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(WTOP)   MD town forced to remove its speed cameras after FOIA request shows they probably weren't publicly advertised, as law requires. "Those records are no longer available...Upon inquiry, the name of the publication is presently unknown"   (wtop.com) divider line 89
    More: Fail, Morningside, foia requests, I'm Glad, Freedom of Information Act, Prince George's County  
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4202 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 May 2014 at 2:09 AM (13 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



89 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-05-28 10:52:42 PM
speed cameras are just pure political corruption - the politician gets bribed by a vendor and uses the public's money to pay the contract to the vendor, the vendor makes out like crazy both in installing and selling the cameras, hardly any money comes in to the muni, eventually people get wise, they kill it. vendor retires in boca or finds some other sucker in another county. Rinse, repeat.
 
2014-05-29 02:19:36 AM
Speed camera's feel wrong to me.
Since I feel like I understand the founders, I feel like they would agree with me.
Q.E.D.
 
2014-05-29 02:23:55 AM
They have to put an announcement in the paper? What's wrong with a sign that says "SPEED CAMERA HERE"?

Though I agree they're typically a scam.
 
2014-05-29 02:29:48 AM

fusillade762: They have to put an announcement in the paper? What's wrong with a sign that says "SPEED CAMERA HERE"?

Though I agree they're typically a scam.


www.randomfunnypictures.org
 
2014-05-29 02:29:51 AM
The announcement was easily accessible, on display at Alpha Centauri for the past 50 years...
 
2014-05-29 02:35:50 AM

DiRF: The announcement was easily accessible, on display at Alpha Centauri for the past 50 years...


The "Beware of the Leopard" sign scared me away.
 
2014-05-29 02:41:52 AM
It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.
 
2014-05-29 02:44:50 AM
The only people who made money from this were the ticket company and probably the politician or police chief they bribed to get the cameras installed (who appears to no longer be around). Since it appears the town is being forced to repay every ticket they sent out with the illegal cameras and they probably also have to pay a fee with the camera company for cancelling the contract the town and its taxpayers are going to be in a bit of pain very soon.
 
2014-05-29 02:44:51 AM
Additionally I don't think cities should be using for-profit companies in conjunction with speed/red light cameras.    I think everyone hates the blatant red light runner and asshat speeding through city streets.  Those are the ones the camera systems are good for which means a high threshold (for speeding at least) before a citation is issued.  Red light runners have plenty of warning 99% of the time and just go for it hoping it get over the line at the last 1/10th of a second.
 
2014-05-29 02:48:45 AM
Good.jpg
 
2014-05-29 02:51:43 AM

CRtwenty: the town is being forced to repay every ticket they sent out with the illegal cameras and they probably also have to pay a fee with the camera company for cancelling the contract


Might be worth it to use RPGs against a couple of speeders and then pay the wrongful death settlement.  It would cost about the same, deter more speeding, and be much more satisfying to the voters that were not relatives of the deceased.
 
2014-05-29 02:53:30 AM
Damn, not my area.  They're farking everywhere here in Montgomery.  I was really hoping...ah well.
 
2014-05-29 02:54:40 AM

TheWhoppah: CRtwenty: the town is being forced to repay every ticket they sent out with the illegal cameras and they probably also have to pay a fee with the camera company for cancelling the contract

Might be worth it to use RPGs against a couple of speeders and then pay the wrongful death settlement.  It would cost about the same, deter more speeding, and be much more satisfying to the voters that were not relatives of the deceased.


media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
 
2014-05-29 03:03:46 AM

bdub77: speed cameras are just pure political corruption - the politician gets bribed by a vendor and uses the public's money to pay the contract to the vendor, the vendor makes out like crazy both in installing and selling the cameras, hardly any money comes in to the muni, eventually people get wise, they kill it. vendor retires in boca or finds some other sucker in another county. Rinse, repeat.


Speed cameras also take more pictures of black people speeding than white people speeding.  The cameras are racist.
 
2014-05-29 03:04:58 AM
 Danger Avoid Death:

That picture is truly hilarious.
 
2014-05-29 03:08:45 AM
Het, I only speed with people farking on my hood. That way if they photograph me speeding they're violating copyright law about my film of those people farking.
 
2014-05-29 03:12:37 AM

wildcardjack: Het, I only speed with people farking on my hood. That way if they photograph me speeding they're violating copyright law about my film of those people farking.


That wouldn't be violating your copyright.

What you need to do is strap a flat screen to your hood and drive around with it playing a VIDEO you made of people farking on the hood.  A photo of THAT would work.
 
2014-05-29 03:35:57 AM

Deacon Blue: bdub77: speed cameras are just pure political corruption - the politician gets bribed by a vendor and uses the public's money to pay the contract to the vendor, the vendor makes out like crazy both in installing and selling the cameras, hardly any money comes in to the muni, eventually people get wise, they kill it. vendor retires in boca or finds some other sucker in another county. Rinse, repeat.

Speed cameras also take more pictures of black people speeding than white people speeding.  The cameras are racist.


3.bp.blogspot.com

It's not the cameras, it's the light sensors.
 
2014-05-29 03:53:15 AM

Emposter: Damn, not my area.  They're farking everywhere here in Montgomery.  I was really hoping...ah well.


No such luck.

In MoCo, almost everything is done by the county, and they've got their shiat together. As you probably know, in P.G. ... not so much.

But this wasn't even the county. It's one of about 20 "towns" (IIRC) in P.G., some no bigger than a neighborhood. Those aren't going to have the most sophisticated adequate record-keeping system. But they can still put up cams!

Many, many years ago, I sent FOIA requests to every P.G. town for all their ethics disclosure forms, at about the same time an investigation into the county made the news (in other words, any time). Scared the shiat out of a whole bunch of officals. Still gotta chuckle about that.
 
2014-05-29 04:30:59 AM
Alternatively, I figure that they weren't making the expected money, the locals were complaining a touch much, and it gave them a good excuse to break with the contract company(that probably takes between 40-80% of any ticket revenues).

Roughly speaking - too much hassle for the money.
 
2014-05-29 05:29:59 AM

DiRF: The announcement was easily accessible, on display at Alpha Centauri for the past 50 years...


Sister Miriam Godwinson and Chairman Yang approve and send brochures for their self aware colonies.
 
2014-05-29 05:49:42 AM
Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.
 
2014-05-29 06:09:57 AM
archive.11alive.com
 
2014-05-29 06:16:30 AM

WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.


Maybe because a cop (usually) can't be bothered to write a ticket unless you really are speeding. Funny right?

"You see the camera in the video, you'll see my clock on the dashboard, you'll see my speedometer and you'll plainly see it's at 30 miles per hour. You'll also hear WTOP on in the background. And I got the ticket that said 44 miles per hour," says Weathersby. "But the video shows me going 30 miles per hour. How can you dispute it? It's video. It isn't edited; it just shows me going past the camera and it shows my speed on the speedometer."
 
2014-05-29 06:37:00 AM

hillary: fundamental ignorance


'Fundamental' means butt.  Butt ignorance.
/works for me
 
2014-05-29 06:38:10 AM

fusillade762: They have to put an announcement in the paper? What's wrong with a sign that says "SPEED CAMERA HERE"?


Not exactly. They have to publicly advertise that they are about to decide whether or not to place the cameras, this to require allowing public input at open meetings before implementation. WTOP is alleging that the local government bypassed the process as when they asked for records of the required advertising, they received only shrugs.
 
2014-05-29 06:41:54 AM

hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.


No, it does not. Literally every level of jurisdiction in America has a law modeled after, and similar to, FOIA. Only in the most legally pedantic of scenarios do people make the distinction between them.

In many areas the local act is also called FOIA. That was the case in Michigan where I worked with a county level unit for many years. They never distinguished "Michigan FOIA" but just said "FOIA".

If this article had said PIA (the Maryland equivalent) rather than FOIA, it may have been more technically accurate but it would have made no more sense.
 
2014-05-29 07:03:26 AM

WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.


it's funny how a local government has this perception that they can send you a ticket and expect you to pay it without allowing you to go to court and question the person issuing said ticket.  Even if a cop reviewed the video, why isn't that same cop available to be cross examined?

And regarding red light cameras: why is the local municipality allowed to decide on how long one has to be "at a complete stop?"  Here in NJ, the STATE law ONLY states, "vehicles must come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red."  It does NOT say for how long.  Yet one municipality may say that it must be for 3 seconds.  Another...5 seconds.  They cannot trump state law unless they get permission from the state to do so.  Yet they have gotten away with it for years.  Any people wonder why some people won't make right turn on reds anymore.
 
2014-05-29 07:04:50 AM

ryarger: No, it does not. Literally every level of jurisdiction in America has a law modeled after, and similar to, FOIA.


That is not even remotely true. Many states have highly restrictive public records laws that bear no resemblance to FOIA. My home state of Florida, for example.

Only in the most legally pedantic of scenarios do people make the distinction between them.

Governments are extremely pedantic when it comes to this issue. Also, what may be exempt in one state or at the federal level may not be exempt in another. The laws are truly wildly different. In your home state, I have come to understand that you cannot review law enforcement employee jackets (that's what I was told when I wanted to review a former Michigan cop who had become a local police chief here). In my home state, we can, although highly redacted. At the federal l believe you cannot, but I am not completely sure.


In many areas the local act is also called FOIA. That was the case in Michigan where I worked with a county level unit for many years. They never distinguished "Michigan FOIA" but just said "FOIA".

If this article had said PIA (the Maryland equivalent) rather than FOIA,


It did. I read the article. 10th paragraph. The MPIA or the Maryland Public Information Law.

iI may have been more technically accurate but it would have made no more sense.

If you don't mind inventing fictional jurisdictional over-reaches. Subby should have just said "public records" instead of FOIA.
 
2014-05-29 07:12:14 AM

WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.


it's funny how we have this little law in the courts called "being able to face your accuser" which is not possible with a speed camera.

/bah! pesky laws... just ignore em... right?
 
2014-05-29 07:15:33 AM

gerbilpox: Emposter: Damn, not my area.  They're farking everywhere here in Montgomery.  I was really hoping...ah well.

No such luck.

In MoCo, almost everything is done by the county, and they've got their shiat together. As you probably know, in P.G. ... not so much.

But this wasn't even the county. It's one of about 20 "towns" (IIRC) in P.G., some no bigger than a neighborhood. Those aren't going to have the most sophisticated adequate record-keeping system. But they can still put up cams!

Many, many years ago, I sent FOIA requests to every P.G. town for all their ethics disclosure forms, at about the same time an investigation into the county made the news (in other words, any time). Scared the shiat out of a whole bunch of officals. Still gotta chuckle about that.


there may still be a way or two to challenge those tickets:

1. you have the right to face your accuser
2. the maintenance records need to be current including calibration records.

otherwise... out of luck I think.
 
2014-05-29 07:17:11 AM

hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.


it may work that way legally, but it doesn't mean that every state employee in every department knows that... they are still all run by humans (I think?)...
 
2014-05-29 07:22:00 AM

MBrady: WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.

it's funny how a local government has this perception that they can send you a ticket and expect you to pay it without allowing you to go to court and question the person issuing said ticket.  Even if a cop reviewed the video, why isn't that same cop available to be cross examined?

And regarding red light cameras: why is the local municipality allowed to decide on how long one has to be "at a complete stop?"  Here in NJ, the STATE law ONLY states, "vehicles must come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red."  It does NOT say for how long.  Yet one municipality may say that it must be for 3 seconds.  Another...5 seconds.  They cannot trump state law unless they get permission from the state to do so.  Yet they have gotten away with it for years.  Any people wonder why some people won't make right turn on reds anymore.


I would.... but I'm a rebel... I don't break any traffic laws, but they would still see me as a rebel because I would go to court and fight it - no attorney needed. I would however bring these things up in order to the judge:

1. where Is my accuser?
2. show state law regarding the supposed violation (also showing no permission was given to alter it)
3. ask for the nonexistent maintenance / calibration records for said camera - when they can't produce them, well... there we go.

That is for Florida... your mileage may vary.
 
2014-05-29 07:55:15 AM

hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.


            www.wearysloth.com
 
2014-05-29 07:57:43 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.

it may work that way legally, but it doesn't mean that every state employee in every department knows that... they are still all run by humans (I think?)...


If you go into a city clerk's office and state you are doing a FOIA request, they are going to snicker and know that you don't have a clue what your rights are, which in turn gives them license to f**k with you. Which 9 times out of 10 they will do as records clerks hate records requests from the public.
 
2014-05-29 08:11:47 AM

hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.


Hey, dimwit, there's a thing called an MPIA request.
Public Information Act, Annotated Code of Maryland, State Government Article ("SG), §10-611 et seq
I myself used it to procure red light camera information.
 
2014-05-29 08:15:07 AM

hillary: HindiDiscoMonster: hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.

it may work that way legally, but it doesn't mean that every state employee in every department knows that... they are still all run by humans (I think?)...

If you go into a city clerk's office and state you are doing a FOIA request, they are going to snicker and know that you don't have a clue what your rights are, which in turn gives them license to f**k with you. Which 9 times out of 10 they will do as records clerks hate records requests from the public.


So everyone KNOWS what it means but the term invites abuse from trolls, both IRL and online...
 
2014-05-29 08:23:25 AM

Huggermugger: Hey, dimwit, there's a thing called an MPIA request.


redpillpushers.files.wordpress.com

Which is mentioned in the article and which I mentioned above. It has nothing to do with the federal Freedom Of Information Act.(FOIA). Maybe you missed that part. Thanks for playing, though. Here's Carol Merril with a copy of the home game for you.

//why yes, there's a world of difference between the 2nd and 21st Amendments and no, you shouldn't combine them
 
2014-05-29 08:27:11 AM
Maryland - where $afety is spelled with an upper case $.
 
2014-05-29 08:35:51 AM

hillary: Note to subby who has obviously never requested a public document:

FOIA only applies to federal agencies. It does not apply to state and local documents. You can only make a FOIA request for federal documents. States have their own separate public records laws that are immune to FOIA requirements.

Stating that a local government responded to or failed to respond to a FOIA request is dumb sounding on a massively idiotic scale and displays a fundamental ignorance about how government works and is made accountable.

Yes, it does matter.


Ahem....

/Nice to see that Fark law degree being used, though.
 
2014-05-29 08:41:50 AM

Danger Avoid Death: TheWhoppah: CRtwenty: the town is being forced to repay every ticket they sent out with the illegal cameras and they probably also have to pay a fee with the camera company for cancelling the contract

Might be worth it to use RPGs against a couple of speeders and then pay the wrongful death settlement.  It would cost about the same, deter more speeding, and be much more satisfying to the voters that were not relatives of the deceased.


That totally needs a "tonight...you" caption.
 
2014-05-29 08:46:26 AM

hillary: If you go into a city clerk's office and state you are doing a FOIA request, they are going to snicker and know that you don't have a clue what your rights are, which in turn gives them license to f**k with you. Which 9 times out of 10 they will do as records clerks hate records requests from the public.


I don't rightly give much of a crap if they hate it or not.
 
2014-05-29 08:49:00 AM

DjangoStonereaver: Ahem.... /Nice to see that Fark law degree being used, though.


They are misapplying the acronym and they sort of acknowledge that by stating lower down that the law is actually called the Maryland Public Information Act. There is no law on the Maryland books entitled the Freedom Of Information Act. That is a really ignorant and misleading heading on that page, though, but I understand they are dumbing it down for the idiots.

In Florida, it's called the Florida Public Records Law, with a related section of statutes on open meetings called The Florida Government in the Sunshine Law.
 
2014-05-29 09:05:29 AM

hillary: DjangoStonereaver: Ahem.... /Nice to see that Fark law degree being used, though.

They are misapplying the acronym and they sort of acknowledge that by stating lower down that the law is actually called the Maryland Public Information Act. There is no law on the Maryland books entitled the Freedom Of Information Act. That is a really ignorant and misleading heading on that page, though, but I understand they are dumbing it down for the idiots.

In Florida, it's called the Florida Public Records Law, with a related section of statutes on open meetings called The Florida Government in the Sunshine Law.


How odd.  I'm hearing all your posts in this guys voice:

And I can only hope you're hearing mine in his voice:

f3nation.com
 
2014-05-29 09:06:17 AM
razzn'frazznnopreviewgetsmeagain....

www.chris-beckett.com
 
2014-05-29 09:07:27 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: MBrady: WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.

it's funny how a local government has this perception that they can send you a ticket and expect you to pay it without allowing you to go to court and question the person issuing said ticket.  Even if a cop reviewed the video, why isn't that same cop available to be cross examined?

And regarding red light cameras: why is the local municipality allowed to decide on how long one has to be "at a complete stop?"  Here in NJ, the STATE law ONLY states, "vehicles must come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red."  It does NOT say for how long.  Yet one municipality may say that it must be for 3 seconds.  Another...5 seconds.  They cannot trump state law unless they get permission from the state to do so.  Yet they have gotten away with it for years.  Any people wonder why some people won't make right turn on reds anymore.

I would.... but I'm a rebel... I don't break any traffic laws, but they would still see me as a rebel because I would go to court and fight it - no attorney needed. I would however bring these things up in order to the judge:

1. where Is my accuser?
2. show state law regarding the supposed violation (also showing no permission was given to alter it)
3. ask for the nonexistent maintenance / calibration records for said camera - when they can't produce them, well... there we go.

That is for Florida... your mileage may vary.


Oh, I wholeheartedly agree.  And you would probably lose (because the judge is part of the municipality).  Then you would have to hire a lawyer to file an appeal in superior court (I think - IANAL).   Do you have the time and money to go through all that?

Similar to a DUI.  You  might remember years ago, that someone challenged the software of the DUI machine - not the calibration.  He was lucky.   He got a sympathic judge.  His lawyer supoenad the software code from the DUI machine manufacturer.  A representative from the DUI machine manufacturer said that the code is copyrighted, and he could not reveal the source code.  "How can I challenge the machine if I can't see that the code is correct?"   Judge tossed the DUI - and called into question tons of DUIs that used that machine to determine guilt.

Which is another reason why it's almost impossible to prove that a cop lied on the witness stand.   Because if a judge believes the defendant, it will call into question any statement that the cop has made - for every case.  But now, with go pro cameras and other ways of recording yourself when you get pulled over, it's getting harder and harder for cops to lie - but only if that recording can be used in the courtroom.
 
2014-05-29 09:10:28 AM

WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.


Why stop at speeding and red lights? We should install cameras everywhere to document when everyone commits some sort of violation. Think of all the j-walking tickets the counties could benefit from. I know lots of people in my quiet suburban neighborhood are constantly parking too far from the curb, crossing in the middle of the intersection, and not coming to complete stops at the stop signs. Every single person who does something like that should get fined. That'll make a great place to live.
 
2014-05-29 09:11:04 AM

WireFire2: It's funny how many people have this perception that if a cop doesn't catch them speeding it doesn't count and they should be allowed to get away with it.


It's funny how that's what you hear when people say "law enforcement should have to abide by the law".
 
2014-05-29 09:16:46 AM
DjangoStonereaver: And I can only hope you're hearing mine in his voice:

So you have that little fantasy boosting your self image. That's so cute. Good on ya.
 
2014-05-29 09:17:11 AM

hillary: Huggermugger: Hey, dimwit, there's a thing called an MPIA request.



Which is mentioned in the article and which I mentioned above. It has nothing to do with the federal Freedom Of Information Act.(FOIA). Maybe you missed that part. Thanks for playing, though. Here's Carol Merril with a copy of the home game for you.

//why yes, there's a world of difference between the 2nd and 21st Amendments and no, you shouldn't combine them


I know you think that sneering and jeering makes you clever, but you're wrong. It just makes you a snotty little biatch.
 
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