17 February 2014

Parking 'Officers' caught fabricating infringements

A news report has revealed that some council parking officers have devised a cunning way of fabricating photographs so that cars that are legally parked in fact appear to be illegally parked, thus generating more bookings for those parking officers. It all has to do with an optical principle and anybody who is into photography will understand how this scam is being perpetrated.

To keep it simple, what happens is that the longer the focal length of a lens, the less the depth perspective. In the case mentioned in the news item, the motorist's car was parked 25 metres from a school crossing. However, the council ranger used a telephoto lens to take a photograph of the front of the car and the foreground, making it appear as if the car was literally parked next to the school crossing.

There are a couple of ways to beat this scam. The best way is to use a car black box recorder that will automatically take a GPS located time and date-stamped video clip whenever the car is used. The clip can be produced as hard evidence to show that a motorist's car was indeed parked legally and that the council ranger's photo was deliberately taken with a telephoto lens in order to make the motorist's car appear to be parked illegally. Such evidence will also destroy the council ranger's testimony in court.

For motorists who do not yet possess car black box recorders, they should merely take time and date-stamped photographs of their parked cars with the cameras in their mobile phones. Virtually all mobile phones have built-in cameras and such photographs can be used to fight wrongful bookings.

Motorists always need to be in a position to have hard evidence, because police, governments and councils rely on the fact that most motorists who are booked have no way of showing that bookings were wrongful.

The beauty of a car black box recorder is that it operates automatically all the time, gathering such evidence and storing it on a memory card. But even a photograph taken with a mobile phone is better than nothing.

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