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wdb 09-12-2009 08:16 AM

The Man in the Monkey Mask
 
Quote:

Arizona driver dons monkey masks to elude tickets
By AMANDA LEE MYERS (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
September 11, 2009 9:22 PM EDT

PHOENIX - A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel.

"You've got to identify the driver, and if you can't it's not a valid ticket," said Dave VonTesmar, a 47-year-old flight attendant said.

It took Arizona state police months to realize the same driver was involved and was refusing to pay the fines. By the time they did, more than 50 of the tickets had become invalid because the deadline for prosecution had passed.

Authorities have since stepped up their efforts to ensure that VonTesmar pays his $6,700 in fines.
Full article is here:

EarthLink - U.S. News

wdb 09-12-2009 10:13 PM

Hmm, no comments on the large and growing Arizona driver/voter rebellion against speed cameras. They're about ready to take an ax to the whole lot of 'em. This monkey guy is just a handy front man.

Maybe I should have just gone ahead and posted the whole thing. But I don't do that, so you'll just have to click.

dcb 09-12-2009 11:08 PM

I like it fine :)

SVOboy 09-12-2009 11:10 PM

Personally, I understand he wants to be "Gung Ho Mister Liberty" by doing dangerous things and breaking laws only because he doesn't like that the laws are actually being inforced, but I think they should just take away his license for not deserving it.

That's just me though

dcb 09-12-2009 11:19 PM

Ben, should you be able to loan your car to someone without paying their speeding tickets if they go 56mph in a 55 zone?

Should a rental car company pay all your traffic violations?

These devices take major shortcuts in due process, and print money for the crooks that install them. Gimmie an axe and a gorilla mask.

SVOboy 09-12-2009 11:30 PM

I agree that you shouldn't have to pay for someone else's tickets, but the fact that this one person could rack up so many tickets on his own in his own car is very good evidence that the system that prevents the cameras from ticketing the vehicle owner regardless of the driver is working.

Unless someone does a decent study comparing the amount of wrongly ticketed people from the machines to those wrongly ticketed by police officers, I'm not going to think badly of one option over the other. Personally, I've only been pulled over once for "reckless driving" when my wheels spun half a rotation in some dirt at a stop, which is certainly not reckless, but I was driving a red CRX at night and 18 years old so I was a good target to pull over. At least the machines don't pull over black people so they can illegally search their cars or have some of the other common biases that police officers do, so I don't think even the crazy Arizonians can say they're all negative.

Meh

jamesqf 09-12-2009 11:43 PM

I guess the idea bothers me in a lot of ways. To begin with, there's the nonsensical idea that you can recognize a person from a photograph. Not "Hey, that looks sort of like Joe", but "That is Joe", which has probably led to an awful lot of false arrests & convictions when police show a handful of mug shots, and the victim picks out the closest match.

As for the monkey mask, if somebody wants to wear one, whyever not? No different from wearing a hijab or a full-face motorcycle helmet...

dcb 09-13-2009 12:17 AM

One of my main beefs is how stupid the traffic control devices are. I mean there could be absolutely nobody around, and it will give you the red. Now cameras are there to help enforce the brain dead stoplight. from an eco perspective I would like to see more emphasis on efficient traffic control devices (i.e. lets keep this car moving since there are no other cars), not terminator style enforcement of stupid devices.

SVOboy 09-13-2009 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dcb (Post 127477)
One of my main beefs is how stupid the traffic control devices are. I mean there could be absolutely nobody around, and it will give you the red. Now cameras are there to help enforce the brain dead stoplight. from an eco perspective I would like to see more emphasis on efficient traffic control devices (i.e. lets keep this car moving since there are no other cars), not terminator style enforcement of stupid devices.

Agreed

Christ 09-13-2009 02:20 AM

But... I like the Terminator... and RoboCop.

That said, I hate traffic cameras - to an extent. They take care of the "where's a cop when you need one?" question very efficiently, to say the least.

As far as someone else getting a ticket in your car, it's fairly easy to prove that you weren't driving, and even if you can't prove it to the law officers, you can tell your "friend" that either they make responsibly for the fine, or they needn't bother being a "Friend" anymore. It's an expensive lesson, in some cases, but you'd quickly learn who your friends were.

OTOH - I don't like them, because they do exactly as dcb says - they enforce a brainless system of "stop and go", even when not necessary. More efficient traffic lighting systems would be partially self-corrective of the problems with people running lights... if they're more efficiently timed, even the people "in a hurry" all the time would have a better chance of getting a green light, thus avoiding the potential risks involved with running a green light.

If they're speeding, obviously, it won't work out as well.

Plus versus the minus features, I'd rather see them on streets than not. If you're not running red lights, (or in some cases, speeding) you've nothing to worry about. ;)


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