The hitherto unknown “30th frame effect” was to blame for the video that shows a traffic police car in Russian city of St. Petersburg driving through a red light, local police said.
The 13-second color video, available on motorist rights Livejournal community Ru-vederko, shows a police car hindering on a crossing until a green light is over, eventually proceeding on a red light.
Activists filed a complaint with the city police, but received a rejection complete with an unexpected explanation blaming the camcorder, a post on Ru-vederko said on late Sunday.
The camcorder was plagued with the “30th frame effect” which results in incorrect color rendering due to the gadget’s insufficiently powerful data processor, police said in its written reply, a copy of which is available online.
Police did not elaborate on the effect, which appeared to have received no media exposure before. However, its title reminds of “the 25th frame,” a colloquial Russian term for a fraudulent experiment from the 1950s which claimed that inserting frames lasting less than 1/25th of a second could produce subliminal messages to be used in advertisement. The study’s author later called it a “gimmick,” but it nevertheless became a widespread urban legend in post-Soviet Russia.