Man Beats Speeding Ticket After Pointing Out It Was For 50 mph Faster Than His Car Could Go

from the physics-101 dept

Red light cameras and speed cameras continue to stir up controversy as police and local governments increase their use. The general claim is that they're used to make roads safer, but scams like in Italy, where people have been accused of shortening yellow lights in order to catch more offenders, do little to quell the idea that revenue generation is the real goal. The good ol' radar gun is generally pretty widely accepted by people, even though on more than one occasion, they've proven fallible, too. The latest story comes out of England, where a guy has gotten out of a ticket for driving 173 miles per hour -- after pointing out that his unmodified car's top speed is 127. He admitted to driving 105 in a 50 mph zone, but wanted to avoid the jail time a conviction for driving at the higher speed would bring. In this case, rather than technology fouling up, it looks like human error: the guy was busted with a time-and-distance device, which measures the time it takes a car to travel between two points. Police officers have to press a button or take some other action when the car passes the points -- opening up tremendous scope for error, particularly at high speeds.

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  1. identicon
    FrellMeDead, 30 Mar 2009 @ 11:57pm

    Common problem throughout the world

    The timing device that the average police officer uses requires the office to press the button two times, the first to start the time and the second to stop it. Usually the officers use marks on the road that were setup for a standardized distance between lines. The problem arises do to the simple problem that everyone requires different amount of time to react. On average such discrepancies due to delayed reaction time can affect the clocked speed anywhere from 15 - 85%. Thus your may be going the speed limit but due to poor reaction time whether intentional or not may indicate that you are going more then double, triple or more then the stated speed limit. People should know that this mode of speed monitoring is only used by local police since it is illegal in most cities/states for local police to use radar or laser speed monitoring devices. The only ones that are able to use radar and laser is state police.
    I know all this from personal experience. I drive a muscle car and have been targeted/pulled over many many times for supposedly speeding. Fortunately I did my research and remembered to photograph my speedometer with my cell phone camera. I clearly showed that the local police around the city were abusing the tech on a daily basis. I have had every single ticket thrown out either before court or during it.

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