[LEAPSECS] the abbreviation UTC

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Thu Aug 18 15:15:43 EDT 2011

On Aug 18, 2011, at 12:53 PM, mike cook wrote:

> Le 18/08/2011 19:21, Warner Losh a écrit :


>> On Aug 18, 2011, at 6:06 AM, Gerard Ashton wrote:

>>> I would be most surprised if there is an actual written procedure that traffic officers must follow in setting their wristwatches and a specified grace period officers must allow before issuing a citation, but maybe the officers in the UK are better organized than the ones I've encountered in the USA.

>> In any event, they'd write the time as '18:01' if free parking were over at six pm. That blank on the form likely would also say "On or about" to allow for minor variations in time. Any dispute between different time scales would fall into the legal doctrine of "difference without a distinction." If you are illegally parked at 18:01:00, it is just as illegal as being parked at 18:00:59.43.


>> In a world where wrist watches (and cell towers) vary by minutes, sub-second variations are lost in the noise for this kind of thing. I wouldn't be surprised if you were right about the grace period too. "Well, your honor, I noticed the defendant's car was parked after hours, and I gave him an extra 15 minutes of time before writing the ticket just to be fair."


>> Warner


> Might work in the USofA but in the UK not so. When the UK converted to metric weights, large numbers of shop owners were convicted and fined for selling goods on a non existent weight scale (imperial pound and ounces) instead of kilogrammes., even though the scales were accurate.

You are comparing apples to oranges here. In that case, the old weights and measures were specifically decertified for commerce.

Here the difference (a) is tiny and (b) doesn't matter. Judges will look at arguments about the precision of the evidence against the defendant and will judge the bigger picture. Besides, that argument ignores the fact that on most places that ask for a date/time on legal summonses, you'll see a phrase similar to "on or about" which is intended to cover small differences in the recorded time, should an error come to light.


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