It's an awful feeling: That moment you open a letter to find an image of your car inside and a citation for speeding. Many would grit their teeth and pay up - do the crime, pay the time, as they say.

Not for Will Foreman. The Washington businessman has beaten the charges on five occasions so far, and far from exploiting a loop-hole in the system, Mr Foreman has used a simple calculation to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his drivers haven't been speeding. The best part is that he has used the photos taken by the camera itself to disprove its results.

The majority of the tickets issued to Mr Foreman's company Eastover Auto Supply in Oxon Hill have been from images taken on Indian Head Highway. The cameras, owned by Optotraffic, detect any traffic exceeding the speed limit by more than 12 miles per hour, taking two photos for identification purposes.

Mr Foreman digitally superimposed the two photographs, taken 0.363 seconds apart according to the time stamp, and used the vehicle's length as a frame of reference to measure the distance travelled between the two photographs. So far, these calculations have proved that the vehicles were not travelling fast enough to receive a ticket.

"Speed cameras can be good, but not if they're abused" said Foreman after one of the hearings. He has 40 further tickets that he aims to examine and expects every one to be cleared. An Optotraffic technician has been called for evidence in each case but Mr Foreman's defence has proved sufficient to cancel each ticket so far.

The presiding judge, Mark T. O'Brien, has even ruled against several other accused speeders on the basis of Mr Foreman's evidence.

The camera never lies - but sometimes that can be a good thing...

[Washington Times]