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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 60
    More: Fail, Morningside, foia requests, I'm Glad, Freedom of Information Act, Prince George's County  
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4260 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 May 2014 at 2:09 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



60 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 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 06:41:54 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 07:55:15 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 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 08:27:11 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 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 09:10:28 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 09:17:11 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.
 
2014-05-29 09:20:06 AM  

Huggermugger: 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.


Yep and I did an FOIA last year with a local fire marshal's office in Northern VA to pull the inspection records. $5.00 and the record was emailed to me. 

And doing a search for a few minutes shows every single state in the union has a sunshine law pretty much granting access to any public record, including video.
 
2014-05-29 09:23:12 AM  

hillary: 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.


I've always tried to have good role models:

uproxx.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-05-29 09:48:31 AM  

TheWhoppah: 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.


It's a democracy; you don't need to do a proof to have an opinion.  People have voted for dumber reasons.
 
2014-05-29 09:57:51 AM  

MBrady: 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?


I ran across  great term in a book the other day "the process IS the punishment".  If it's just time, you probably should go through the effort to be difficult, just on principle.  The whole court ecosystem is built on being such a pain in the ass that it just isn't worth it to stand up to the damned thing.
 
2014-05-29 10:12:28 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.


Due process of law, a constitutionally protected right of the accused, regardless of wheteher or not you are caught or whether or not you actually commited a crime.
 
2014-05-29 10:40:44 AM  

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



rs137.pbsrc.com

There simply must be some form of published warning.  It's the law.
 
2014-05-29 10:48:56 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.


For all your blustering, you are just factually incorrect.  The law is technically called the MPIA but the common vernacular is FOIA.  Yes, even way down at the county level.  In fact, if you want to request a public record from the police in, oh,  I dunno, let's just pick Prince George's County, Maryland as an example, do you know what they want you to do?  They want you to "make a FOIA request."
 
2014-05-29 10:54:24 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.


Some of us have a problem with cameras because they're always placed for revenue rather than safety.  There's also the little detail that they produce no safety.  An honest camera placed for safety wouldn't produce the revenue needed to support it.
 
2014-05-29 10:56:36 AM  
sweetclipart.com
 
2014-05-29 11:00:23 AM  
My problem with speed cameras is there is no fair way to defend yourself. You have to assume the calibration is correct AND that the software is accurate. You also would have to be able to know you were flagged so you could remember what happened. If you got a camera ticket for your drive to work this morning 3 weeks from now, would you remember that morning? I doubt it. If a cop pulls you over, you will remember.
 
2014-05-29 11:11:41 AM  

hillary: Enormous-Schwanstucker: Yep and I did an FOIA last year with a local fire marshal's office in Northern VA to pull the inspection records. $5.00 and the record was emailed to me.

That's still not a FOIA request, although both you and VA seem to agree that it was (unless VA's laws actually use that as the law's title, which is possible). It's like calling every tissue a Kleenex or every refrigerator a Fridge. A public records request and a FOIA request are not the same thing. I know this sounds picayune, but it is important distinction, and here's why.

Many people read the federal FOIA rules and the request form and think that applies to ALL government agencies. They don't. Each state's rules is different from each other's. The rules for making a request are different. What you are entitled to read and/or get copies of are all different. How much they can charge you. So it is really important as a citizen to know exactly what the laws are in your state, how to look them up, where to go for help when things go tits up.

Federal -- requests have to be in writing using a specific wording. Here in Florida, requests can be verbal and it is illegal for the clerk to demand to know who you are or even ask why you want the information. In Florida, subjects of the requests are allowed to go through their emails and delete those that they feel are personal with no oversight of that decision. Federal -- they can delete nothing (although we all know that it has happened en masse in a number of news stories over the years).

So that's why it is a big deal and that is why you should know the distinction -- because it empowers you so that you are less likely to be f**ked with when you are getting jerked around over records that you are legally entitled to read or receive copies of. As I wrote earlier, if they think you are ignorant of the law, they will take advantage of you because most public records requests just bring grief and more work.


Funny, but that's exactly what the FM's office called it: An FOIA request. The official email, the invoice, etc... You're so interested in splitting hairs here when everyone else is in fact technically correct which is, as you know, the best kind of correct.

And for the record, I pull lots of public information.

I bet you berate people in your office when they mention they're going to Xerox something.
 
2014-05-29 11:27:38 AM  
hillary:
Look you can call it Martha or anything else you like,

That's the point you OCD moron.  You can call it Martha or FOIA or MPIA and you are just farking factually wrong about courts throwing out the request because you gave it the wrong title.  Courts are very much deferential to non-lawyer citizens when instructions are not extremely specific or somehow unclear.  You can pretend that "she" is demanding something like it's one lady in a sea of people taking MPIA requests but they do it in the next county over, too.  And the next county over on the other side.

In the State of Maryland, if a reporter or someone else wants a piece of information, they say they're gonna make a FOIA request.  Then they call the county and ask who the FOIA contact is and send the request to that person.  That person then goes and gets the records and tells the file clerk or the IT guy or whoever physically finds and retrieves the records that they have to do it because "someone made a FOIA request."  And on forms that citizens fill out they warn citizens that any information they share is subject to being made public if someone makes "a FOIA request."  And yes, if someone submits a Fark thread about it, they say that someone made a FOIA request.

Your pedantry is just factually, entirely, stupidly wrong.
 
2014-05-29 11:32:26 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.


Around here, they put up signs that note the speed limit.  It works well enough for me - most of the time.
 
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