South Africa: Jo'burg Chinese Car Accused of Impossible Speeds

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

RSA’s Saturday Star reports that a set of speed cameras in Johannesburg accused a Geely automobile of reaching impossible speeds. On April 26, a camera on the N12 South flashed the Chinese import belonging to motorist Francisca Al-Halaseh near Canada Road Bridge. Just 19 seconds later, according to the tickets, she was flashed driving 102km/h (63 MPH) in an 80km/h (50 MPH) zone at Randshow Road Bridge. The only problem is that those locations are 2.9 miles apart, meaning Al-Halaseh would have to have been traveling 549 miles per hour.

That would be difficult for the Geely CK-1 which was first sold in South Africa in 2007. The company’s most potent flagship model boasts only 94 horsepower from a 1.5 liter engine. That gives the 100,000 Rand (US $12,850) economy car a top speed of just 105 MPH.

“There is no indication of cameras there,” Al-Halaseh told the Saturday Star newspaper. “I did not expect this. I have never ever had a fine in my life.”

Officials with the private company that runs ticketing operations, Traffic Management Technologies, insisted the speed cameras were accurate and only the clocks on the devices were wrong. Since there is no legal requirement for accuracy, the devices are not set properly.

Speed cameras around the world have accused slow vehicles of driving impossible speeds for any number of reasons.

A UK camera accused an old 73-horsepower Honda of driving 98 MPH. A Silver Spring, Maryland camera accused an old man of doing 100 MPH in rush hour traffic.

An Australian camera generated a 690 MPH reading in 2006, but a ticket was not issued. Just two years earlier the state government had been forced to refund $26 million in bogus tickets after an impossible speed ticket was issued to an old Datsun.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Aloysius Vampa Aloysius Vampa on Aug 03, 2009

    Ah, the art of debugging. Or not debugging.

  • Johnthacker Johnthacker on Aug 03, 2009

    You have to like any time you can cite the Mean Value Theorem in getting out of a ticket.

  • Mcs Mcs on Aug 03, 2009

    Reminds me of the time when I was reviewing my GPS logs after a fast descent of a hill in NH on my bicycle. Apparently I was just shy of 800 mph at top speed. I just want to apologize to anyone in Tamworth NH that had their windows blown out by the sonic boom. Then again, the fact that my tires didn't blown out and my clothes didn't get ripped off along with the fact that I was able to stop the bike without melting the brakes leads me to believe that there may have been an error in the GPS reading. Then again, there's always the micro wormhole theory..

  • Stingray Stingray on Aug 04, 2009

    Man, that POS looks better than the ones they sold here. Still sucks, both the car and the ticket.