3/6/2011Innocent Drivers Receive Photo Tickets in Florida, Australia, France, UK
Cameras wrongly accuse motorists of speeding, running red lights and illegally parking in Australia, Florida, France and the UK.
Motorists around the world have been mailed photo enforcement tickets accusing them of crimes they did not commit. In the Northern Territory, Australia, police were forced to refund 70 tickets issued to drivers accused of exceeding 60 km/h (37 MPH) in an 80 km/h (50 MPH) zone on the Stuart Highway on January 13. These motorists had paid the fine and accepted three points against their license because it was not worth the effort to fight. A handful did take the time to challenge the citations and had them overturned on the grounds that the police officers typed in the wrong speed limit into the machine, the NT News reported.
In Victoria, Gerard Gowans took the tickets he received in the mail to court on February 17 and won. Gowans was accused of driving 70 km/h (44 MPH) 60 km/h (37 MPH) at the intersection of Alexandra Parade and George Street in Fitzroy North on December 31, 2009. He was then accused 4 minutes and 34 seconds later of driving the same speed at the intersection of Smith Street, just 230 yards down the same road, a distance that takes just 11 seconds to travel. According to the Herald Sun, the judge found the timing of the cameras untrustworthy and canceled the tickets.
In Somerset, England, the owner of a 2004 Citroen Berlingo delivery van received a ticket in the mail for driving 103 MPH on the A358 on January 31. Davina Hardiman, 31, scoffed at the notion that her heavy Sunshine Snacks work van, equipped with a refrigerator and oven, was capable of speeds beyond 60 MPH. The Chard and Ilminster News reported that the Somerset Speed Camera Partnership canceled the ticket after it generated attention in the press.
In Orlando, Florida a red light camera at International Drive and Kirkman Road issued a $158 ticket to a senior citizen who stopped at the red light. On the evidence video, Robert Noeker's white Nissan is clearly seen stopped at the light, and that it was a silver Mercedes that actually triggered the violation. Noeker called the city of Orlando, but officials refused to view the video and just told him to fight it in court. Instead, he called WFTV-TV which shamed the city and the vendor that runs the camera program, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), into canceling the ticket. ATS has issued 60,349 tickets worth $7,950,900 as of January 26.
A farmer in Bois-Fleury, France was accused by an enforcement camera of illegally parking his Massey Ferguson tractor 32 miles away on the rue Jean-Desveaux in Nevers in December. He was ordered to pay 26 euros (US $36), even though he does not drive his tractor in the city and the parked vehicle in the ticket was an Austin, not a tractor. According to Le Journal Du Centre, the farmer had not resolved the ticket as of January 21.