A motorist recently received a photo red light ticket in the mail for allegedly running a red light by a trivial 0.2 seconds at the Scottsdale Rd. and Shea Blvd. intersection in Scottsdale. Interestingly, none of the photos taken clearly show the driver. This didn’t stop Scottsdale Police Officer Debra (Debbie) Wood from signing the citation and declaring “I hereby certify that I have reasonable grounds to believe, and do believe, based on my examination of digital images and data associated with this violation, that the person named herein committed the civil traffic violation listed above.” According to ARS 28-1561.B, a false certification is perjury.
We have to wonder how Debra Wood was able to identify the driver of the vehicle in question with most facial features hidden by the vehicles sun visor and rear view mirror. In fact, it’s not even possible to identify the gender of the driver with any certainty. We know that Arizona courts have ruled on at least 3 occasions that a gender match alone is not sufficient to establish reasonable grounds of belief required to issue a ticket. So how exactly did Officer Wood identify the driver?
In the pursuit of filling Scottsdale and Redflex’s coffers, it appears to us that Officer Wood knowingly and purposefully committed perjury, as the images simply do not provide enough information (reasonable grounds) required to identify the driver and thus to issue a ticket legally. If ever tried and convicted, Officer Wood is at risk of losing her POST certification.