Challenging speed camera tickets

Tony Rodriguez got a speed camera ticket he should have challenged. For starters, the ticket information is incorrect.

The plate picture starts with H-9. But it was recorded as H-8. The ticket states the vehicle is a Chevy. But it’s a Mercury. And the car in the picture is a District cab. But Rodriguez’ taxi was a Diamond cab, which have diamond-shaped lights on the roof. That’s not what’s in the picture.

He also said he sold the cab years ago.

“I opened up the mail, I looked at it and started laughing,” he said.

Will Foreman is on the offensive against speed cameras in Forest Heights, Md. He says they’re not accurate and has used simple math to defeat his last five camera tickets. His business has another 40 pending.

Basically, he takes the two time-stamped photos provided, superimposes them onto one image and calculates how far the car traveled between the two photos.

Each time, it’s turned out that the tickets shouldn’t have been issued.

“I've seen for a year countless tickets issued to people for speeding when you can prove they're not speeding,” Foreman said. “These cameras are not calibrated properly.”

D.C. traffic lawyer Paul Hunt says there are other times to challenge a ticket, such as examining the time and event location or if there’s objects in the photo that could cause errors in measuring.

The odds aren’t great for FY 2011, when fewer than 7 percent of the District’s photo tickets were challenged. But more than one in three of those get tossed out.

After 7 On Your Side called the DMV about Rodriguez’ ticket, MPD voided it – even though he waited too long to challenge it.