Teens Outsmart Traffic Camera Technology

police-traffic-camerasHey, money-hungry police forces across America: You know those oh-so-clever traffic light cameras you’ve installed? The ones that automatically send tickets to speeding or red light-running drivers? Yeah, looks like someone’s found a way to outsmart them — some teens, in fact, barely old enough to drive.

Ready for this? It appears high school students in Montgomery County, Michigan have essentially turned the camera systems into their own personal weapons. They start by recreating someone else’s license plate in image editing software, The Montgomery County Sentinel found. They print the imitation onto glossy photo paper, tape it on top of their own real plate, then speed through an intersection known to have a camera. A few weeks later, the unsuspecting victim gets a ticket in the mail.

You’ve gotta hand it to ’em — these kids are clever. They’ll apparently even go as far as to use a friend’s car that’s similar in color and style to the victim’s so that no red flags are raised. The tactic’s become somewhat of an act of revenge, The Sentinel says, with enemies or even teachers finding themselves on the receiving end.

People around Montgomery County are calling the prank proof that the camera system is an unreliable mess. The police department responded by saying it would “keep an eye out” for people trying to take advantage.

“We can’t take those things down,” a spokesperson did not say.

“How else could we make money off people committing minor traffic infractions without having to do any actual work ourselves?” he also neglected to add.

Sarcastic SaluteSo, camera-toting police agencies of America, I congratulate you. For the brilliant feat of putting your law enforcement duties into the hands of a subpar and easily overcome computer system, you have become the final 2008 recipient of our highest honor — yes, my amigos, the TechCult Sarcastic Salute. Screwing something up this badly takes a special level of laziness, and you’ve more than proven you’ve got the goods. We’ll get your commemorative plaque in the mail the next time our automated cameras detect you passing through the area.