Math vs. Speed Cameras

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    Will Foreman used the power of math to beat speeding tickets before three different judges. The tickets were automatically issued by traffic cameras. Foreman used the photographs themselves to raise a reasonable doubt as to the accuracy of the speed sensors.

    The camera company, Optotraffic, uses a sensor that detects any vehicle exceeding the speed limit by 12 or more mph, then takes two photos of it for identification purposes. The photos are mailed to violators, along with a $40 ticket.

    For each ticket, Mr. Foreman digitally superimposed the two photos – taken 0.363 seconds apart from a stationary point, according to an Optotraffic time stamp – creating a single photo with two images of the vehicle.

    Using the vehicle’s length as a frame of reference, Mr. Foreman then measured its distance traveled in the elapsed time, allowing him to calculate the vehicle’s speed. In every case, he said, the vehicle was not traveling fast enough to get a ticket.

    So far the judges have agreed.

    A representative for the company that installed the cameras (and which receives a portion the fines they generate) said that the vehicles’ speeds are measure before the pictures are taken. Foreman said he doubted the cars slowed that much afterward, since the pictures do not show brakes lights on. Link -via Fark

    (Image credit: Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

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    Math vs. Speed Cameras

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