Wed, Mar 25th 2009 10:34am
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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