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1/25/2008Speed Camera Vendor May Have Falsified Documents
Documents show Redflex may have used a falsely sworn document to convict motorists with speed camera tickets.
The Arizona Secretary of State's office is looking at allegations made yesterday that a photo enforcement vendor falsified the documents used to certify speeding convictions. Lafayette, Louisiana motorists Mark and Phil Abshire had requested written records from Redflex, the Australian company in charge of the city's automated ticketing program, to help beat a pair of speed camera citations each separately received on October 10, 2007. One document happened to be the official, notarized deployment form for the speed camera van that issued the tickets.
"I, first being duly sworn, depose and say... using the correct procedure, [I] operated the traffic camera to monitor traffic," Redflex employee Scott Michael Bernard swore under oath before Redflex's notary public, Cheryl A Krough. "I certify that upon reasonable grounds I believe that each of the defendants complained against on this date upon the basis of this traffic camera committed the act described contrary to law and I have caused a notice with a copy of the complaint to be mailed to each defendant."
Bernard also certified on the form that he performed "tuning fork tests" at the "beginning of deployment" and at the "end of deployment." Krough, who works in the Redflex Traffic Systems office in Scottsdale, Arizona, notarized the document with a seal indicating the document was "sworn to before me" in Maricopa County, Arizona, on October 10, 2007.
Mark Abshire confirmed with Krough that Scott Michael Bernard never actually made the 1400 mile trip to Scottsdale. Instead, Krough claimed to haven notarized the document after she recognized Bernard's signature. According to Arizona law, whenever the phrase "subscribed and sworn to before me" is used on a notarized document, "the notary certifies that a signer, whose identity is proven by satisfactory evidence, has made in the notary's presence a voluntary signature and has taken an oath or affirmation vouching for the truthfulness of the signed document." (Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 41-311)
Moreover, the Lafayette van program uses a Swiss-made Multanova 9F DRS-3 Ka-band radar unit which is not calibrated with a tuning fork. "No tuning forks are available" for the device, according to a document provided by the manufacturer. In a separate case, a Redflex official testified that speed camera operators, in fact, do nothing other than drive the van to its location and turn on the system. The operators have no knowledge whether any motorists have committed any acts contrary to law.
"Affiant has personal knowledge that the 'Redflex Photo Speed System' is fully automated requiring no intervention by the driver after the system is operational and that the drivers of the vans are not a part of the process of detecting and videotaping speeders," Redflex Regional Sales Manager Charles Buckles, swore in a Louisiana deposition taken under oath in East Baton Rouge on October 31, 2007. "Affiant does further depose that the van drivers merely drive to the designated location and turn on the fully automated Redflex equipment contained therein."
View the documents described above in a 175k PDF file at the source link below. Related: Full video of the twins' ticket hearing, and behind the scenes audio of the independent hearing officer mocking them.
Source: Deployment Form Smartcam Speed Photo Radar Vehicle (Redflex Traffic Systems, 10/10/2007)
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