Maryland Students Use Speed Cameras for Revenge

No-Name labmanager at
Sat Dec 20 02:46:21 PST 2008

Maryland Students Use Speed Cameras for Revenge
Students in Montgomery County, Maryland use fake license plates to  
send speed camera tickets to enemies.

Maryland plate, photo by Amy the Nurse/FlickrHigh school students in  
Maryland are using speed cameras as a tool to fine innocent drivers in  
a game, according to the Montgomery County Sentinel newspaper. Because  
photo enforcement devices will automatically mail out a ticket to any  
registered vehicle owner based solely on a photograph of a license  
plate, any driver could receive a ticket if someone else creates a  
duplicate of his license plate and drives quickly past a speed camera.  
The private companies that mail out the tickets often do not bother to  
verify whether vehicle registration information for the accused  
vehicle matches the photographed vehicle.

In the UK, this is known as number plate cloning, where thieves will  
find the license information of a vehicle similar in appearance to the  
one they wish to drive. They will use that information to purchase a  
real license plate from a private vendor using the other vehicle's  
numbers. This allows the "cloned" vehicle to avoid all automated  
punishment systems. According to the Sentinel, two Rockville, Maryland  
high schools call their version of cloning the "speed camera pimping  

A speed camera is located out in front of Wootton High School,  
providing a convenient location for generating the false tickets.  
Instead of purchasing license plates, students have ready access to  
laser printers that can create duplicate license plates using glossy  
paper using readily available fonts. For example, the state name of  
"Maryland" appears on plates in a font similar to Garamond Number 5  
Swash Italic. Once the camera flashes, the driver can quickly pull  
over and remove the fake paper plate. The victim will receive a $40  
ticket in the mail weeks later. According to the Sentinel, students at  
Richard Montgomery High School have also participated, although  
Montgomery County officials deny having seen any evidence of faked  
speed camera tickets.

Source: Local teens claim pranks on countys Speed Cams (Montgomery  
County Sentinel (MD), 12/11/2008)


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