A faulty speeding ticket issued to a Canadian motorist has resulted in Alberta authorities refunding every ticket since 2009.
More than 140,000 convictions totalling £8 million (C$13 million) in fines are now being thrown out after a motorist was snapped by a camera doing a calculated 143kph (89mph).
However, the motorist involved was clearly doing the same speed as other motorists on the road – prompting a review of the automated “speed on green” cameras.
Steven Bilodeau, Alberta’s top Crown prosecutor announced the decision to refund 140,000 tickets from the past two years despite all tickets allegedly viewed by members of staff.
Mr Bilodeau said: “This is all about public confidence. This is about reliability of the intersection safety cameras.
“When the Crown takes the case to court, we have to be able to say to the public and to the courts that this is reliable, this is accurate, this is correct. And because of a glitch with the [cameras], we can’t do that.”
Alberta state will now refund the speeding ticket revenue, 95 per cent of which has already been paid by motorists who will undoubtedly be rubbing their hands with glee.
The cameras were provided to Alberta state by American Traffic Solutions which defended its product.
A spokesperson told The Globe and Mail: “We are confident that when properly maintained and calibrated, the [camera system] produces accurate speed measurements.”
This isn’t the first time a faulty speed camera has triggered a huge refund.
In 2003, an Australian motorist was snapped by a camera in Victoria allegedly doing 98mph in a Datsun 120Y.
After testing, it was proven the Japanese car – built in 1975 – was only capable of 73mph.
As a result, the Australian government had to cancel a staggering 160,000 tickets – totalling £16 million (A$ 26 million)
This wouldn’t happen in the UK (the refund that is, not the camera inaccuracy). When such failures have come to light in the past, the money-grabbing mentality of British authorities means that drivers have been told they each have to apply individually for a refund.