Human Review Useless In Faulty Speed Camera Case

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

We’ve written plenty of times about people being caught by various speed cameras traveling at speeds that might (politely) be called “impossible.” The latest such case also helps to illustrate a point we made earlier this week, noting that humans will often defer to computers when making decisions, even if the decision is obviously wrong — just because the computers are usually right. That appears to be what happened in this case, where a large bus that can’t go particularly fast was apparently clocked going 81mph in a 30 mph zone. The excuse given by the camera operator was that a human review should have caught the error. However, as the story proves, the human review doesn’t catch such errors. If you’re “reviewing” hundreds or thousands of such reports each day, how much attention are you going to pay? You’re going to assume that most of them are right and send them on. The bus driver in question also notes that his case is easier to prove because it’s a bus. If it were just a car, people might have believed it was actually traveling at 81 mph through a 30 zone.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Human Review Useless In Faulty Speed Camera Case”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Mattb says:

No Subject Given

I do think that most red light/speed camera tickets are automatically sent out with only a cursory glance.

I got a ticket through the mail, that indicated my car had run a red light in a town about 1 1/2 hours away (it included a picture of the offense). The difference between my car and the car that actually ran the red light is that our license plate numbers were the same up to the last digit, mine was a 6, their’s was a 9. Seems like a data enbtry error. But it was signed by the local police. Everybody I showed the picture to could clearly see the correct license plate number (the car and color were also different, but I doubt they check that). Either the police officer was an idiot and didn’t see the numbers were different, and he didn’t bother to look at picture and just assumed the ticket was correct.

The kicker was that I could fill out a form that says I wasn’t the driver, I could pay the fine, or I could ask for time for review in front of a judge to dispute it. I couldn’t find where I could call somebody and tell them to actually look at the picture to see the error. I called the number that asks for time with a judge (the number calls the company that issues the ticket). I called over 15 times, left messages, and only twice got to talk to someone who said they would look into and call me back. Never got a call back, and haven’t gotten anything else from them. Hopefully somebody figured it out. It is a big racket.

George Orwell (user link) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Hooray for this bus driver speaking up.
It proves there are errors in a flawed system of only relying on cameras to enforce laws.

To the above poster …. I had a similar instance on the east coast in a large metropolitan area …. I was just amazed @ how user friendly the site was ( 3rd party ) specifically built to collect fines for governments.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...