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Old 09-11-2009, 10:44 PM   #1
newsman
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Default Monkey was driving

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PHOENIX A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel.

"You've got to identify the driver, and if you can't it's not a valid ticket," said Dave VonTesmar, a 47-year-old flight attendant.

It took Arizona state police months to realize the same driver was involved and was refusing to pay the fines. By the time they did, more than 50 of the tickets had become invalid because the deadline for prosecution had passed.

Authorities have since stepped up their efforts to ensure that VonTesmar pays his $6,700 in fines.

On Aug. 19, the Arizona Department of Public Safety served VonTesmar in person with 37 tickets, mostly between 11 and 15 mph (18 and 24 kph) over the speed limit. The pictures accompanying the tickets show a driver wearing either a monkey or giraffe mask in VonTesmar's white Subaru, which has black-and-white checkered racing stickers on its sides and a sticker on the windshield that reads "Bucktooth Racin'."

Agency spokesman Bart Graves also said authorities have surveillance photos of VonTesmar putting on masks before driving and believes that they will convince judges in three area cities that he was the one behind the wheel and must pay his tickets.
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