Ohio Town Refunds 980 Speed Camera Tickets For Only Driving 10mph Over The Limit (Versus 11mph)

from the go-speed-racer dept

A story suggest to us by reader Dan describes how an Ohio town recently issued 980 speeding ticket refunds. The city of Garfield Heights, Ohio, installed two speed cameras, attached to unmanned police cars, and then sent speeding tickets to those that were deemed to be speeding. The policy was to only issue tickets to those driving more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, so, when it was found that a number of tickets were issued to those driving 10 miles per hour over the limit, almost $100,000 in ticket revenue was refunded. Apparently, city officials had told the public that the tickets would be issued if people were caught driving 11 miles over the limit. So, if that's the case, then is the speed limit actually the speed limit or not? Once again, this goes to show how completely arbitrary speed limit enforcement can be. Is there really a difference in safety in going 10 mph over the speed limit vs. 11? And, if anything, it seems that widely circulating this policy would simply encourage people to drive 9 miles over the limit.

Clearly, it's a great money maker for the city. Since the month of June, when the cameras were installed, they sent out nearly 11,000 tickets, representing about $1,000,000 in added revenue. Sure, it's possible that the city may need to cover a shortfall in a budget, but is the false guise of public safety the appropriate manner in which to obtain this revenue? At least this method is a little more scientific than other Ohio towns, where a policeman can issue a ticket by simply guessing how fast you were going.

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  1. identicon
    rec9140, 13 Oct 2010 @ 7:02am

    Its a STATUTORY thing.

    There are various laws which cover the use of speed detection devices, their accuracy (or lack thereof), and when a ticket can be issued.

    It varies from state to state.. but the general average of this is:

    In states which allow locals to use RADAR (NOT PA! thankfully)

    The trigger is +5MPH over the limit.

    Using VASCAR, accutrex, stopwatch (Local PA) then its +10.

    There is guidance that if your reckless and a danger to other motorists then there are ways to be issue a ticket for being +1 over the posted speed.

    In some states, mostly southern US...can be far more than just a ticket.

    At 20+ MPH over the limit your reach into reckless, careless and endangering... and you COULD be taken to jail.

    The +11 and over is there because speed detection devices be it RADAR, LIDAR, VASCAR, Accutrex, pacing etc.. have ERRORS in the systems which measure the speed... these allow for the errors to be taken into account. Flip the switches just a second out of sync for VASCAR and you can be off +-1 to 15MPH! RADAR... tune it up WRONG and you can set the device to read what ever you want. This is why the devices must be re-calibrated and certified every 60-90 days depending on type and state. There also are training requirements for use of RADAR/LIDAR/VASCAR... not that these course don't teach end arounds either... but it is required to have the certs to use the device.

    In the long run... if you have time to run RADAR/LIDAR/VASCAR you HAVE TIME TO DO MORE PATROL that DOES MORE GOOD than creating ill will with the driving public. I can do more to slow traffic down by just sitting in a MARKED UNIT that looks to be doing enforcement than any thing.

    Traffic enforcement for the most part is one thing... REVENUE GENERATION! Period.

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