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Database Loophole Lets Legislators Avoid Photo Radar Tickets 165

Posted by timothy
from the public-choice-theory-at-play dept.
lemur3 writes "State legislators in Colorado have not been receiving speeding tickets due to inadequacies in the implementation of a DMV database. The current system ties plates to vehicles rather than to individuals, the special plates for legislators are issued to individuals. The result is that there is no entry in the database for the special plates when the automated photo radar system is triggered, this means nobody receives a citation. In one case a Colorado resident, who had vanity plates reading '33,' received the photo radar citations intended for Senator Mike Johnston representing district 33, whose vehicle was identified by a '33' on his special plate. Lt. Matt Murray of the Denver Police, speaking of the system commented, 'Our system works, the database works. What needs to happen is the state's database need to be complete.'"
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Database Loophole Lets Legislators Avoid Photo Radar Tickets

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  • Just as intended (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:24PM (#44277643)

    Our system works, the database works.

    System works as intended, by placing the responsibility of defense on the accused.

    I wonder how long it took for that person with vanity plates 33 to get his ticket annulled. He probably had to go to court and speak to a clerk or two.

    I am surprised they do not yet send occasional random tickets to 2%-3% in the database. What do they have to lose? Either the person would pay the fine or they would spend hours of their life trying to avoid paying it -- maybe they will be browbeaten into paying a fraction instead.

  • by edman007 (1097925) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @12:38PM (#44277737)

    In the US they don't either (at least not in NY), the solution is to not fine the driver. They fine the vehicle owner, but it's not considered a violation against the driver, thus it doesn't show up on your record and it doesn't affect insurance. Basically it's done the same way parking tickets are handled (which also don't need anything other than a license plate).

    Sounds to me like that's the root of the problem, the tickets are for the vehicle owner, and the legislator plates are not tied to the vehicle, thus the system can't pull the owner from the database. They could send it to the driver, but generally that doesn't stand up in court so the systems don't do that.

  • by gmanterry (1141623) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:04PM (#44277937) Journal

    In the US they don't either (at least not in NY), the solution is to not fine the driver. They fine the vehicle owner, but it's not considered a violation against the driver, thus it doesn't show up on your record and it doesn't affect insurance. Basically it's done the same way parking tickets are handled (which also don't need anything other than a license plate).

    Sounds to me like that's the root of the problem, the tickets are for the vehicle owner, and the legislator plates are not tied to the vehicle, thus the system can't pull the owner from the database. They could send it to the driver, but generally that doesn't stand up in court so the systems don't do that.

    That's interesting. Here in Arizona, if the picture isn't the owner and the owner won't rat the actual driver out, then the ticket is thrown out.

  • by sootman (158191) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @01:10PM (#44277973) Homepage Journal

    .... about fucking retarded shitheads like this speaking in public and telling lies?

    "Our system works, the database works. What needs to happen is the state's database need to be complete."

    WRONG, fuckface. 1) If, according to the evidence, the system isn't working, then the system isn't working. Expected behavior: the correct person gets tickets. Observed behavior: the wrong person gets tickets. How can you say that "works"? 2) If a part of the SYSTEM isn't working (like the database), then the SYSTEM isn't working, because a SYSTEM is "a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole."

  • Photo radar tickets in Colorado don't have to be paid anyway [kdvr.com] unless they go to the trouble of serving you in person, which they never do.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @02:16PM (#44278447) Journal
    And I should also note that, according to TFA, the problem is not duplicate numbers in the DMV database, because these special plates (issued to people, not vehicles) are not in the database.

    I wonder if the DMV database can even cope with a license plate that is issued to a person and not a vehicle? There are also dealer and manufacturer plates which are not assigned to a vehicle: I wondoer if they are in the database?
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday July 14, 2013 @07:43PM (#44280537) Homepage Journal

    No, the system is designed to prevent that.

    What likely happened is the purely large '33' on one plate got mistaken for a smaller-grouped '33' on a different spot on another plate in conjunction with a specialized license plate number already-printed on the plate. You'll see stuff like this on Disabled Veteran vehicular plates, certain tax-exempt cross-country trucker plates, gov't official plates, and county/city service plates.

    Source: Former plate inspector in a Mississippi state prison (one of my 'jobs' before I hit the RID boot camp program for my sentence.)

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