Saturday, October 20, 2012

Speed Camera Salesman Cited for Speeding AGAIN

Last August reported how a high profile spokesman for Maryland based speed camera company Optotraffic, Mickey Shepherd, was caught speeding in May of 2011.  After that incident was reported, Mr Shepherd replied to us in an email:  "In regards to the violation, and your publication of this information, my only comment is that I appreciate the reminder.  These reminders only serve to help in my efforts to obey the law."  Despite the reminder, court records now show a second incident under Mr Shepherd's name dated September 11, 2012, for allegedly driving 71mph, 16mph over the speed limit:

Court record shows the same physical description, date of birth, and license plate number as the prior incident.  We attempted to contact Mr Shepherd at his last known email address and received no reply after two days.

The court record shows that in this case a "request for trial" was received on 9/17 and is scheduled for December.  In the trial for this human-issued citation, Mickey will be permitted the right to confront the officer who issued him the citation, the state will be required to be able identify the driver rather than merely holding the owner responsible, the state will not be explicitly permitted to introduce evidence "without authentication", and the motorist will be entitled to a presumption of innocence.  Very much unlike recipients of speed camera tickets.

Mickey has recently appeared in Elmwood Place Ohio in support of the newly installed Optotraffic cameras have been issuing $105 fines to vehicles traveling as slowly as 26mph, just a few mph over the limit.  Mickey admitted having received tickets when speaking in an Elmwood Place meeting, in an apparent effort to bond with the crowd of angry ticket recipients: "I've received traffic citations, I've received tickets," Shepherd said. "I don't like to receive them, I understand that, but the speed limit needs to be obeyed."(channel 19 News, Ohio).

We are a business; any business is in business to make money at it,”  Shepherd said at a public meeting in Elmwood Place (as quoted in  Motorists driving though Elmwood Place have recently been outraged by thousands of tickets issued by the small town in past weeks, some of which for driving no more than 26mph, and some of which mistakenly stated the location of the alleged violation in Maryland rather than Ohio. 

In 2011, Mickey Shepherd conducted public relations for Optotraffic, including arguing both in public and in court that images recorded by Optotraffic cameras could not be used as proof of speed in order to allow a defendant to exonerate themselves (after several individuals argued that they had received erroneous citations), despite the presence of an earlier Optotraffic document which claimed citation images did provide evidence of speed.  In another one of Mr Shepherd's public relations posting for Optotraffic, Mr Shepherd argued that the Town of Cheverly had "successfully accomplished it's mission" of eliminating speeding in the town as the reason why they were canceling their contract with the town -- only to have it later revealed that Cheverly town officials had been dissatisfied not only because the devices had been recording "false triggers" (including a bike traveling at freeway speeds and an "invisible vehicle" going 76mph), but also that the town had been rejecting most of the citation images being recorded due to poor quality.