The hitherto unknown “30th frame effect” was to blame for the video that shows a traffic police car in the Russian city of St. Petersburg driving through a red light, local police said.

Video shows a police car hindering on a crossing until a green light is over, eventually proceeding on a red light. mActivists filed a complaint with the city police, but received a rejection complete with an unexpected explanation blaming the camcorder.

The camcorder was plagued with the “30th frame effect” which results in incorrect colour rendering due to the gadget’s insufficiently powerful data processor, police said in its written reply.

Police did not elaborate on the effect.

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 advertisements.

The study’s author later called it a “gimmick,” but it nevertheless became a widespread urban legend in post-Soviet Russia.

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