Speed Camera Abuses

 Posted by on 31 December 2008 at 1:01 am  Law, Technology
Dec 312008

Some Maryland high school students are using speed cameras to “exact revenge on people who they believe have wronged them in the past, including other students and even teachers”.

According to this article:

High school students in Maryland are using speed cameras as a tool to fine innocent drivers in a game, according to the Montgomery County Sentinel newspaper. Because photo enforcement devices will automatically mail out a ticket to any registered vehicle owner based solely on a photograph of a license plate, any driver could receive a ticket if someone else creates a duplicate of his license plate and drives quickly past a speed camera. The private companies that mail out the tickets often do not bother to verify whether vehicle registration information for the accused vehicle matches the photographed vehicle.

…A speed camera is located out in front of Wootton High School, providing a convenient location for generating the false tickets. Instead of purchasing license plates, students have ready access to laser printers that can create duplicate license plates using glossy paper using readily available fonts. For example, the state name of “Maryland” appears on plates in a font similar to Garamond Number 5 Swash Italic. Once the camera flashes, the driver can quickly pull over and remove the fake paper plate. The victim will receive a $40 ticket in the mail weeks later.

These speed cameras are a technological embodiment of the flawed principle of “guilty until proven innocent”. These sorts of “pranks” (and the subsequent injustices) are a predictable result of this bad approach to enforcing the law.

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