Like many thousands before him, Sergeant Mark Robinson of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department was cited for speeding while driving through the District's Third Street Tunnel last fall. But unlike most of the other motorists, Sgt. Robinson contested the ticket and won a refund.

Robinson, a 22-year veteran of the police force, probably considered his citation insignificant compared to the thousands of other speed camera-related tickets he was in the process of fighting. As it turns out, the officer was already embroiled in a campaign to dismiss questionable violations that the District had been handing out illegally. As the law is written, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations require a secondary accuracy ensuring measurement when cameras are used to enforce speed limits (e.g., painted lines on the road to measure distance traveled) – there were, inexplicably, none in the Third Street Tunnel.

According to some investigative work by The Washington Times, 14,167 tickets were issued on that stretch of road bringing in a whopping $1,814,150 worth of revenue. As the money was collected outside the guideline of the law, Sgt. Robinson maintains that the city is obligated to refund the fines.

Yet, as expected, police administrators and the city have thus far ignored Robinson's pleas and have done nothing. Instead, he's been labeled a whistleblower and some officials have suggested that "corrective and/or disciplinary action" be brought up against him. Sergeant Mark Robinson may have triumphed in one small battle, but his uphill conflict with the District is ongoing and far from over.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      l9t8z
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is disgusting that this mans honesty will get him in alot of trouble.
      sirvixisvexed
      • 1 Year Ago
      A cop calls another cop a "whistle blower" ? and means it negatively? Think about that for a second
        Generic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        Whistle blowers often break legal confidentiality contracts/agreements and are often blacklisted in the industry. Its a catch 22. Kinda makes you wonder how much of the American industry makes money in a legal litigate way that whistle blowers are considered outcast by the mass media. They are always presented in a negative way no matter what they have shared. No matter how useful the information, no matter how many lives it might save. Whistle blowers are just treated so horribly.
        Joe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sirvixisvexed
        I see what you did there.
      James
      • 1 Year Ago
      As much as I think speed cameras are against everything for which America stands, it would be an easy matter to pick out any object of known dimensions in the video screen and use that as a metric source. It may even be possible, having known the location of the camera, that the focal length itself could serve this purpose. However, I hope the money is returned to these hapless people ensnared by this vicious tool of societal control and unconstitutional punitive taxation.
      kevsflanagan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wait so looking beyond the sarcastic response of "There are honest cops??" he is being harassed for doing police work and looking out for the public's best interests? Just wow! To me I salute this officer for doing what is right.
      corner49
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice to hear about one of the good ones.
      _I_I_II_I_I_
      • 1 Year Ago
      "labeled a whistleblower"? Isn't that a positive thing, and aren't whistleblowers protected?
        Generic
        • 1 Year Ago
        @_I_I_II_I_I_
        Absolutely not. They are treated like outcast. Sometimes in the end, after years of being sued, etc, they can come out on top. Research Jeffrey Wigand.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      DC Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      A guy in PG county MD had tickets for his company dismissed because a poorly calibrated speed camera continuously ticketed his work truck. He used the natural visual cues to prove his case, and MD begrudgingly dismissed his tickets. Everyone else screwed by the camera... tough luck. WTF. The camera claimed he was doing 50 in a 35... he was actually traveling BELOW the posted limit. Speed cameras have nothing to do with your safety.
      RocketRed
      • 1 Year Ago
      The safety argument is ludicrous. Most people probably don't even notice until weeks later when they get the envelope. And then they just learn to avoid the particular camera, or don't. There are no points, so there is no real deterrent other than the financial. It's not like they put these cameras near schools, dangerous intersections, ramps, etc. They are often on open stretches of throughways, tunnels where there are obviuosly no pedestrians. The cameras are put where it is convenient to put/hide cameras and where the apparent safe speed to a reasonable motorist is far above the "posted" limit. For example, where is the 25mph signs on K before the tunnel camera going into Georgetown? That thing is a scandal. Every night I see that camera just popping away like a strobe. That camera must make five-figures every week night.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      No good deed goes unpunished.
      montegod7ss
      • 1 Year Ago
      A single good cop trying to do something right is met by resistance from his "brothers". People hate cops for a reason, this is just one of the thousands.
      creamwobbly
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wait, what? Since when has "whistleblower" had *negative* connotations?
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