissed.

Here in San Diego those tix are close to $500 ($483 if I remember correctly).
 
2013-02-20 09:21:48 PM  
TFA: "The trial is weighted against you. If the police officer says it's calibrated properly, then that's enough preponderance of the evidence for the judge. He didn't show me any evidence it was calibrated correctly," says Williams."

No, the countless certification and testing procedures are weighted against you. Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras and they're tested regularly for compliance. The judge knows this. Unless you have evidence otherwise you're not going to win your case. If you were serious about thinking you had a chance to beat the ticket on these grounds then you would have done your research and put in a GIPA/FOI request for test/compliance data on the camera in question.

Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.
 
2013-02-20 09:28:19 PM  

snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


Yeah... no.

The City of Elmwood in Cincinnati has cameras that were issuing "Pay to argue this" citations for 27 in a 25.

In a commercial district. Not a residential area.

A bankrupt little cesspool netted 1.5 MILLION in $200 automated fines in 6 months.

Oh, and they may have had a little problem with database corruption as well.

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/Hundreds-of-spee di ng-tickets-thrown-out-in-Elmwood-Place/-/13550662/17758452/-/hiihfdz/- /index.html

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130109/NEWS01/301090172/Speed-c am era-take-1-5-million

No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.
 
2013-02-20 09:40:22 PM  
There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

www.thenewspaper.com
 
2013-02-20 09:43:32 PM  
Elmwood really is amusing.

Bankrupt. Broke as a joke, and they just got these lovely new cruisers. Challengers and chargers. In an area where the speed limit is 25 or 15 everywhere. Automated plate readers too. They just sit there and pull people over for any and everything. They pulled me over one night for having a suspended license. I didn't KNOW I had a suspended license, but they were more than happy to help me figure out the state paperwork error that caused their system to flag me as suspended. More than happy to help. In court. Over 6 months, stretched out as long as they could, with $400 in court fees attached.

Court meets in a VERY hot little room with few seats, in the back of the municipal building with no parking, at 5:30 PM. If you are contesting a ticket it will take at least 3 visits. Due to the INSANE number of cases, traffic tickets are usually gotten to around 7 to 7:30 PM. You will not be admitted if you arrive late, even if you are last on the docket.

No translators available. No children allowed.

Yeah, they've got it figured out. Make it impossible or as uncomfortable as possible to use the system as you have the rights to. Get everyone to plea out, take a "No points" offense with a $200 fine and $200 court costs. It gets you in and out in 30 minutes.

I hope they lose EVERY DIME they have made in that shiat town on the lawsuits that are coming down on them.

/might be slightly bitter.
 
2013-02-20 09:44:56 PM  

L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]


Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

media2.wcpo.com
 
2013-02-20 10:01:26 PM  

Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]


Use a lasso?  Fill water balloons with paint & chuck 'em?  Train a monkey to disable 'em?  Chain saw?

I've got it!  Hook it up to your truck and just drive away with it.
 
2013-02-20 10:03:20 PM  

Shadow Blasko: No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.


But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.

Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc. Once that line is created the only choice that exists is whether you cross that line or not. There's no leeway outside of that. The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.

That aside, I'm not arguing that cameras can be wrong or don't have problems. No system is perfect. The story you've linked is a prime example of where the system has been questioned and a question of error was backed up with evidence.

Personally, i farking hate cameras. I can't see how 1-2 kph over the limit is worth the efforts of a ticket, but meh. As someone who spends 99% of road time on a sportsbike i often test the boundaries. And when get caught ill take it like a man.
 
2013-02-20 10:04:45 PM  

Snotnose: Got one of these a year ago, found a lawyer who charges $100 and if she can't get the ticket dismissed you get a full refund.  She got it dismissed.

Here in San Diego those tix are close to $500 ($483 if I remember correctly).


Stories like these makes me miss the small town I learned to drive in.  They couldn't pull you over for less than 10 over and if you did get caught going faster, the ticket was always $38 and two points.
 
2013-02-20 10:17:02 PM  

snuff3r: The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.


I just see it as a money grab personally because of how it is administered and enforced.

If you're speeding, you get a ticket. In Elmwood, you get a fine. It's no points on your license, and its 2 or 3x what the ticket would cost if you were actually pulled over by a cop. It costs money above that if you wish to question it.

The money brought in, unlike with a regular ticket, is shared between Elmwood and the company in Maryland that administers the cameras. The state doesn't get a cut, nor does the county.

If it was about safety, you'd see an officer there.
 
2013-02-20 10:30:44 PM  

Shadow Blasko: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Yeah... no.

The City of Elmwood in Cincinnati has cameras that were issuing "Pay to argue this" citations for 27 in a 25.

In a commercial district. Not a residential area.

A bankrupt little cesspool netted 1.5 MILLION in $200 automated fines in 6 months.

Oh, and they may have had a little problem with database corruption as well.

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/Hundreds-of-spee di ng-tickets-thrown-out-in-Elmwood-Place/-/13550662/17758452/-/hiihfdz/- /index.html

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130109/NEWS01/301090172/Speed-c am era-take-1-5-million

No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.


Of course in America you're uniquely farked because we've managed to screw up both our law enforcement systems and our judicial systems.
 
2013-02-20 10:45:15 PM  

Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]


Give me five minutes and a Sawzall.
 
2013-02-20 10:56:25 PM  

L.D. Ablo: Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]

Give me five minutes and a Sawzall.


30 seconds and a gas powered angle grinder, but (and get this) these units allegedly have vibration detectors which start video and audio recording (transmitted wirelessly), and send out a distress call if the levels are breached.

I dunno if I believe that, but I would not put it past them.
 
2013-02-20 11:20:33 PM  

snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.
 
2013-02-20 11:28:38 PM  

Shadow Blasko: 30 seconds and a gas powered angle grinder, but (and get this) these units allegedly have vibration detectors which start video and audio recording (transmitted wirelessly), and send out a distress call if the levels are breached.


The ones here have smoke detectors and heat detectors.  Some of the ones in the UK now stream a video feed of the other cameras back someplace else because they get broken so often.

If you don't like speed cameras, remind your local homeless population that there are often $6,000 cameras in them.
 
2013-02-20 11:31:39 PM  

jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.


Be careful about what you ask for.  Victoria Australia has a 3% tolerance and now has the best speed limit compliance in the world.  The increased congestion and tail gaiting has wiped out all the advantages of fewer people on the roads and safer cars.
 
2013-02-20 11:33:41 PM  
I've heard it's not easy but if you subpoena the camera's source code the companies will sometimes force the court to drop the case since if you find an error it would destroy the company
 
2013-02-20 11:37:52 PM  
And just cause I love this picture so much:

In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:

cache.gizmodo.com

Story on Gizmodo
 
2013-02-20 11:38:17 PM  

DON.MAC: jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.

Be careful about what you ask for.  Victoria Australia has a 3% tolerance and now has the best speed limit compliance in the world.  The increased congestion and tail gaiting has wiped out all the advantages of fewer people on the roads and safer cars.


I don't see the problem.

Let's say you're going down a road and the limit is 45 mph. Nowadays cops will forgive you if you're going 49. Some will forgive you if you're going 52.

Let's just raise the speed limit to 53 and enforce it at absolute strictness. If you are going 54 you are going to jail.
 
2013-02-20 11:47:37 PM  

zedster: And just cause I love this picture so much:

In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:

[cache.gizmodo.com image 410x231]

Story on Gizmodo


Love it.
 
2013-02-21 12:03:09 AM  

Shadow Blasko: They pulled me over one night for having a suspended license. I didn't KNOW I had a suspended license, but they were more than happy to help me figure out the state paperwork error that caused their system to flag me as suspended. More than happy to help. In court. Over 6 months, stretched out as long as they could, with $400 in court fees attached.


You're the first person, other than me, that I know of who has had their license suspended due to an error. Although I had it happen twice* on two different occasions for two completely different reasons. I went to court both times and, other than regular license fees, I had no trouble getting things taken care of. I'm sorry to hear that it took you so long and cost so much.

* the first was because I had received a ticket from a state trooper. The state trooper's computer let the MVD know about the ticket, but didn't pass on the information that I had paid the fine. The second happened when I had had my license suspended for valid reasons. When I took care of the issues and had my license reinstated I went to the MVD to get a new license. Some clerk somewhere hit "suspended" instead of "reinstated" or at least something like that. So, my driving privileges were suspended the day I had them reinstated.
 
2013-02-21 12:06:21 AM  
media2.wcpo.com
 
2013-02-21 12:09:39 AM  
Or you know keep it to less than 5 over. Driven over 100,000 miles lat two years, never even pulled over. Speeding as a whole doesn't make sense because of diminishing returns and all.

Major Debbie Downer.
 
2013-02-21 12:14:51 AM  

Philbb: You're the first person, other than me, that I know of who has had their license suspended due to an error. Although I had it happen twice* on two different occasions for two completely different reasons. I went to court both times and, other than regular license fees, I had no trouble getting things taken care of. I'm sorry to hear that it took you so long and cost so much.


It has actually happened to me twice.

First one was for the one and only speeding ticket I have had in 15 years. I contested it, the officer rescheduled twice on the hearing, and on the third reschedule I was out of town, so I just went ahead and went into the clerks office and paid the ticket on the due date.

A "failure to appear" bench warrant/suspension was issued before the payment posted to the state accounting department, and my license was revoked, then put into Ohio's new "Revoked/failure to reinstate" status.

18 months later I was pulled over when a state trooper who ran my plates and the RO came back as "Revoked/Failure to reinstate".

I took my paperwork with me to court and everything was dismissed, but I still had to pay the $20 reinstatement fee.

Reinstatement is a joke as well. There was (at the time) ONE office in all of southwestern Ohio that took care of that, and they were open 4 days a week during business hours only.

The Elmwood situation was because of "account closing fees" on my child support. There were $250 in fees on my paid off child support account, and because they had not been paid in 6 months (I didn't even know about them, they were due to an automated fee being applied erroneously to my child support account for a year after my daughter turned 18, because of paperwork my ex didn't submit) my license was revoked.

I was living in Kentucky at the time so I was not notified of the revocation. I settled with the state, but didn't know that, once again, my license went from revoked status to "failure to reinstate".

That was in October. I just got the ticket settled in Elmwood on Valentines Day. Cost me over $300.

Neither time did I actually break any laws when I was pulled over, just state paperwork madness.

Ohio seems to REALLY like that new $20 reinstatement fee, so they will revoke your license for just about anything these days, and it is YOUR responsibility to fix it, not theirs.

/On the first ticket, I was looking at the possibility of 6mos in jail and a $5000 fine. Thank GOD I still had my paperwork from when I paid the ticket.
 
2013-02-21 12:16:38 AM  
Seems to me TFA is only saying you should plead guilty if you get the right judge.  I don't know if every judge would be as lenient as that.

// Frankly for $40 I would have just paid it
// Typical traffic/parking ticket in NYC seems to be around $90
 
2013-02-21 12:16:42 AM  

snuff3r: Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras


Have to spend money to make money.
 
2013-02-21 12:17:45 AM  

zedster: And just cause I love this picture so much:

In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:

[cache.gizmodo.com image 410x231]

Story on Gizmodo


Needed the laugh--thanks for sharing this.
 
2013-02-21 12:18:38 AM  
Speed cameras free up LEOs for nore important things like tasering epilepsy victims and shooting family pets.
 
2013-02-21 12:19:12 AM  
Anyone else notice one of the people who got a ticket got theirs on 'Good Luck Rd'?

/oohh
 
2013-02-21 12:21:33 AM  
Meanwhile, in the sidebar

300 call hotline in gynecologist recording probe

Fifty-four-year-old Dr. Nikita Levy was found dead in his Towson home on Monday.
 
2013-02-21 12:21:37 AM  

J. Frank Parnell: snuff3r: Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras

Have to spend money to make money.


Or you could just work for a living. Working is free, but then people give you money for it.
 
2013-02-21 12:23:07 AM  
I vowed to stay the Hell out of Arizona until they got those damn speed cameras off their highways.  They wouldn't have pissed me off so much if they were used legitimately but there were constant 10mph speed cuts out in the middle of nowhere with cameras set up to catch people who weren't expecting a reduced speed limit in the middle of the friggin' desert.  I set the cruise control for the posted limit and adjusted every time I saw a sign but I was still shocked when I got home and didn't receive a single citation in the mail.  Somehow, in the thousand+ miles of driving around AZ, I managed to see every single speed trap and slow down in time.

While the state eventually removed most of the cameras, there are still around half a dozen cities that use them within the city limits.
 
2013-02-21 12:25:06 AM  
Got one in Phoenix and didn't bother going to court. Checked online after my court date.

Charges dismissed without prejudice.
 
2013-02-21 12:25:41 AM  

jaylectricity: If you are going 54 you are going to jail.


Why does it have to be jail time?  How about just issuing the stupid ticket at 54 if you want zero tolerance, but there's no need to lock more people up in this country.
 
2013-02-21 12:28:31 AM  

Snotnose: Got one of these a year ago, found a lawyer who charges $100 and if she can't get the ticket dismissed you get a full refund.  She got it dismissed.

Here in San Diego those tix are close to $500 ($483 if I remember correctly).


And, considering the ridiculous state budget cuts to California courts, no judge in their right mind would reduce a fine for someone who pleads guilty just to be nice like the Maryland judge in TFA.
 
2013-02-21 12:29:24 AM  
Photo enforcement is unconstitutional. Don't wimp out just because you value being able to do other things with your life than fight that battle.
 
2013-02-21 12:31:19 AM  
Makes me glad I rarely see myself driving around large cities that would employ such things.

/why does a cop have to testify when the camera did all the work?
 
2013-02-21 12:33:37 AM  
My wife had one rescinded in New Mexico because the judge lives opposite where the speed trap car was set that day and could see from his window that the construction speed limit sign had blown down because of the wind. Then, they day after the court case, the police just happened to have a cop car sitting outside my driveway and ticket me for not signalling when reversing out of my driveway. I went to court and got that chucked too.
 
2013-02-21 12:35:47 AM  

dark brew: jaylectricity: If you are going 54 you are going to jail.

Why does it have to be jail time?  How about just issuing the stupid ticket at 54 if you want zero tolerance, but there's no need to lock more people up in this country.


We don't have to lock them up. Just make them do stuff that our government is supposed to do, but too stupid to actually do it.
 
2013-02-21 12:36:17 AM  
But driving's a privilege and not a right, right folks? Nevermind that you rely on driving to go to work, much less go to the store or to the doctor.

Nope, it's a privilege and the state is happy to charge you a fee to reinstate an erroneously suspended license.
 
2013-02-21 12:36:29 AM  

Fark Rye For Many Whores: Meanwhile, in the sidebar

300 call hotline in gynecologist recording probe

Fifty-four-year-old Dr. Nikita Levy was found dead in his Towson home on Monday.


www.mels-place.com
 
2013-02-21 12:36:52 AM  
My biggest problem with red light cameras and speed cameras is that an outside corporation is getting a commission from all the tickets.  There has already been a great deal of evidence pointing to the sad fact that red light cameras have been calibrated to ticket drivers that were not in any danger of running red lights.  I personally feel that all speed and red light cameras should be taken down and we return to the days where only cops, not machines, could give you tickets.

My biggest problem with things like traffic lights, speed limits that are seen as absolute limits (like in school zones), and even having to stop for a school bus when it's loading or unloading is that those things are designed to remove complete trust in the driver to make the right choice.  For example, I come to a traffic light at a four way intersection.  It's 10:35 am on a Wednesday.  Most people are at work or in school.  I can see in a straight line in both directions.  The light is red.  Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming."  and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.

Same with school buses.  Where I live there are two apartment complexes side by side.  Across the street is an empty field.  More than once I have been caught behind two school buses. The first will stop, pick up kids.  Once it's done, the second school bus will drive up 15 feet to where the first one was, and pick up kids.  So I'm stuck behind two school buses picking up kids and I can't drive around them, even though all the kids being picked up live in the apartment complex on the side of the road with the school bus and with the other side of the road being an empty field, no kids are going to come running out of that field and across the street.  But, still, as the driver of a car, I am forbidden from using logic to determine that no kids are in danger if I drive around those two school buses.  And let's look at the school zones.  Where I live the school zones activate an hour before school lets out and lasts up to an hour after school lets out.  Now, as a driver I should be able to say "School let's out a 3:30, it's 2:59, no kids are in danger." and continue at the non-school zone speed.  However, the law is written to prevent me from allowing to make that choice.  Instead if I do that I get a rather large ticket for running a school zone.

I would love to see the lawmakers review our traffic code and put some of the trust back to the drivers instead of a blanket "You must do this all the time no matter what" approach, which is what we have now.  And making automated ticketing machines illegal would be a good step to that trust.

/end rant
 
2013-02-21 12:36:52 AM  

DON.MAC: Shadow Blasko: 30 seconds and a gas powered angle grinder, but (and get this) these units allegedly have vibration detectors which start video and audio recording (transmitted wirelessly), and send out a distress call if the levels are breached.

The ones here have smoke detectors and heat detectors.  Some of the ones in the UK now stream a video feed of the other cameras back someplace else because they get broken so often.

If you don't like speed cameras, remind your local homeless population that there are often $6,000 cameras in them.


shoot them, because guns cure all problems!!

/hasn't seen a story about guns today
//suffering withdraw
 
2013-02-21 12:38:39 AM  

OhioUGrad: /hasn't seen a story about guns today
//suffering withdraw


Haha, have we got a tease for you.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7603952
 
2013-02-21 12:38:59 AM  
Subpoena the camera, the software and the software engineer. Sixth Amendment. Police have nothing to do with this and anything they contribute is hearsay.
 
2013-02-21 12:39:03 AM  

jaylectricity: Or you could just work for a living. Working is free, but then people give you money for it.


They give you a fraction of the money you earn for them.
 
2013-02-21 12:39:23 AM  
Step 1, file for a discovery request

If nothing is received after 30 days

Step 2, trial by declaration; be sure to mention the lack of response to the discovery request.

Less is more, opinion means jack.

If you lose your trial of declaration, you can go to trial and have all the information to fight.
 
2013-02-21 12:39:35 AM  

J. Frank Parnell: jaylectricity: Or you could just work for a living. Working is free, but then people give you money for it.

They give you a fraction of the money you earn for them.


I don't disagree with you there.
 
2013-02-21 12:41:55 AM  
So, shut the f*ck up, say you did it, give us money faster and you get a discount because f*ck "traffic safety" and laws and actual, useful court proceedings.  Why don't they just put up a f*cking tool booth at random with a gate and a basket to throw the money in while a dog sniffs your trunk?
 
2013-02-21 12:41:57 AM  
On a somewhat related note, this happened to someone I work with: He got pulled over by some hick local PD with a belly too large and a brain to small, and the cop issued the ticket based on his laser tag version of radar enforcement... Problem is that the cop didn't have the state requirement of "laser marksmanship" for issuing tickets associated with a laser instrument, and when the guy asked for his (the cop) laser marksmanship certification number (about a $1k fee for the city) on the ticket... Well, lets just say the cop snatched back the ticket and told my co-worker to GTFOutta here... lol
 
2013-02-21 12:43:20 AM  

Fark Rye For Many Whores: Meanwhile, in the sidebar

300 call hotline in gynecologist recording probe

Fifty-four-year-old Dr. Nikita Levy was found dead in his Towson home on Monday.


media-1.web.britannica.com

Nikita?
 
2013-02-21 12:44:10 AM  

zedster: In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:

[cache.gizmodo.com image 410x231]


What's crazy is that given access to the full-sized originals, they could almost certainly have restored the driver's face, especially if they had access to the algorithm that did the pathetic "blur".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Paul_Neil
http://www.andrewt.net/blog/undo-the-twirl/

Whichever idiot made the "privacy" software should be fired. If you want privacy, you replace that section of the image with a solid color. (And make damned sure your file type doesn't provide for undo, cached thumbnails, etc. that might contain the original, uncensored image.)
 
2013-02-21 12:48:36 AM  
"Judge Love threw out her ticket when she said the camera wasn't placed closed enough to a school zone, as required under Maryland law. "

"closed enough" huh? HOW DOES YOUR EDITOR HAVE A JOB?
 
2013-02-21 12:56:22 AM  

zedster: And just cause I love this picture so much:

In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:

[cache.gizmodo.com image 410x231]

Story on Gizmodo



IIRC, if the driver cannot be identified in the picture, the registered owner is responsible for any fines incurred.
You might get away with it once, but you could end up having to keep a log of who drives your car, where and when.
It's been a while since I've lived there, but I'm pretty sure that's how things went back in the day.
 
2013-02-21 01:00:49 AM  

penthesilea: Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]

Use a lasso?  Fill water balloons with paint & chuck 'em?  Train a monkey to disable 'em?  Chain saw?

I've got it!  Hook it up to your truck and just drive away with it.


Scoped rifle?
 
2013-02-21 01:02:29 AM  
Exceedingly long, tangentially-related CSB,

Because people are sharing their suspended license stories, I'll share mine.  On my 21st birthday, I had a date.  It was the first one I'd had in a while, so I was...  excited.  I got off work, showered, and went to pick up the lovely lass.  Now, my birthday is on the 1st of the month, and in all of the excitement I forgot to renew the plates on my car.  On my way, I was pulled over because the sticker on my car had expired.  I realized my error and admitted to my mistake, telling the officer my story and he went back to his car to run my information.  After what seemed to be an inordinately long time, the officer returned to my door and asked me to step out of the car.  I then started to get nervous.  He told me that in addition to my plates being expired, my license had been suspended because of unpaid parking tickets.  The previous year I'd moved in with my previous girlfriend and lived in a house where there was no parking anywhere nearby except on the street, which was a in a no parking zone from 3-7 AM, and was that way everywhere in a mile radius.  Every morning I woke up to a $7 ticket, which I would collect and pay at the end of the month.  Apparently I'd missed a few of them, and they suspended my license, which I would have known had I properly updated my address with the secretary of state.  Admittedly, I didn't.

I was threatened with being put in jail unless I paid a fine on-site.  $100, which I happened to have on me because I was going on my fancy date.  They also towed and impounded my car.  I had to call my date on my awesome mid-90s Nextel phone and tell her I'd have to walk to pick her up.  It was hilarious to her and we went out to have a nice time (with her driving) courtesy of my Discover card, which was problematic, because a lot of places didn't take Discover.  After the date, I got a bj and we agreed to meet again, but she didn't return my calls.  Can't say that I blame her, as I was as big a loser as I've ever been at that point in my life.  Anyway, over the next couple of weeks I filled out all of the paperwork and paid all of the fines and got my license reinstated and my car out of impound.

Fast-forward 6 years, and I'm now happily married to another woman, with a baby on the way.  The cops at work ask to speak to me privately and tell me that I have a warrant out for my arrest for failure to appear on a driving on a suspended license charge from 6 years ago.  They give me 2 hours to get things in order, but they're going to take me into custody.  So I have to get a lawyer, call my wife and tell her I'm going to jail, and turn myself into the cops.  I spent 4 hours in jail where I watched a woman get beaten up for annoying the jail cops by asking repeatedly at the top of her lungs why she what she was being charged with.  My heavily pregnant wife was eventually allowed to bail me out, and I had to pay a lawyer about a grand to get it all straightened out over the course of the following month.  That was really awesome.
 
2013-02-21 01:14:12 AM  

Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]


Paintball practice.....
 
2013-02-21 01:18:45 AM  

jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.


That kind of thinking leads to drivers watching their speedometer instead of watching the road and consequently getting into MORE accidents. But at least they're not speeding, right?
 
2013-02-21 01:19:14 AM  

snuff3r: Shadow Blasko: No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.

But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.

Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc. Once that line is created the only choice that exists is whether you cross that line or not. There's no leeway outside of that. The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.

That aside, I'm not arguing that cameras can be wrong or don't have problems. No system is perfect. The story you've linked is a prime example of where the system has been questioned and a question of error was backed up with evidence.

Personally, i farking hate cameras. I can't see how 1-2 kph over the limit is worth the efforts of a ticket, but meh. As someone who spends 99% of road time on a sportsbike i often test the boundaries. And when get caught ill take it like a man.


A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per your first point). Do you also talk to dust on the ground?
 
2013-02-21 01:25:36 AM  

Shadow Blasko: Philbb: You're the first person, other than me, that I know of who has had their license suspended due to an error. Although I had it happen twice* on two different occasions for two completely different reasons. I went to court both times and, other than regular license fees, I had no trouble getting things taken care of. I'm sorry to hear that it took you so long and cost so much.

It has actually happened to me twice.


Wow, mine happened within a few years over 15 years ago. So, you are not the only the only other person I've heard of that had license issues due to clerical errors, you are also the only other person I have ever heard of who had it happen twice. All of a sudden I don't feel quite so uniquely persecuted.
 
2013-02-21 01:32:17 AM  

zedster: In Germany they need both the license plate and a picture of the driver to give an automated ticket. The computer automatically blurs out the passengers as a privacy matter. Some genius has a British Audi in Germany and thus the driver gets blurred out instead of the passenger. So the German police got a bunch of picture like the following:


An in-law of mine got a automated ticket from Germany mailed to his home in the US a few years ago for going too slow on the Autobahn... he hasn't lived in (or visited) Germany in over 20 years.
 
2013-02-21 01:56:22 AM  
This whole speed camera business isn't going to get any better; it's only going to get much, much worse as technology and camera resolution improves, now that municipalities have a taste of the enormous profits that screwing over the little people on an industrial scale brings. Remember when only blacks were treated this way? Bend over, middle class, it's going to get worse. The first big step will be when cities start owning their systems, instead of paying an Australian company to set up on their land, and then being forced to pay back everything when they get cracked down; by having their own, they'll maximize profits.

Speed laws will keep getting more draconian and disconnected from reality while revenue cameras will start popping up in more places. Traffic courts have already been as thin-stretched as possible and only held once a week in an out of the way location for decades, that sure won't change.

With modern safety standards, we could have the equivalent safety of 1960 vehicles while we all drove 100 mph, despite increased congestion, if we paid attention. (Remember, the greatest generation drove 75-85 back before the oil embargo, not the 55 the boomers were forced down to.) We inherited most of our farked up speed laws and insurance policies from the national 55 limit, not from anything scientific, when the only important metric is reckless driving.

/Same thing applies to driving while texting or chatting - it usually leads to reckless driving, so why do we need another law?
 
2013-02-21 02:05:30 AM  

Great Janitor: I can see in a straight line in both directions. The light is red. Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming." and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.


And when you combine that with the lights that will stay red for 2-3 minutes (for all directions) despite no one coming either way, including a left turn interlude when no one's turning, is it any wonder why so much road rage and red running occurs? Too bad all the traffic engineers got laid off with the Great Recession, but the ones that were there before barely gave a damn and tended to just make all timings identical 24/7 365 days a year, even when sensors and radars were available.

Then you have the opposite, when someone on a side street turns right and somehow sets off the light despite already having turned and gone, making the main street idle for a while.

/I run 'em at night, fark it, central Fresno has the worst light timings I've ever seen.
 
2013-02-21 02:16:32 AM  
When am given the position of Exalted Leader and Grand Poobah, every municipal leader that ever approved a traffic light camera or speeding camera will be drug from their homes and their lifeless bodies will be left hanging from the devices as a reminder to any that would follow.

Totally serious. You can tell I mean it because I said 'totally'.

Hoisted by their own retard!
 
2013-02-21 02:27:45 AM  
the cost of the cameras, never outweighs the cost of the judge, police officers, and the fines

any municipality that uses speed cameras, or red light cameras, is slowly circling the drain for revenue and don't even know it
 
2013-02-21 02:33:00 AM  

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: snuff3r: Shadow Blasko: No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.

But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.

Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc. Once that line is created the only choice that exists is whether you cross that line or not. There's no leeway outside of that. The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.

That aside, I'm not arguing that cameras can be wrong or don't have problems. No system is perfect. The story you've linked is a prime example of where the system has been questioned and a question of error was backed up with evidence.

Personally, i farking hate cameras. I can't see how 1-2 kph over the limit is worth the efforts of a ticket, but meh. As someone who spends 99% of road time on a sportsbike i often test the boundaries. And when get caught ill take it like a man.

A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per your first point). Do you also talk to dust on the ground?


That was a seriously retarded point. "Thinking of you" doesn't translate to - "I believe in Jesus angels". You are a moron.
 
2013-02-21 02:43:20 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Got one in Phoenix and didn't bother going to court. Checked online after my court date.

Charges dismissed without prejudice.



without prejudice means you can still be charged.
 
Skr
2013-02-21 03:01:02 AM  

foxyshadis: Great Janitor: I can see in a straight line in both directions. The light is red. Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming." and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.

And when you combine that with the lights that will stay red for 2-3 minutes (for all directions) despite no one coming either way, including a left turn interlude when no one's turning, is it any wonder why so much road rage and red running occurs? Too bad all the traffic engineers got laid off with the Great Recession, but the ones that were there before barely gave a damn and tended to just make all timings identical 24/7 365 days a year, even when sensors and radars were available.

Then you have the opposite, when someone on a side street turns right and somehow sets off the light despite already having turned and gone, making the main street idle for a while.

/I run 'em at night, fark it, central Fresno has the worst light timings I've ever seen.


A few of the stop lights around here in Minnesota flash red after a certain time of day and they basically become stop sign intersections at night. So far it seems to be the smart way to go about things.
 
2013-02-21 03:03:31 AM  

snuff3r: Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit.




I say cameras should blanket the roads.

Then we will be safe.
 
2013-02-21 03:14:26 AM  

Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]


www.eba-d.com
Det Cord by the time they know you've done anything it is already too late.
 
2013-02-21 03:41:54 AM  

Skr: foxyshadis: Great Janitor: I can see in a straight line in both directions. The light is red. Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming." and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.

And when you combine that with the lights that will stay red for 2-3 minutes (for all directions) despite no one coming either way, including a left turn interlude when no one's turning, is it any wonder why so much road rage and red running occurs? Too bad all the traffic engineers got laid off with the Great Recession, but the ones that were there before barely gave a damn and tended to just make all timings identical 24/7 365 days a year, even when sensors and radars were available.

Then you have the opposite, when someone on a side street turns right and somehow sets off the light despite already having turned and gone, making the main street idle for a while.

/I run 'em at night, fark it, central Fresno has the worst light timings I've ever seen.

A few of the stop lights around here in Minnesota flash red after a certain time of day and they basically become stop sign intersections at night. So far it seems to be the smart way to go about things.


After years of wondering why they didn't do that, I traveled to Europe, where most cities seem to do just that. (In fact, they'll just use flashing yellow, not even making you stop as long as you slow and look around.) I came back more convinced than every that US traffic laws are mostly based on superstition and a willingness to tolerate distracted driving.
 
2013-02-21 03:48:48 AM  

snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


Whoa, put the kool-aid down for a minute.

I recently just got a parking ticket in the mail.  Funny thing - I ALWAYS pay for parking and thank god I pay for it with a credit card - so I pull up my credit card statement online and sure enough, on the date in question, I paid for an hours worth.   Sent in the statement information proving that I paid, gave them the last 4 digits of my card and 3 days later they e-mail me back saying "Sorry, the ticket has been cancelled".

Now - let's consider that if they can make a mistake with one service they can make mistakes with another. Never assume your guilty because they told you so - take the time to examine the particulars and seek out legal counsel - cops are experts in their field - you are not - find one and get an opinion and if THEY say pay the ticket, then by all means - go ahead and do just that.
 
2013-02-21 03:50:37 AM  

Great Janitor: My biggest problem with red light cameras and speed cameras is that an outside corporation is getting a commission from all the tickets.  There has already been a great deal of evidence pointing to the sad fact that red light cameras have been calibrated to ticket drivers that were not in any danger of running red lights.  I personally feel that all speed and red light cameras should be taken down and we return to the days where only cops, not machines, could give you tickets.

My biggest problem with things like traffic lights, speed limits that are seen as absolute limits (like in school zones), and even having to stop for a school bus when it's loading or unloading is that those things are designed to remove complete trust in the driver to make the right choice.  For example, I come to a traffic light at a four way intersection.  It's 10:35 am on a Wednesday.  Most people are at work or in school.  I can see in a straight line in both directions.  The light is red.  Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming."  and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.

Same with school buses.  Where I live there are two apartment complexes side by side.  Across the street is an empty field.  More than once I have been caught behind two school buses. The first will stop, pick up kids.  Once it's done, the second school bus will drive up 15 feet to where the first one was, and pick up kids.  So I'm stuck behind two school buses picking up kids and I can't drive around them, even though all the kids being picked up live in the apartment complex on the side of the road with the school bus and with the other side of the road being an empty field, no kids are going to come running out of that field and across the street.  But, still, as the driver of a car, I am forbidden from using logic to determine that no kids are in danger if I drive around those two school buses.  And let's look at the school zones.  Where I live the school zones activate an hour before school lets out and lasts up to an hour after school lets out.  Now, as a driver I should be able to say "School let's out a 3:30, it's 2:59, no kids are in danger." and continue at the non-school zone speed.  However, the law is written to prevent me from allowing to make that choice.  Instead if I do that I get a rather large ticket for running a school zone.

I would love to see the lawmakers review our traffic code and put some of the trust back to the drivers instead of a blanket "You must do this all the time no matter what" approach, which is what we have now.  And making automated ticketing machines illegal would be a good step to that trust.

/end rant


Trust is taken away from drivers because people continue to make poor decisions while driving their 1500 pound machines. While I agree that I like to think I could make a judgement call to treat a red light as a stop sign at 3am when there are great lines of sight in all directions, I also understand that many people should not be allowed to make that judgement. Laws are written for the lowest common denominator.
 
2013-02-21 03:58:45 AM  

Tachypnea: Great Janitor: My biggest problem with red light cameras and speed cameras is that an outside corporation is getting a commission from all the tickets.  There has already been a great deal of evidence pointing to the sad fact that red light cameras have been calibrated to ticket drivers that were not in any danger of running red lights.  I personally feel that all speed and red light cameras should be taken down and we return to the days where only cops, not machines, could give you tickets.

My biggest problem with things like traffic lights, speed limits that are seen as absolute limits (like in school zones), and even having to stop for a school bus when it's loading or unloading is that those things are designed to remove complete trust in the driver to make the right choice.  For example, I come to a traffic light at a four way intersection.  It's 10:35 am on a Wednesday.  Most people are at work or in school.  I can see in a straight line in both directions.  The light is red.  Now, if I can tell that there are no cars in sight, I as the driver should have the right to say "fark this red light, no one is coming."  and drive on through. However, the law says that I am not able to make that decision and if a camera is on that traffic light, then I am to be fined and the reasoning of "No one was coming." isn't allowed.

Same with school buses.  Where I live there are two apartment complexes side by side.  Across the street is an empty field.  More than once I have been caught behind two school buses. The first will stop, pick up kids.  Once it's done, the second school bus will drive up 15 feet to where the first one was, and pick up kids.  So I'm stuck behind two school buses picking up kids and I can't drive around them, even though all the kids being picked up live in the apartment complex on the side of the road with the school bus and with the other side of the road being an empty field, no kids are going to come running out of that field and across the stre ...




Way off on the weight.
 
2013-02-21 04:25:19 AM  

snuff3r: But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.


Its not binary. The camera has no discretion and the cop does. If you were breaking the law the camera gives you a ticket. 100% of the time. With a cop they get to decide if that ticket is really justified. I suppose it is binary, but one of those has two operations and that makes it allot more than "on/off". 

Just because you broke the law doesnt mean you deserve to be punished. Discretion discretion discretion.

The judge is there to judge. This judge sounded great!
 

Shadow Blasko: I contested it, the officer rescheduled twice on the hearing, and on the third reschedule I was out of town, so I just went ahead and went into the clerks office and paid the ticket on the due date.


CSB: my sister contested a ticket for distracted driveing when she was in highschool -- her friend backed into her and when the cops came one of my sisters idiot friends told the cop my sis wasn't paying attention. She went to court and fought it and the judge agreed the evidence was pretty clear. Now for the CSB in the CSB: The case before her was a 50 year old farmer from a community just north of us. He had been charged with public urination. The cops had caught him peeing behind the bar after last call. He was just this little old farmer.  Well the judge took one look at him, apologized, told him it was being thrown out and that he could leave. The judge then turned to the two cops (new to the RCMP i think) and told them if they ever brought anyone into his courtroom on something so petty he would make sure they found their way to the most podunk reserve he could. He called it an 'emarassment' to the law. They turned pretty red in the face. CSB done.

I know its not speeding but its the same idea -- the courts are not there to make people feel like children who must be watched and chastised.
 
2013-02-21 04:35:08 AM  

mikefinch: Shadow Blasko: I contested it, the officer rescheduled twice on the hearing, and on the third reschedule I was out of town, so I just went ahead and went into the clerks office and paid the ticket on the due date.


Whups -- i meant to put something in there...

Where i come from allot of people contest speeding tickets because if the cop doesn't show its automatically tossed out. You just have to show up. If the cop is there you just plead guilty and pay. Rescheduling would waste so many peoples time and money. The cop and the judge and court recorder together likely make more in half an hour than your ticket is even worth.

I love how many people thought they could argue the calibration aspect. I guarantee they have an SOP for keeping those up to par. I would show up just to ask the judge whether he thought it was worth the courts time.
 
2013-02-21 04:37:31 AM  

jaylectricity: DON.MAC: jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.

Be careful about what you ask for.  Victoria Australia has a 3% tolerance and now has the best speed limit compliance in the world.  The increased congestion and tail gaiting has wiped out all the advantages of fewer people on the roads and safer cars.

I don't see the problem.

Let's say you're going down a road and the limit is 45 mph. Nowadays cops will forgive you if you're going 49. Some will forgive you if you're going 52.

Let's just raise the speed limit to 53 and enforce it at absolute strictness. If you are going 54 you are going to jail.


Unreasonable burden of speedometer accuracy.  This is not a realistic idea.
Plus, as others have said, it takes drivers' attention away from the situation on the road, which largely defeats the purpose of having a speed limit in the first place.

I will say this about TFA:  Marylanders have it easy on the speed camera thing:  $40 no matter how fast you were going, and no points on your license.  It doesn't get much more lenient than that.  PG county IS a farking police state, and MD state troopers can be fairly aggressive and unprofessional, but in the areas around Baltimore the cops tend to be pretty cool about speeding.  I know, because I rarely went anywhere at under 100mph when I lived there.
 
2013-02-21 05:04:24 AM  

mikefinch: Its not binary. The camera has no discretion and the cop does. If you were breaking the law the camera gives you a ticket. 100% of the time. With a cop they get to decide if that ticket is really justified. I suppose it is binary, but one of those has two operations and that makes it allot more than "on/off". 

Just because you broke the law doesnt mean you deserve to be punished. Discretion discretion discretion.


Exactly.  Hence the old, "Listen, I could give you a speeding ticket for 66 in a 45, which would be a $250 fine, plus 6 points on your license, and a jump in your insurance premium, but instead here's a $50 ticket for "Failure to obey a traffic control device".  Do us both a favor, and just pay the $50.  I'll be annoyed if you make me come to court."

Enforcement of safety laws shouldn't be binary, because the definition of safe/unsafe behavior isn't binary.  That's just common sense.

mikefinch: Where i come from allot of people contest speeding tickets because if the cop doesn't show its automatically tossed out. You just have to show up. If the cop is there you just plead guilty and pay. Rescheduling would waste so many peoples time and money. The cop and the judge and court recorder together likely make more in half an hour than your ticket is even worth.


This happened to me on one of the very few times I've ever stopped for a cop on my sport bike.  I could have easily gotten away, but I wasn't being a hooligan or anything, just in a little bit of a rush, so I figured I'd pull over and let the guy feel like he was in control.  I thought he'd appreciate it, since most of the riders in the area would have just twisted the throttle and flipped him off.  Dude writes me over $1000 in tickets, including reckless driving.  I was doing maybe 85 in a 65.

Court date was the day before Thanksgiving.  No show by the cop on about 6 cases, including mine, all of which were an excessive number of tickets written for a single infraction.  The judge was seriously pissed that the trooper wasted his time, and told the entire courtroom so.
 
2013-02-21 05:08:37 AM  
Only authoritarian douche bags support automated enforcement of the law. The world will have some danger in it and endlessly monitoring citizens isn't going to change that, but what it will do is make people hate government and is a slippery slope to a less free society.
 
2013-02-21 06:21:42 AM  
Karne
A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per your first point). Do you also talk to dust on the ground?


That was a seriously retarded point. "Thinking of you" doesn't translate to - "I believe in Jesus angels". You are a moron.

Actually, I think Guy has a point. it says "thinking of you" - that is directed at the person that doesn't exist,  if it said "thinking of her," that would be logically consistent.  But rather than have an intelligent discussion, let's just call people retards and morons.
 
2013-02-21 06:22:57 AM  
Driving in rural Tennessee several years ago. 4 lane split highway separated by a ditch and one side was closed for construction. I'm doing what I believe is 1 mph under the posted limit, but got pulled over for going 9 over. Sunny weather, dry pavement, no posted speed signs, no construction AT ALL on my side and clear traffic. Thought it was going to be easier than it was to have it dropped....When I got to court, there were about 25 other people there for the same thing and this dirty cop was a money making machine for those who didn't challenge it. The judge offered to drop the fees for those who plead guilty, but no way was I going to plead guilty for nothing more than driving 54MPH on a HIGHWAY without reduced speed signs and NO FARKING TRAFFIC.

So I stood there and let the judge chew me out. "You should have known It was a construction zone and slowed down." I tried to explain, just to be heard but he kept up the front.

 It was late on a warm summer day with NO CONSTRUCTION and NO TRAFFIC.  Just some dumbass cop hiding off the road and writing tickets as fast as he could. My ticket was still thrown out, but I had to drive 3 hours round trip for it...

/CSB off
 
2013-02-21 06:25:36 AM  
Heh. The speed limit on the highway I use to drive home from offshore is 75 mph. I have never ONCE been stopped and I usually average between 100 and 105 kph!!!

/heh!!!!
 
2013-02-21 06:34:16 AM  

MayoSlather: Only authoritarian douche bags support automated enforcement of the law. The world will have some danger in it and endlessly monitoring citizens isn't going to change that, but what it will do is make people hate government and is a slippery slope to a less free society.


But if the law isn't blind and automatic how will we ensure people will blindly and automatically follow it?

I for one love feeling like a child.

 

Z-clipped: This happened to me on one of the very few times I've ever stopped for a cop on my sport bike. I could have easily gotten away... Dude writes me over $1000 in tickets, including reckless driving. I was doing maybe 85 in a 65.


So did you learn a lesson? Was the lesson watch how you drive? Or was is that pulling over for cops is for rubes?

Z-clipped: Exactly. Hence the old, "Listen, I could give you a speeding ticket for 66 in a 45, which would be a $250 fine, plus 6 points on your license, and a jump in your insurance premium, but instead here's a $50 ticket for "Failure to obey a traffic control device". Do us both a favor, and just pay the $50. I'll be annoyed if you make me come to court."


Thats called verbal judo and its super freaking gay. Imean, its smart and it makes sense but its taught by a cop and the book is written by a guy pretty full of himself.

The idea is that you make the person feel like your helping them out a bit. It defuses the tension and makes the person more compliant.  I had to take a course in it because i work alone all summer (like alone -- i get groceries and drinking water from a helicopter once a month) and someone on the job was murdered a few years back. The government went crazy instituting a "Crime Intervention Through Environmental Design" (CIPTED) policy. Part of that involved a two day course that is also taught to police regarding how to control situations verbally.

Interesting but not mind blowing. Most of it revolves around finding subliminal ways to make the other person empathize with you. It works both ways -- you can work your way out of a ticket with a good excuse and a subtle suggestion that you would rather the over worked police officer not have to sit there filling out hours of paperwork.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_self_defense
 
2013-02-21 06:51:21 AM  

penthesilea: Shadow Blasko: L.D. Ablo: There are better ways to challenge speed cameras:

[www.thenewspaper.com image 190x145]

Good luck getting to Elmwood's. They bought the best.

[media2.wcpo.com image 320x240]

Use a lasso?  Fill water balloons with paint & chuck 'em?  Train a monkey to disable 'em?  Chain saw?

I've got it!  Hook it up to your truck and just drive away with it.


THERMITE
 
2013-02-21 07:08:53 AM  

snuff3r: Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc.


Problem is that I've never met a speed limit that's properly maintained in strict accordance with the laws that originally established it. A personal favorite is "put a highly visible speed trap up within line of sight of the traffic study personnel/equipment" which results in a study speed that indicates that the limit is too high!

That said, I paid my farking tickets up until I was arrested for the crime of designated driving and put through the DUI sausagemaker despite being stone cold sober. From now on the rules are different - the system will have to argue its point every damned time, and make sure it's T's are crossed and i's dotted.
 
2013-02-21 07:36:05 AM  
I once got a speeding ticket that wasn't even mine. Cop pulled me over and said he clocked me 5 miles back going 30 over the limit, only problem was I had just turned onto that road about a half a mile back. He didn't believe me and neither did the judge when I went to court. I even had a witness testify that I was at their house and the only way from there to where I was stopped was the road I told them I had turned off of.

Moral of the story, you don't get out of a speeding ticket. The whole system is fixed.
 
2013-02-21 07:41:20 AM  

biyaaatci: That was really awesome.


Well the part about the BJ was pretty cool.
 
2013-02-21 07:42:35 AM  
Judge Love threw out her ticket when she said the camera wasn't placed closed enough to a school zone, as required under Maryland law.

Meanwhile they leave the camera as is, and still give tickets to every other poor bastard who doesn't point that out.
 
2013-02-21 08:11:35 AM  

MythDragon: Judge Love threw out her ticket when she said the camera wasn't placed closed enough to a school zone, as required under Maryland law.

Meanwhile they leave the camera as is, and still give tickets to every other poor bastard who doesn't point that out.


I know that camera, it's on Metzerott Road near the huge National Archives building.  The speed limit on the road is 30 mph but about 50 yards past that speed camera there's a new sign changing it to 40.  Most people don't realize you have to stay at 30 until you get up to the sign and they start to accelerate when they see it and that camera gets them.
 
2013-02-21 08:22:01 AM  
But Mike King, from the Eastern Shore, says he's okay losing his case.

"The court was fair. They're efficient and I think the officer was professional. I thought the evidence showed I was not guilty, but the judge thought differently. But the justice system works," says King.


So, according to this guy, the evidence proved him not guilty and the court ignored that and found him guilty, but yet that means the court is fair and the justice system works?! I'm reminded of the Piranha Brothers sketch...

"Stig, I've been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor."
"No, no. Never, never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to give his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me."
"But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor."
"Oh yeah, well - he did that, yeah."
"Why?"
"Well he had to, didn't he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do. I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law."
"What had you done?"
"Er... Well he never told me that. But he gave me his word that it was the case, and that's good enough for me with old Dinsy. I mean, he didn't want to nail my head to the floor. I had to insist. He wanted to let me off. There's nothing Dinsdale wouldn't do for you."
"And you don't bear him any grudge?"
"A grudge! Old Dinsy? He was a real darling."
"I understand he also nailed your wife's head to a coffee table. Isn't that right Mrs O' Tracey?"
"Yeah, well, he did do that. Yeah, yeah. He was a cruel man, but fair."
 
2013-02-21 08:30:05 AM  
Paul Williams got his ticket on Good Luck Road in College Park and also lost his case

It is good luck for the speed camera manufacturer, not the driver.
 
2013-02-21 08:37:45 AM  
Only two tickets in my life, both during a "Safety month" (after the city's budget was out and in trouble...imagine the coincidence).

Both were crap but in court, I wasn't prepared for the crap they did... they repeat the questions over and over, twist everything around, do not let you present any notes or details that you have, and thanks to spending a lot of my life being accused of crap I have a natural reflex to be nervous when accused of stuff that I didn't do.

Lost both times because the judge's belief was that my explanation had a flaw (according to them, thanks to the drilling and twisting of anything I said)... so I was pretty much guilty and had to prove that I was innocent... Going against the crown/prosecutor is one thing, but having the judge on their side instead of unbiased... people don't stand a chance.

The second one, what really messed with me was that the guy right before me had a near identical story... I felt that I was trying to use his story instead of my own and they (judge and crown) really made it feel like it.

Should have gone with a lawyer, but they cost more than the ticket does.

Funny thing... how over 25 years of driving no ticket... 2 in one month, and since then( this is many years ago now), nothing again...

Yeah I'm still pissed about it.
 
2013-02-21 08:42:09 AM  
in belgium you pay more if you contest.

my wife was driving in sterrebeck. the road was about the equivalent of 40 mph. ahead of her was a sign saying 30 as she got deeper into the village. she wasn't even to the 30 sign and they pulled her and three other people over. All Americans (the American school is there). We all have Diplomatic or Staff license plates. All got tickets for the same amount over. My wife talked to the officers and pointed out that she hadn't even hit the sign yet for the lower limit and that the speed they marked her for was basically doing 40 in a 30. They said she could contest it in court.

I talked to a local I worked with at NATO and he laughed. He said that the commune/village just needed money. They system works like this. You can pay it thru a bank transfer or you can go to court. If you go to court, the fine will be the same but, you will pay for court costs and they will tell your insurance you were speeding. Fine or fine plus court costs and higher insurance.

He said that the only people who show up to pay are foreigners who don't understand the system.
 
2013-02-21 08:55:19 AM  

mikefinch: So did you learn a lesson? Was the lesson watch how you drive? Or was is that pulling over for cops is for rubes?


I did, in fact.  The lesson I learned was, "either keep it at less than 10mph over the limit, or keep it over 130mph".  And I've lived by that rule ever since.

mikefinch: Thats called verbal judo and its super freaking gay.


I'm familiar with the concept.  Some times, yes, it's a dickhead cop that knows you were speeding but doesn't have any solid evidence trying to leverage you into accepting a ticket. (*see CSB below)  Other times, it's a decent cop who has you dead to rights giving you a bit of a break, rather than ruining your driving record.

But I was really just trying to illustrate that cops are given a lot of discretion about what to charge on a moving violation, if anything.  It allows them, at least ostensibly, to judge how much of danger you were actually presenting and apply an appropriate correction.  It leaves room for a lot of douchebaggery on their part, but as a citizen who doesn't trust cops in any situation for any reason, I'd still prefer it to robots, cameras, and brightline one-size-fits-all enforcement.

CSB:

The one other time I was pulled over in MD (years before), my buddy and I were on a parts run for his shop, and we were hitting it a little on-and-off on a bigger stretch of highway, but not running flat-out.  A black unmarked SUV comes up and pulls him over, so I keep going.  As soon as the SUV is out of sight, I pin the throttle and run for the next exit just in case, and also because I want to wait for a call for help in case the stop is more than just a ticket.

Turns out, he was stopped by a federal agent patrolling the highway for smugglers.  The Fed had heard a local highway patrol on the radio about to stop us, and was trying to pull us over first, just to mess with the local cops.  Of course, I didn't know this, so I barrel down the next 3 miles or so at about 170mph, slow down, take the exit and start calmly looking for a place to stop so I can get my phone out.

Local cop comes tearing up behind me in another blacked out SUV, pulls me over, gun out and pointed at me, screaming "Why you runnin'? Felony evasion!", the whole deal.  Idiot was all pumped up because he thought he'd just run down a ZX10r.

I'm like, "I don't know what you're talking about, I had no idea you were behind me, but this bike will do 189... do you think I would have been doing 35 when you caught up if I was trying to run?"  He lectures me for about 20 minutes, calms down, and gives me a ticket for "improper lane change".  Meanwhile, the Fed let my friend go the minute the cop was out of sight.  I paid the ticket because it wasn't worth the time it would have taken to fight it.  But I got a chuckle out of watching this cop go from full-on DEFCON 1, down to realizing that he had basically nothing to charge me with.  I sort of judo-ed his judo, kept my mouth shut, and let him talk himself out of ruining my day.  It was worth the $45.
 
2013-02-21 09:03:57 AM  

ReapTheChaos: I once got a speeding ticket that wasn't even mine. Cop pulled me over and said he clocked me 5 miles back going 30 over the limit, only problem was I had just turned onto that road about a half a mile back. He didn't believe me and neither did the judge when I went to court. I even had a witness testify that I was at their house and the only way from there to where I was stopped was the road I told them I had turned off of.

Moral of the story, you don't get out of a speeding ticket. The whole system is fixed.


A friend of mine once argued in court that because the officer with the radar gun was pointed toward oncoming traffic instead of perpendicular to it... get this... the Doppler effect made it seem like he was going faster than he really was.  He brought in a big hand-drawn visual aid, complete with train and bunchy sound waves.  Dumbass cop couldn't rebut the argument, and the judge bought it and let him off.  I couldn't farking believe it.
 
2013-02-21 09:06:24 AM  

snuff3r: TFA: "The trial is weighted against you. If the police officer says it's calibrated properly, then that's enough preponderance of the evidence for the judge. He didn't show me any evidence it was calibrated correctly," says Williams."

No, the countless certification and testing procedures are weighted against you. Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras and they're tested regularly for compliance. The judge knows this. Unless you have evidence otherwise you're not going to win your case. If you were serious about thinking you had a chance to beat the ticket on these grounds then you would have done your research and put in a GIPA/FOI request for test/compliance data on the camera in question.

Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


Actually, I'd rather do it my way, thanks. It's always the "STOP BREAKING THE LAW ASSHOLE!" Liberals that fume when we have the audacity to question governmental interference, when it gets in the way of my money not getting to your bike lane/mass transit/give pandas boners/. Revenue stream.

Here's what you do. A lawyer. Every. Single. Time. You force the cop to be there or by federal law, without being able to face your accuser, you get it dropped. Leave the ego at home so the cop forgets you. I got. 91 in a 60 once, but I was silent and took his anger and insults on the chin...got it dropped a month later.

/8 tickets in 6 years, clean record.
//YOU stop breaking the law by causing road rage with your passive aggressive left lane driving.
 
kab
2013-02-21 09:07:07 AM  
But the justice system works," says King.

Oh, it works, but not in your favor.  Ever notice how easy it is to get speeding tickets reduced, but you still pay full court fees (even if you plead guilty by mail)?  Yeah.

Six tickets from Glenarden and New Carrollton were dismissed because no police officer showed up.

And in NY, they don't even need to anymore.
 
2013-02-21 09:08:54 AM  
Tanukis_Parachute:

He said that the only people who show up to pay are foreigners who don't understand the system.

Here in the Philippines, they cut out the middle part. If the cops stop you, you hand them your license and two 500 peso bills (~$20 US).   They hand you back your license, and drive off.
 
2013-02-21 09:16:49 AM  

Fade2black: A lawyer. Every. Single. Time.


Kind of a pricey tactic though, no?  Aren't you looking at $500-$1000 for a court appearance by a decent lawyer?
 
2013-02-21 09:18:59 AM  

kendelrio: Heh. The speed limit on the highway I use to drive home from offshore is 75 mph. I have never ONCE been stopped and I usually average between 100 and 105 kph!!!

/heh!!!!


iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg
 
2013-02-21 09:19:23 AM  
Are other people seeing an article?  All I get is a screen full of unicode.
 
2013-02-21 09:21:28 AM  
Hard to fight a speed trap that generates $2 million a year for a small town. Funny how they are the only locality that does not allow you to attend traffic school, either.
 
2013-02-21 09:30:01 AM  
Traffic court clerk here......

We have photo enforcement in our jurisdiction. The speeding tickets are issued by an officer who is monitoring the equipment, live, in the van which is moved from location to location. The equipment is generally set to only take the photo when the vehicle is clocked at 11mph over the speed limit. Occasionally, they'll set the threshold at 10 over. State law says no permanent installations of photo radar. The only differences between the photo radar cites and the others are the officer doesn't turn on the lights to chase you down to hand you the ticket & the fact that the assumption is that the registered owner is the driver. The registered owner is informed of the citation by mail at the address on the vehicle registration. If the owner is not the driver, they only have to complete a form & send in a copy of their photo id to have the case dismissed. Extremely simple process & everything goes perfectly most of the time. However, you have idiots who think they bear no responsibility to keep their addresses current with the DMV. They are the ones who get on discussion boards like this and try to blame their inevitable suspension for FTA on everyone but themselves. "I filed a change of address with the post office." "I was waiting for the registration renewal to change my address." Stupid excuses. You move, you change your address with DMV on both your license and any cars you own.

Photo red light enforcement is more automated. An officer reviews the photographic & video evidence and issues the cite based on that. Video is relatively new to the process here.  Many people don't realize they can go online & watch themselves violate the law. I laugh every time someone contacts me to change a not guilty plea to no contest because they looked at the video and decided they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of a courtroom full of officers and other defendants.

Bottom line....if you drive in an area with photo enforcement, be extra careful about updating DMV with any and all changes of address. Make sure both your operator's license & vehicle registrations are updated. Don't ignore any correspondence because it looks like it may just be your city water bill or tax bill & you pay online so why bother opening it. It very well could be your photo enforcement ticket. And, for fark's sake, if you get a notice from DMV of suspension, don't wait until the day before your suspension to try to set things straight. Judges will generally set aside default judgments if you can demonstrate that you did not receive the cite in the mail (even due to your own negligence with updating your address). However, nothing in government works as fast as you feel it should. DMV is a separate agency and it's going to take several days for them to remove the suspension after you've come to whine to the judge about how unfair it all is.
 
2013-02-21 09:36:21 AM  

Shadow Blasko: Elmwood really is amusing.

Bankrupt. Broke as a joke, and they just got these lovely new cruisers. Challengers and chargers. In an area where the speed limit is 25 or 15 everywhere. Automated plate readers too. They just sit there and pull people over for any and everything. They pulled me over one night for having a suspended license. I didn't KNOW I had a suspended license, but they were more than happy to help me figure out the state paperwork error that caused their system to flag me as suspended. More than happy to help. In court. Over 6 months, stretched out as long as they could, with $400 in court fees attached.

Court meets in a VERY hot little room with few seats, in the back of the municipal building with no parking, at 5:30 PM. If you are contesting a ticket it will take at least 3 visits. Due to the INSANE number of cases, traffic tickets are usually gotten to around 7 to 7:30 PM. You will not be admitted if you arrive late, even if you are last on the docket.

No translators available. No children allowed.

Yeah, they've got it figured out. Make it impossible or as uncomfortable as possible to use the system as you have the rights to. Get everyone to plea out, take a "No points" offense with a $200 fine and $200 court costs. It gets you in and out in 30 minutes.

I hope they lose EVERY DIME they have made in that shiat town on the lawsuits that are coming down on them.

/might be slightly bitter.


"...a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
...
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures."


/oh, wait, courts are Judicial, not Legislative. That makes it alright, I guess. Never mind.
 
2013-02-21 09:44:24 AM  
Everything I read here from

- the entitled snowflakes who become indignant constittuional scholars even though at the core of it they are clearly guilty
- the court reporter who tells us that cases are tossed if the driver is not the owner
- the indiscriminate way in which judges reduce sentences for 'an explanation'
- the lawyers who promise win-or-free dismissals

make the entire US traffic enforcement system an expensive joke.

here in the UK, it works like this:

if your car is detected to have been speeding, you get a fine in the mail.  you then pay the fine.  if your friend was driving the car, you chase your friend down for the money.

no effing rocket science, and check out statistics of US vs UK accident rates / road deaths if you think they may be on to something here.

FARK people who bring lawyers to traffic court even though they known darn well they are fundamentally guilty of the infraction.
 
2013-02-21 09:46:05 AM  
Shadow Blasko:
If it was about safety, you'd see an officer there.

and yet traffic cameras are widespread in the UK and it's arguably one of the safest places in the world to drive.  im not saying "correlation", but i'm saying "not your false non-correlation, either."
 
2013-02-21 09:46:12 AM  
The problem with this, and traffic tickets in general, is that there is SUPPOSED to be a judge that is IMPARTIAL to hear your case.

In reality, this is practically never the case though, and the "judge" operates under the unconstitutional assumption that you are guilty before your case is even heard.

Traffic tickets are one of the only times where it is widely known that you are guilty until proven innocent.

COMPLETELY unconstitutional.
 
2013-02-21 10:07:42 AM  
A couple of years ago I got a ticket for doing 70 in a construction zone outside Baltimore on a road trip. For $42. It literally would have cost me more in gas to drive down there one way from here in MA than the ticket cost.

\same trip I got a ticket for not paying a toll on the Garden State Parkway when my EZPass got registered at the booths before and after it
\\there's certain things that really should cost less to track than the cost of printing a ticket, and that's one
 
2013-02-21 10:13:16 AM  

The more you eat the more you fart: The problem with this, and traffic tickets in general, is that there is SUPPOSED to be a judge that is IMPARTIAL to hear your case.

In reality, this is practically never the case though, and the "judge" operates under the unconstitutional assumption that you are guilty before your case is even heard.

Traffic tickets are one of the only times where it is widely known that you are guilty until proven innocent.

COMPLETELY unconstitutional.


There is so much wrong with this post.....

Traffic tickets (as opposed to traffic crimes like DUII) are civil violations. You cannot go to jail for a simple traffic ticket. Failing to appear on a traffic citation may result in criminal charges, but jail will not be imposed as a punishment for the citation itself. As a civil matter, the plaintiff (state) only has to prove that it was more likely than not that you committed the offense. 51%. Not difficult at all. The judges I work with take no joy in imposing fines on drivers. However, they must go by the law. It's hard to beat a traffic ticket, but not impossible. Your best tactic in dealing with a traffic cite is to avoid being an a-hole to the cop. He/she can be your best friend in court. Most dismissals are not due to the brilliant defense put on by the average driver with their hard-earned GED in law, but the compassion of the officer. If you can't be respectful in dealing with the officer, then hire an attorney. You'll likely get a much better deal than trying to go ahead on your own.

Since you can't go to jail, most "constitutional" protections do not apply.
 
2013-02-21 10:45:50 AM  
CSB:

A friend's father likes to tell the story of how he won a speeding ticket then got harassed by the local cops until a judge did something about it.

He was given a speeding ticket - something like 79mph, so it was more than a speeding ticket, it was reckless driving too

It was night, raining heavily, he drove a POS pickup truck with 4 cylinders, going up hill

Long story short, he got his hands on an archived copy of Car and Driver discussing acceleration and general performance of his specific car, got a certified letter from Good Year discussing the performance of the tires in wet conditions, did research on the type of radar gun etc.  Basically proved that his truck would have been totally out of control/in a ditch if he was driving that fast in those conditions.

The cop had used his radar gun inside the patrol car, window up, with rain on the window, which distorted the beam and gave a false reading.  He was able to prove this.

He had graphs, charts, etc.

Apparently the cop had like 5 other people in that court room from that night and the judge asked all 5 if it was raining when they got pulled over, they all said "yes," and the judge not only threw the tickets out, but he chewed out the cop too.

So fast forward a week or so, and he gets a parking ticket - failure to park straight within a parking space.  He was not outside the lines, just ever so slightly crooked, but within the space.

Weeks later he then gets another parking ticket - parking more than 18" from the curb - He had parked in a space that was curved, so the front and back of his car were only a couple of inches from the curb, but the middle of his truck was more than 18" from the curve.  Apparently you are supposed to bend your car in that parking space.

He then got pulled over for having too dark of tint on his windows (the windows have never been tinted), the cop then told him that his windows were fine, and that he was mistaken, but he smelled marijuana and alcohol on his breath, so they did a lengthy field sobriety test, called a K-9 unit out to search his truck, which took over a hour to get there, they pulled everything out of his truck, they opened the hood and searched in there, they went to town with it.  Wasted like 3+ hours of his time.  He was cuffed and stuffed into the back of the patrol car and left without AC - It was like 90+ degrees out so he baked for the hour or so he was in custody.

When they finally let him go, they left him with all of his shiat on the side of the road, which took him like an hour to put everything back.  About 40 minutes goes by as he is all alone putting his stuff back in and a new cop shows up and tickets him for impeding traffic and littering.  In the process of them searching his truck a few papers had blown a half a block down the street.

So he goes to court for the first charge and brings all the other tickets with him.  At this point he has lawyered up and him and the lawyer chronicle to the judge the various harassment he has encountered.  Apparently in the days that followed after he got the first speeding ticket, the judge started throwing out a ton of tickets because all the cops had been using their radar guns from inside their patrol cars with the windows up and in the rain.  So collectively, a few in the department systematically started harassing the hell out of him.

They rescheduled for a few weeks later and the judge interviewed every cop involved in the harassment, he chewed them the hell out, and threw out all tickets.  The cops were suspended for a while, none were fired, the police department/city was sued, my friends father won a few bucks and that is that.
 
2013-02-21 10:48:56 AM  

Cornelius Dribble: jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.

That kind of thinking leads to drivers watching their speedometer instead of watching the road and consequently getting into MORE accidents. But at least they're not speeding, right?


Are you really that dense? You watch the speedometer the same amount. Just enough to make sure you're somewhere *near* a safe speed. Just set your safe speed at 5mph below what's printed on the speed limit sign.
 
2013-02-21 10:52:45 AM  

Z-clipped: Unreasonable burden of speedometer accuracy. This is not a realistic idea.
Plus, as others have said, it takes drivers' attention away from the situation on the road, which largely defeats the purpose of having a speed limit in the first place.


Again, it only takes more attention to your speedometer if you INSIST on driving the absolute fastest you are allowed to. Just chill out, you don't need to get where you're going a whopping two minutes earlier.
 
2013-02-21 10:54:33 AM  

jjacobs7: ecmoRandomNumbers: Got one in Phoenix and didn't bother going to court. Checked online after my court date.

Charges dismissed without prejudice.


without prejudice means you can still be charged.


They'd have to get a process server to make the 9-hour round trip to where I live.
 
2013-02-21 11:05:08 AM  

snuff3r: TFA: "The trial is weighted against you. If the police officer says it's calibrated properly, then that's enough preponderance of the evidence for the judge. He didn't show me any evidence it was calibrated correctly," says Williams."

No, the countless certification and testing procedures are weighted against you. Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras and they're tested regularly for compliance. The judge knows this. Unless you have evidence otherwise you're not going to win your case. If you were serious about thinking you had a chance to beat the ticket on these grounds then you would have done your research and put in a GIPA/FOI request for test/compliance data on the camera in question.

Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


I disagree.  They're interested in money.  Whether the ticket is legitimate or not doesn't really matter--look at how the system reacts when people manage to prove the cameras are wrong.
 
2013-02-21 11:14:23 AM  
The cams are bad in MD, some places change the speed limit and cam up when they're having a festival or something touristy in the area.
Can we stop pretending these are for safety yet?
money money money
and the roads are still crap
 
2013-02-21 12:00:49 PM  
I once got a speeding ticket in Georgia thanks to zero tolerance laws that even the cop and judge didn't want to  give me.

It was in a school zone, so the normal 45 MPH was 35 MPH when I went  through.  It was the 2nd day I lived in that city so I didn't know there was a school there, and the sign was not visible from where I came from.  (It was placed too close to an intersection, so I came up to this intersection and looked to the left to pull out in traffic, the sign was viewable in the right rear window of my car, which isn't the direction one normally looks because there are no cars coming from up that way.

The cop who stopped me didn't want to write me the ticket because he knew I didn't realize it was a school zone, but zero tolerance meant he had to.  In court, he showed up and testified that the sign wasn't visible from the road and I had no way of knowing that I was speed was lower than normal because it was a school zone.  I still got the ticket because it didn't matter.  I was speeding, so I got the ticket.
 
2013-02-21 12:07:18 PM  

jaylectricity: Cornelius Dribble: jaylectricity: snuff3r: Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.

Or let's get real about the speed limits. Go five mph below the limit so that when your car accidentally goes a little faster you are still under the limit.

People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.

That kind of thinking leads to drivers watching their speedometer instead of watching the road and consequently getting into MORE accidents. But at least they're not speeding, right?

Are you really that dense? You watch the speedometer the same amount. Just enough to make sure you're somewhere *near* a safe speed. Just set your safe speed at 5mph below what's printed on the speed limit sign.


Wow, you are REALLY worked up over this subject. Or do you always go around insulting strangers for no reason?  Your road rage seems to have boiled over into your Internet time.

Asshole.
 
2013-02-21 12:18:06 PM  

Cornelius Dribble: Wow, you are REALLY worked up over this subject. Or do you always go around insulting strangers for no reason? Your road rage seems to have boiled over into your Internet time.

Asshole.


*yawn*
 
2013-02-21 12:39:25 PM  

LordOfThePings: [www.mels-place.com image 225x200]


WrongTrousers: [media-1.web.britannica.com image 207x300]


Ok good point.
 
2013-02-21 01:10:33 PM  

Shadow Blasko: If you're speeding, you get a ticket. In Elmwood, you get a fine. It's no points on your license, and its 2 or 3x what the ticket would cost if you were actually pulled over by a cop. It costs money above that if you wish to question it.


I'd talk with a local lawyer before doing anything, but given the sounds of it, it's not actually a criminal offense.  In other words, they can't put you in jail if you don't pay up.

Can't say about Elmwood, but I've heard in some areas that if you just ignore the ticket they can't do anything to you other than send reminders - they can't even report it on your credit history.

jaylectricity: People assume that if the limit is 40 you should drive 40. That's just not true. The absolute limit is 40, you should drive at 35 and if you go down a hill and it creeps up to 39 you're still safe.


Time is money and in most areas speed limits are set artificially low already.  In many areas they <i>assume</i> everybody will be doing 5 over and set the limit accordingly.


kkinnison: the cost of the cameras, never outweighs the cost of the judge, police officers, and the fines

any municipality that uses speed cameras, or red light cameras, is slowly circling the drain for revenue and don't even know it


This is why there's a number of cities and counties in the USA, especially California, that are pulling them out:
1.  They piss off the ordinary people more than cops(reelection threat) - Look up Chicago's experience.
2.  They're revenue inefficient - you have to drain $1M out of your resident's pockets to get $50k.
3.  There's enough countervailing studies to blur any claims of gains in safety.
4.  Even without the revenue inefficiency, lawsuits are popping up just to make sure they're not cost effective.

I think the greatest was when one county signed 99 year leases to be able to keep their speed cameras under a grandfather clause when the state was making them illegal only to have their authority to issue tickets via them pulled period.

mikefinch: I love how many people thought they could argue the calibration aspect. I guarantee they have an SOP for keeping those up to par. I would show up just to ask the judge whether he thought it was worth the courts time.


I've read about TWO major fights about honesty/calibration that actually had merit.  One in England, one in the USA.  In both cases they did it as a matter of principle and paid far more to defend themselves than merely paying the ticket would have cost.
The English guy won - he hired a professional driver to test the top speed of his (crappy) car on a closed track to prove that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE to go the speed he had supposedly been going at.
The second was when the driver was a teenager driving a vehicle that his parents had installed a logging GPS into.  The officer said he was going 62, the log said 45(the speed limit).  For a $194 ticket, the county ended up spending $15k+ to fight it; largely in an attempt to prevent further challenges that way.  Going by web searches - there have been subsequent cases elsewhere, mostly going the opposite way.  So all that money spent will probably end up going to waste in the 'preventative' sense - the next time a cop in the county hands out a ticket to somebody with a GPS that says otherwise, they can expect the fight all over again.
 
2013-02-21 01:12:49 PM  

Camus27: Karne
A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per your first point). Do you also talk to dust on the ground?

That was a seriously retarded point. "Thinking of you" doesn't translate to - "I believe in Jesus angels". You are a moron.

Actually, I think Guy has a point. it says "thinking of you" - that is directed at the person that doesn't exist,  if it said "thinking of her," that would be logically consistent.  But rather than have an intelligent discussion, let's just call people retards and morons.


So you're cool with that moron digging through someones profile to rip on them for missing their dead daughter?  You are also a moron.

Only Jesus people can miss the departed? I had no idea.
 
2013-02-21 01:33:09 PM  

Bomb Head Mohammed: Everything I read here from

- the entitled snowflakes who become indignant constittuional scholars even though at the core of it they are clearly guilty
- the court reporter who tells us that cases are tossed if the driver is not the owner
- the indiscriminate way in which judges reduce sentences for 'an explanation'
- the lawyers who promise win-or-free dismissals

make the entire US traffic enforcement system an expensive joke.

here in the UK, it works like this:

if your car is detected to have been speeding, you get a fine in the mail.  you then pay the fine.  if your friend was driving the car, you chase your friend down for the money.

no effing rocket science, and check out statistics of US vs UK accident rates / road deaths if you think they may be on to something here.

FARK people who bring lawyers to traffic court even though they known darn well they are fundamentally guilty of the infraction.


And this is why I'm glad Americans kicked the crown to the curb 220-some odd years ago.
 
2013-02-21 01:35:19 PM  

Karne: Camus27: Karne
A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per your first point). Do you also talk to dust on the ground?

That was a seriously retarded point. "Thinking of you" doesn't translate to - "I believe in Jesus angels". You are a moron.

Actually, I think Guy has a point. it says "thinking of you" - that is directed at the person that doesn't exist,  if it said "thinking of her," that would be logically consistent.  But rather than have an intelligent discussion, let's just call people retards and morons.

So you're cool with that moron digging through someones profile to rip on them for missing their dead daughter?  You are also a moron.

Only Jesus people can miss the departed? I had no idea.


I agree with you. You don't have to believe in God to believe that dead relatives are still out there somewhere watching over you.
 
2013-02-21 02:39:05 PM  
Speed and redlight cameras aren't about safety. They're just about bilking the public for cash.
 
2013-02-21 02:44:49 PM  

Z-clipped: Fade2black: A lawyer. Every. Single. Time.

Kind of a pricey tactic though, no?  Aren't you looking at $500-$1000 for a court appearance by a decent lawyer?


Traffic lawyers are $200-300 a pop. They're easy cases that take minimal effort because cops are either lazy, or they understand fighting your ONE ticket isn't worth the 3-4 he could've written in that time he would've been in court.
 
2013-02-21 03:23:31 PM  

snuff3r: TFA: "The trial is weighted against you. If the police officer says it's calibrated properly, then that's enough preponderance of the evidence for the judge. He didn't show me any evidence it was calibrated correctly," says Williams."

No, the countless certification and testing procedures are weighted against you. Governments spend a LOT of money ensuring a super low error rate for speed cameras and they're tested regularly for compliance. The judge knows this. Unless you have evidence otherwise you're not going to win your case. If you were serious about thinking you had a chance to beat the ticket on these grounds then you would have done your research and put in a GIPA/FOI request for test/compliance data on the camera in question.

Here's a far easier way to avoid the ticket and time you've wasted of the court system: Don't farking speed, and if you do and get caught out, cop it on the chin and stfu.


WTF?

Can you prove ANYTHING you just said?  Because where I live, I know for 100% fact that almost everything you said is total bullshiat.  There is no testing requirement for the cameras, they aren't owned or operated by the government (nor certified), there is no involvement of a qualified traffic engineer, and you can't file a FOIA against private corporations.

So basically, I call bullshiat.
 
2013-02-21 03:47:23 PM  
Nicest PG County judge I've ever heard of.............

/howard county cops suck
 
2013-02-21 07:49:54 PM  

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: snuff3r: Shadow Blasko: No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.

But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.

Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc. Once that line is created the only choice that exists is whether you cross that line or not. There's no leeway outside of that. The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.

That aside, I'm not arguing that cameras can be wrong or don't have problems. No system is perfect. The story you've linked is a prime example of where the system has been questioned and a question of error was backed up with evidence.

Personally, i farking hate cameras. I can't see how 1-2 kph over the limit is worth the efforts of a ticket, but meh. As someone who spends 99% of road time on a sportsbike i often test the boundaries. And when get caught ill take it like a man.

A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She's gone. Nothing's there (per y ...


You're ignorant. Don't post on this site again.
 
2013-02-21 08:06:02 PM  
Or just throw it in the trash because in many states it's unenforceable.
 
2013-02-22 12:04:25 AM  
I've had my fair share of tickets in my life, some warranted, some not. I have no tickets on my record. Why?

Subpoena the officer. I have yet to have an officer show up. Case dismissed.
 
2013-02-22 12:07:57 AM  

andyfromfl: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: snuff3r: Shadow Blasko: No non-corrupt cop is going to pull you over for 27 in a 25 unless you're begging for it. The system was not designed for "yes you were speeding, no you were not" binary enforcement. Taking the humans out of the loop has made it crazy.

But it is that binary. People seem to think it's not and that's where you start hearing bleating from the sidelines about "cameras are nothing more than revenue machines, screwing us all over", etc. Just as it's binary that a cop can exercise discretion - will book you, won't book you. 0 or 1.

Legislation gives authority to bureaucrats to create a clear line in the sand. That line is in the form of a speed limit. Many systems exist that allow the bureaucrat to create this limit - road condition testing, fatality statistics, etc etc etc. Once that line is created the only choice that exists is whether you cross that line or not. There's no leeway outside of that. The cameras are nothing more than a tool to catch you as you cross that line.Cameras exist, will always exist and will always pick people up for crossing that line.

That aside, I'm not arguing that cameras can be wrong or don't have problems. No system is perfect. The story you've linked is a prime example of where the system has been questioned and a question of error was backed up with evidence.

Personally, i farking hate cameras. I can't see how 1-2 kph over the limit is worth the efforts of a ticket, but meh. As someone who spends 99% of road time on a sportsbike i often test the boundaries. And when get caught ill take it like a man.

A bit off topic, but something I read in your profile made me curious. Not meaning to be nasty, but there's really no other way to ask this.

1) "I'm a militant atheist"

2) "I am a parent who's lost a child, Hannah. I love her and miss her everyday. She was a redhead just like her father and her big brother. I'm thinking of you always, baby girl.

Er..... who are you talking to? She' ...


Or....????

Oooooo, an ITG!

global3.memecdn.com
 
2013-02-22 06:42:49 AM  
i.qkme.me
 
2013-02-22 07:19:17 AM  

FarketyFarkerson: There is so much wrong with this post.....

Traffic tickets (as opposed to traffic crimes like DUII) are civil violations. You cannot go to jail for a simple traffic ticket. Failing to appear on a traffic citation may result in criminal charges, but jail will not be imposed as a punishment for the citation itself. As a civil matter, the plaintiff (state) only has to prove that it was more likely than not that you committed the offense. 51%. Not difficult at all. The judges I work with take no joy in imposing fines on drivers. However, they must go by the law. It's hard to beat a traffic ticket, but not impossible. Your best tactic in dealing with a traffic cite is to avoid being an a-hole to the cop. He/she can be your best friend in court. Most dismissals are not due to the brilliant defense put on by the average driver with their hard-earned GED in law, but the compassion of the officer. If you can't be respectful in dealing with the officer, then hire an attorney. You'll likely get a much better deal than trying to go ahead on your own.

Since you can't go to jail, most "constitutional" protections do not apply.


This is incorrect as a blanket statement.  Different states charge moving violations differently.  In some states they ARE treated as normal crimes (and your ticket explicitly say so at the top: "This citation charges you with a CRIME"), and some violations can absolutely land you in jail, particularly for multiple offenses.  Driving without insurance, driving while suspended, speeding 20mph over, habitual offender, and misdemeanor reckless driving can carry up to 6 months in jail in some places.  A felony reckless driving conviction nets you automatic jail time in most states.

I'm not disputing that in your area the system works the way you say it does, and it's great to have the opinion of someone in the know in the thread, but that doesn't mean that the system is morally justifiable.  There is no excuse for the way some municipalities stack the deck against people accused of traffic violations.  The law should NEVER be about making a profit, and traffic laws VERY frequently are.
 
2013-02-22 08:17:05 AM  
It's somehow both funny and sad to see the reactions of people when you puncture their little pretentious conceptual balloons of hot air.

My my. An ITG and Ad Hominem Harry ride into town to the rescue.
 
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