‘Scamming’ with speed guns in Luzon? - Weekend

‘Scamming’ with speed guns in Luzon?

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

GOING viral on the internet is a video of a couple driving their Volvo at exactly 100 km/h in the South Luzon Express Way (SLEX). By the time they reached the toll booth, they were apprehended for speeding. The authorities claim that the couple was traveling at a speed of 131 km/h while SLEX has a speed limit of 100 km/h. An Argument broke out.

Nevertheless, a speeding ticket was issued to the couple, which they are contesting.

ROADWORKS. A boy uses a cart to fetch water along a road that is closed for repairs in Manila. The woeful state of the country’s road infrastructure is compounded by corrupt personnel of national government agencies responsible for traffic and road concerns. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
ROADWORKS. A boy uses a cart to fetch water along a road that is closed for repairs in Manila. The woeful state of the country’s road infrastructure is compounded by corrupt personnel of national government agencies responsible for traffic and road concerns. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The video shows without a doubt that the speedometer of the Volvo never went over 100km/h. This intrigued a lot of netizens, such that automotive journalist James Deakin contacted the couple who owned the Volvo and tested it in SLEX. He drove the vehicle at 100 km/h as indicated in the speedometer and double checked the speed in his Garmin GPS device, which is widely known for giving accurate speeds. The GPS speed and the Volvo speedometer did not match. While the Volvo speedometer was showing 100 km/h the GPS recorded speed was 97 km/h. Therefore, the car was running slower that 100 km/h if we follow the GPS.

Mr. Deakin tried to invite the enforcers to the test, to get to the bottom of the controversy. He wanted to compare the speed readings of the GPS, the Volvo speedometer, and the speed gun. Unfortunately, the enforcers declined and instead issued a statement saying their speed guns are accurate and certified by the Department of Science and Technology. So, the mystery of why the speed gun of the enforcers had read 30 percent higher speeds than that of the GPS and the speedometer of the Volvo will remain unsolved, with the enforcers of course claiming that their readings are correct while the others are wrong.

I have had firsthand experience with speed guns. Sometime in the mid-90s, I used to tune jet skis, and one of the best tuning tools for jet skis is a speed gun. I would let someone ride the jet ski and tell that person to pilot the jet ski coming right toward me or going away from me at a 12 o’clock angle. The goal here was to tune the jet ski to the fastest speed it can possibly run. It is important that the speed gun is pointed directly at the object being measured at a 12 o’clock angle because the device measures speed by calculating how fast an object is going towards it or away from it. In other words, while a speed gun may be correctly calibrated but used the wrong way, it will read wrong.

My take on the SLEX incident is that the enforcers now have a new scam. They know at which angle to point the speed gun to make it read speeds higher than the car’s actual speed. The only other alternative conclusion would be that our enforcers are brainless and therefore do not know how to operate a speed gun. They are not brainless – they are scammers who just want to extort money from the motoring public.

Sadly, every single government agency that is related to motoring is actually doing more harm than good to the motoring public. We have Highway Patrol officers who impound cars illegally. We have a Land Transportation Office that cannot provide license plates, driver’s licenses and registration stickers, and yet they have a no plate, no travel policy blaming the car dealers and the motoring public for not having something the Land Transportation Office is supposed to provide, but for some corrupt reason, cannot.

There might actually be fewer car-related crimes if the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and all its sub-agencies are abolished, as they themselves are the biggest car criminals.

To be fair, insofar as Cebu is concerned, the traffic enforcers here, be it Cebu City, Mandaue City or any other City or municipality in the province, have been doing their jobs properly. It is only these agencies that are connected with the National Government that have gone rogue.

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