Have you ever parked in a metered spot, gotten out of your car, then realized
the meter was broken? Or perhaps you've tried to buy a pass to ride
the Metro, but the kiosk was out of order? Or when exiting a toll road,
the automated money collector was jammed? In all of these scenarios most
people will have no choice but to proceed and fear the inevitable receipt
of a ticket or citation. However, in this day when Big Brother is using
its cameras more and more to take our money, allow us access to public
services and keep an eye on us in general, it's time we use start
using our cameras to alleviate the fear and fight back.
For example, one day, while returning from the downtown Courthouse, Larry
Lawyer went to purchase a Metro line ticket from one of the two automated
kiosks. Much to his chagrin, neither kiosk was working. Neither would
respond to anything Larry did. He tried inserting a quarter, but it just
fell through to the return slot. The nearest station with more kiosks
was about 3/4 of a mile away. Since Larry had no choice but to take the
Metro back to the office (and risk being asked to show the ticket he didn't
have), he pulled out his cell phone and started taking photos and video.
First, he took video of the kiosks, showing that they were non-responsive.
Then, Larry took video of his hand full of quarters, showing that he had
plenty of money to pay the $1.25 fee. Finally, Larry took video of himself
knocking on an "Authorized Personnel Only" door, showing that
he attempted to get help, but no one was there.
Needless to say, a Metro officer did ask Larry for his ticket, and despite
the explanation, issued a citation for "fare evasion". The maximum
penalty? $250 and 48 hours of community service. Of course, Larry fought
it, and when it came up for trial, all he had to do was show the judge
the video. Case dismissed! Now, Larry Lawyer uses his cell phone camera
to record anything and everything that may come back to haunt him and
you should too!