• Feb 16, 2011

Getting pulled over and ticketed by law enforcement makes for a bad day, and we're quite certain the feeling is amplified when the citation comes in the mail days after the infraction occurs. There's no surprise, then, that most drivers can't stand traffic cams, and in many cases, the ticketed fight the infractions tooth and nail. In the city of Baltimore, MD, there are 2,000 ticketed motorists who may have a solid case.

WBAL-TV 11 reports that a police officer who tragically died in a car accident 'signed' those 2,000 tickets months after he passed away. That's a big problem, because each red light camera citation is supposed to be reviewed by an officer of the law before getting sent out. City officials claim that the residents received the wrong notice, and that the tickets were in fact properly reviewed before being issued. We're guessing that those ticketed won't buy that explanation and the courts in Baltimore will be quite busy for the next few months. Head over to WBAL TV to view the report.

[Source: WBAL TV]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know at first blush I thought this was a good idea. If the officer had been killed by someone running a red light, it would be appropriate for that officer's "signature"--or at least his name--to show up on his behalf for tickets being issued to red light offenders.

      Clearly tho, that's not what happened here. LOL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maryland is the WORST state to drive in. There's a million speed traps (all cameras, of course) and speed limits never make sense. I wonder how many speeding tickets got "signed" by a dead officer. :P
        • 3 Years Ago
        Leviene

        If a Speeding camera photographs you speeding or a Red Light camera photographs you running a red light you are NOT INNOCENT. Not only are you guilty of the offense the camera caught you committing you are also guilty of reckless driving since you were obviously paying so little attention to what was going on around you.

        Trying to portray the those caught as victims of "Big Government" (the insinuation being its Obama's fault) is ridiculous. If people spent as much time and effort on being a good driver's as they do moaning about the cameras and fighting tickets they get, they would be better drivers, would get less tickets and have or cause less accidents.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ CaptPugwash:

        "If a Speeding camera photographs you speeding or a Red Light camera photographs you running a red light you are NOT INNOCENT."

        Just a point here: Unlike an actual traffic stop, speed/red light cameras work by ticketing the registered owner of the vehicle, not the driver. The presumption is that the person in the car is the registered owner.

        Therefore, you don't even have to be driving to be charged with speeding.

        In any case, "As stated on the red light and speed monitoring citations: 'Payment of the penalty amount for the violation will not result in points and cannot be used to increase your insurance rates.' " (quoted on the Maryland DMV website) the State itself has realized that this is not anything more than another way to generate revenue, as opposed to truly punishing bad drivers.

        • 3 Years Ago
        In case your wondering, the only reason cops reviews them, is to remove those who might be off duty cops. They wouldn't want to nail one of their own.
        • 3 Years Ago
        A few months ago i got caught by a speed camera on 695 (Baltimore Beltway) doing 1 mph over the limit you need to be doing to get a ticket. I wonder who signed my ticket......
        • 3 Years Ago
        You are surprised? Our great country is a fallen one. Despite how bad things are across the world I hate to say that I would perhaps enjoy living somewhere else more. A lot of Americans are not nearly as ethnocentric as they used to be simply because they know our system is BROKEN! Our elected officials talk about sweeping change, however our whole government needs an override. Our Judicial system is flawed and broken. The legislative branch is a pathetic rabble of backstabbing scoundrels out to serve themselves instead of their constituents. Now our executive branch... I won't even get started talking about who I would've voted for because EVERY election I always wish the primary elections had different results.

        Sorry about my rant but I feel as if there are too many people that agree with me that say NOTHING!
        • 3 Years Ago
        >CaptPugwash:
        >If a Speeding camera photographs you speeding or a Red Light camera photographs you >running a red light you are NOT INNOCENT.

        CaptSpudHead:

        Aren't you supposed to be out practicing the goose-step?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This makes me want to throw up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unbelieva-BULL!
      • 3 Years Ago
      As much as it sucks your choice of body part to get a ticket when you do something wrong/immoral/illegal/selfish, it's sad when a person's argument to have a ticket thrown out is based on a technicality such as an incorrect signature or someone forgetting to cross a "T" or dot an "I".

      It's clearly a bad idea to purposely run a red light, endangering the lives of others waiting to make a legal left hand turn to clear the intersection after their light has turned yellow and then red.

      Some people may cry blue bloody murder about authorities purposely shortening yellow light times, and I can understand such an argument... but the lights in my city give LOTS of time to stop, and I see people run lights all the time. And they can't use the argument of trying to prevent rear-end collisions, because plenty of them don't have anybody behind them. That's because they're speeding up to make it through the light. They are being plain old selfish.

      You can vote away my pretty Gold Stars on Autoblog, but you can't take my FREEDOM!!! :-)
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're missing the point.

        Without being reviewed by an actual (living) human officer, there is no way to know if a legitimate offense occurred. What if the calibration was off? What if the camera's computer glitched out?
        • 3 Years Ago
        That comment was for Gary, btw
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't think this is merely an argument of a technicality. It's pretty clear that if an actual officer were actually reviewing the tickets, then their actual signature would be on the ticket... not some sort of automatic signature stamp. They've obviously gotten so lazy about the process they've stopped the official reviewing process, and are sending out every violation they can possibly mail out in the hopes of generating maximum revenue for the city. They know that if anyone wants to fight it, regardless of the legitimacy of the citation, they've got a long-shot in hell getting out of it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thing is, most of those tickets aren't for blasting straight through a red light, ignoring cross traffic.

        Most of those tickets are for not stopping fast enough, going past the sensor, or (primarily) making a right turn on red without a long stop.

        Yeah, those right turns on red are a real danger, as they're typically done at speeds less than 15 mph, without any cross traffic coming or pedestrians endangered.

        That's why red light cameras are for revenue, not safety
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cops = gangsters = thieves
      • 3 Years Ago
      ***K YOU BALTIMORE!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wouldn't this be considered forgery? I say there should be a lot of people in the government that should move to a gated community, if you know what I mean.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Baltimore is a war zone with gunfights just about every day. Lawlessness abound, mayors get kicked out of office because they act like crack whores. Top lawyers in the city are druggies, off-duty cops go armed to bars and get drunk then shoot patrons.
      Students in city schools range from a few brilliant kids to a majority of barely passing to a significant percentage of illiterate kids being passed in order to prop up statistics.
      There isn't a scam or failure in the cities government that can surprise me.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "City officials claim that the residents received the wrong notice..."

      So some other residents were supposed to receive citations with a dead guys signature? & why were there 2000+ pre-signed citations in the first place? Nice try guys... I'd love to see what other excuses they come up with. Please keep us posted Autoblog. I'm always in the mood for a good laugh.
        • 3 Years Ago
        First, the fraudulent issuance of citations amounting to theft. Then, the cover-up as lies.

        This is Big Government against the people, screw the people, rob the people. In pursuit of even Bigger Government, the government bureaucrates have the unalienable right to extract money from people's wallet, take liberty with people's property, and cause untold grief.

        That's is the preamble to the New Declaration of Dependance. The Egyptians tolerated much less.
      • 3 Years Ago
      ooooooooh...dead man watching you driving~~scaryyyyyyyyyy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Red light cameras are one of the biggest frauds ever to be pushed upon citizen taxpayers, period. Our village of 16,000 entertained the idea of installing up to twelve intersection cameras. A neighboring town installed them at nine intersections and with the aid of the freedom of information laws, we were able to prove without a shadow of doubt that over the course of four years, two before the cameras and two after, that seven were safety neutral, one had a 6% increase in accidents and the last with a 19% increase in accidents. The latter having had a fatal accident on a wet road when a 17 year old girl slammed on the brakes and lost control swerving into oncoming traffic killing her passenger and the lady in the car she hit. She told the investigating officer she had been ticketed twice previously by the camera. When we presented our village counsel with a standing room only crowd of angry residents with this information, their conversation went completely in the direction of revenue claiming that the new city hall complex with 25,000 sq. ft. more office space that the white house had to be paid for somehow. Add that to a double dipping mayor with a salary of $191,000 and the motive gets quite clear. By the way, we won. No cameras in our hood.
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