Brickbat: The Need for Speed


Speeding car
Wisconsinart /

A Belgian motorist was fined for driving 696 kilometers per hour (432 mph) in a 50 kph zone. At least that's what the ticket generated by a traffic camera said. After the man protested the ticket, officials said there had been a computer error, and he had only been driving 60 kph.

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  1. And I’m so fast I got teh first comment!

    1. and the first spelling error…twofer

      1. Sometimes an error is not an error.

        1. nope, error = error…no meta horse shit

          1. So the lack of initial cap was … an error? Meta error?

          2. I’m pretty sure that SR&C’s point was that an intentional misspelling is not an “error”.

            1. duh? making it getting damn hard to get my troll on…

              1. Someone seriously needs to make a sarcasm font…

  2. Only 8 mph faster and he would have had the speed record for a piston-engine car.

    1. Maybe the computer is just a big fan of land speed racers.

  3. I like that they were able to figure out what the actual speed was….. and it just so happened to be a nice round number.

    1. If it really was a coding error, then fixing the error would allow them to get the right answer. And the original article says ‘around 60 kph’, not ‘exactly 60 kph’.

      1. Well, it would assuming the error was in the data storage and ticket generation area, not the initial data collection, and that the error was consistent. If the error was inconsistent (one guy doing 60 gets 696, another guy doing 60 gets 348, etc) or if the error is in the form of data corruption in the database making it impossible to know what the actual speed was, then he shouldn’t get any ticket at all.

        If they don’t actually know how fast he was going — or that he was breaking the speed limit by ‘at least 1 kph’ and just assigned him a speed of 60 kph so they could write a ticket, that would be illegal in the US due to lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

      2. That would be assuming that was the *only* error in the system. And that the underlying data was stored without corruption and change.

  4. Last time I went to court for a speeding ticket, the judge informed us that state law says the radar is always right, even when it can be proven to be wrong. He would have sided with the original reading.

    1. Several states have laws that say you cannot question the cops on speeding tickets…. I saw this first hand in Georgia.

      A radar ticket in Georgia could only be questioned by:

      1. Is the officer properly certified to operate the equipment?
      2. Was the equipment properly calibrated?
      3. Was the reading on a grade of greater than 42 degrees?

      I think there may have been one additional thing about the officer being placed within x feet of a blind curve, but I don’t really remember that for sure. That was it, as far as I recall. I do remember that there were only 2 spots in the state where the roads exceeded 42 degrees.

      So even if you had a video that showed a similar car ripping past you at 80mph while you are cruising at just below the speed limit, it doesn’t matter. “I didn’t do it” was not a defense. “He got the wrong car” was not a defense. As in, you cannot even make that argument. The judge issued instructions before hearing traffic cases about what is an acceptable defense for tickets – and for radar speeding tickets, basically it came down to paperwork. If the cops did the paperwork correctly, you are guilty by definition.

      1. 42 degrees?? Holy shit – that like the downslope on a Florida sinkhole.

      2. Guilty until proven guilty.

      3. Any judge willing to enforce laws that contravene physical reality needs to find themselves on the wrong end of a woodchipper.

      4. If it is impossible to confront your accuser or the fact that you are not guilty of the accusation is not admissible, then you have a pretty good due process claim to sue the state in federal court. Assuming you want to spend a thousand dollars or so for every one dollar that ticket would cost you to pay, anyway.

  5. The car maker (Opel, which I think is GM of Germany) needs to using this in their advertising. It’s not every economy car that can put the world’s most high-performance exotic sports cars like Ferraris and McLarens to shame.

    1. Opel used to be GM’s European division, along with Vauxhall in the UK, but both were sold off last year. They’re now part of the PSA Group, which also owns Peugeot and Citroen.

  6. The camera was overcharging to get a plea deal out of the motorist.

    1. Nice.

  7. The good news is that the state can still extract a fine.

    1. and all the juicy goodness that comes from enforcing bullshit ordnances

      1. Ordinances. If it were an ordnance, the driver would be dead.

    2. And now that he questioned the ticket he is late with his payment, so they can tack on extra fees! Bonus!

      1. If you dare suggest in a place frequented by EU citizens that their laws lack protections for human rights or due process, they’ll have a meltdown at you. They know you’re lying because their government told them they’re free.

  8. Let me tell you what Melba Toast is packin’ right here, all right. We got 4:11 Positrac outback, 750 double pumper, Edelbrock intake, bored over 30, 11 to 1 pop-up pistons, turbo-jet 390 horsepower. We’re talkin’ some fuckin’ muscle.

    1. gas gauge goes down faster than the speedometer goes up

    2. Ain’t nobody going 400+kph with a 4:11 rear end.

      1. Eh, depends on how big the bolted-on rocket is.

      2. You just need a 16 speed gearbox.

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