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Thread: Laser, Radar, Jammer...what?

  1. #31
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cscatola View Post
    The officer's training and experience qualify them as "experts" in visual speed estimation, which allows them to testify to the accuracy of a "visual clocking." There are also other speed-related charges such as "speed not reasonable and prudent," which is a general catchall when an exact speed is not captured.



    In NY, yes they certainly do.
    Holds up in Washington too, at least in some jurisdictions. I was waiting to give testimony in a municipal court once...the case ahead of ours was a young gent fighting a speeding ticket he'd received a few weeks previous.

    His high priced attorney started going through his litany of questions to the officer on the stand about, "did you calibrate the radar, etc, etc." After 3 or 4 questions of this nature, the judge interruped. He wanted to "expedite" the hearing...So he asked the officer a few questions of his own...
    Judge: "How long have you been a Police Officer?"
    Officer: "34 years, your honor."
    Judge: "How many years have you been writing speeding tickets?"
    Officer: "34 years, your honor."
    Judge: "Then in my court you don't need a radar gun, you're an expert witness regarding speeding vehicles."
    Judge: (To the Defense attorney) "Any more questions of this officer?"

    The defendant saw the handwriting on the wall and changed his plea to guilty. The judge being a nice guy actually reduced the imposed fine a few bucks...

    It was an educational experience...and free of charge to the courtroom audience.

    I've been interviewed on the side of the road a few times in my life, and being courteous and truthful has most often resulted in a mild warning. Don't use radar detectors, etc, but I have learned to keep my head up and drive/ride at reasonable speeds given conditions.

    Cheers, BJ

  2. #32
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I've often wondered! The official line is that the officer is an expert and can judge speed independent of the radar, and I've often been told that the officer sees the vehicle and judges it is speeding, and turns on the radar to verify the observation.

    So why do they hit me with "instant on" when I'm going five miles under the limit?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #33
    Rtinger
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    On another note:

    Cities that push solo/s to issue citations in order to raise revenues have also raised very bad PR and even more negative impression of government. The citizenry is experiencing the same lousy economic downturn, and having to pay for the "dumb ticket" over 10 mph, plus the insurance hike creates more animosity toward the politicians.

    The traffic citations scheme is an obsolete and expensive game that ought to be replaced with another form of 'road safety' construct.

    As a reflective example: I drive the speed limit in the military base along with everyone else who is also driving the speed limit...maybe the virtue lacking in civilian territory is 'respect'.

  4. #34
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    I see a lot of the "I was only going 5 over" bit on forums. Usually from folks on motorcycles on bike forums like this one. It's a pretty consistent statement. Frankly, it's kind of bogus in my experience. I heard the same from some of the folks I stopped for doing 1.5 times the limit, ie 45 in a 30 residential zone. I even had that one tried at a collision scene where the guy laid down 85 feet of skids through a stop sign before hitting the semi and folding the front of his car like an accordian all in a 25 zone.

    My personal thought was the first 10 MPH was not a big deal outside of school zones with kids around. When you start hitting highway speeds (not all highways are interstates) inside the city in a 35 zone things are a bit different and there were way too many of those drivers to even think of wasting my time on a 5 over stop. There was no way I could come close to getting all those 15+ over to fret about the squeekers doing 5 over.

    It also never ceased to amaze me the number of folks who felt entitled to drive any old way they wanted and to especially exercise their freedom of speech about my family, ancestry, profession and general weather outlook and still want me to not write a ticket. I especially liked the ones that thought it was intimidating to hear them tell me they were going to follow me home some day and either trash my house, get to my wife and kids or do something else "to get even".

    I did occassionally meet the true adult who said something like "yup I wasn't paying attention and screwed up" or that they deserved the ticket. Those were the folks I let go. Unfortunately they were few and generally far between. The screamers, cussing experts and threatening folks, not a consideration. Even if they could carry on a tirade for more than 5 minutes without repeating themselves.

    I got a ticket for speeding after the mandated 55 speed limit was brought out. I deserved it and paid it. No big deal and certainly was not the worst thing to ever happen to me.

    I also drive the limit on the base where I am staying as well. It has nothing to do with respect, it has more to do with the base CO putting out the word that he instructed the Security Police to cite for 2 over.
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  5. #35
    thatguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nando View Post
    Visual speed ticket do not hold up in court...maybe reckless driving charges might
    http://www.ohio.com/news/95461049.html

    The trained eye of a police officer is sufficient to support a speeding ticket conviction, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in the case of a Fairlawn motorist.

    In a 5-1 ruling, the court upheld the speeding ticket conviction of Mark Jenney based solely on the visual observation of a Copley Township officer.

  6. #36
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post

    So why do they hit me with "instant on" when I'm going five miles under the limit?

    Yea, there may be a few officers that can, working the same area and learning to calibrate their eyes with the Radar. But for the most part it is BS!!! 90% of the speed traps the officer is hiding behind an object or over a hill, and they pull the trigger within a split second of you coming into sight. There is NO WAY they can be accurate, remember VASCAR, many states outlawed it because it was not accurate, and to use it the cop had to be able to have a clear view of the vehicle for several seconds.

    Tickets are written that way due to laws concerning gathering of evidence and probable cause, for the most part is nothing but a lie by officers and supported by the courts to raise $$$.

  7. #37
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Yea, there may be a few officers that can, working the same area and learning to calibrate their eyes with the Radar. But for the most part it is BS!!! 90% of the speed traps the officer is hiding behind an object or over a hill, and they pull the trigger within a split second of you coming into sight. There is NO WAY they can be accurate, remember VASCAR, many states outlawed it because it was not accurate, and to use it the cop had to be able to have a clear view of the vehicle for several seconds.

    Tickets are written that way due to laws concerning gathering of evidence and probable cause, for the most part is nothing but a lie by officers and supported by the courts to raise $$$.
    Vascar is based on time over measured distance. By definition, it required time to use with the vehicle in sight. the target vehicle had to travel a set distance then the time to cover that distance determines the speed of the vehicle. Pretty darn simple. You can do the same thing with measured distance, a stop watch and calculator. Vascar just took the place of the tape measure, calculator and stop watch and performed the math for you. Time vs distance is the definition of speed. Radar and lidar do the same thing based on the return of the beam to the sending unit just much faster. Estimating speed does not take a long time of observation either and that is based on more than a few years of actual practice of that particular skill. Small clue here. Not all jurisdictions / courts require a visual estimate of speed, just the reading of the calibrated device. Same as a charge of burglary does not require the LEO witnessing the commission of the act, just collection of evidence.

    As far as your contention that the majority of LEO's write tickets then commit perjury over something as petty as a citation is a rather broad brush there based on nothing more than your opinion. You are welcome to your prejudice but do not think that libel is much of an argument. I invite you to make that charge to the Internal Affairs Office of the Officer / Deputy's agency the next time you are cited. Please make sure you make the charge formal and sign the complaint. Courts have ruled that the accused LEO can then file a suit once the charge is investigated and found baseless.
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  8. #38
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    .......................
    As far as your contention that the majority of LEO's write tickets then commit perjury over something as petty as a citation is a rather broad brush there based on nothing more than your opinion. You are welcome to your prejudice but do not think that libel is much of an argument. I invite you to make that charge to the Internal Affairs Office of the Officer / Deputy's agency the next time you are cited. Please make sure you make the charge formal and sign the complaint. Courts have ruled that the accused LEO can then file a suit once the charge is investigated and found baseless.
    Not all states are the same, but in NYS ALL speeding tickets read "Charges based on Officer's direct observation" and Speed verified by radar.

    I have had my radar detector go off as soon as I see the light bar over a hill, and the windshield was not even visible, that means MY windshield was not visible to him, only the roof of the car, for a split second. I am sorry but I will never believe that he could judge my speed in a split second, only being able to see the roof of the car. If the human eye was that accurate, municipalities would never spend thousands on radar.

    I would like to see a study on the accuracy of an officers visual observations, I would put money on it being very low in accuracy. My bet is a motorcycle with louder pipes traveling in 3rd gear wi8ll be estimated to be going 10 mph faster then the same bike in 6th doing the same speed.

  9. #39
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Put your money where your mouth is. Feel free to make the study, better yet fund the study by a neutral organization that doesn't share your prejudice. Biased studies aren't of much use.
    DEFINITION OF A VETERAN A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life."
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  10. #40
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I'm a bit surprised that the "visual" clocking would hold up in court if challenged. Couldn't the speeder just demand proof of the accuracy of the method?

    The "visual estimation" is not what is presented in court. It is the "probable cause" for the LEO clocking you with a speed measuring device.

    During my LEO days, you were not allowed to use radar until you had gone through training. This training began with learning to visually estimate the speed. You had to demonstrate proficiency at this with in a 5 mph window of accurracy. When you successfully completed training you moved on to actually using the radar gun.

    Random spot checks were conducted by the radar training officers where they would ride with you and test your ability to visually estimate the speed. If you ever failed the random spot check, you were decertifed on the radar and had to repeat training.
    Last edited by Artiee; 01-25-2011 at 01:37 PM.

  11. #41
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    I once sat on an interstate overpass in a Illinois State Police car with my friend who at that time had spent 20 years on the road. We blocked his view of the radar. He called out the speed of cars. He never missed by more than 1 MPH!

    I asked him how he did it and he said after years and years of experience, he became a very good judge of speed. Made a believer out of me.

    But when asked "Do you know how fast you were going?" I always answer "No, but fast enough that I got your attention." Don't admit guilt, don't lie.
    I was a cop for 10 years. One of the requirements to get the certification to use radar was to successfully estimate the speed of 30 vehicles within +/- 1 mph of what the radar gun indicated. It is actually not that tough. While the radar unit was used to get the scientific measurement, the requirement for writing the ticket was that the officer first had to visually observe the violation followed up with the radar measurement. So, if she/he sees ya, most likely they got ya, at least in the Commonwealth.
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  12. #42
    Registered User Arkyride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    Put your money where your mouth is. Feel free to make the study, better yet fund the study by a neutral organization that doesn't share your prejudice. Biased studies aren't of much use.
    Ok, Motor 31--here is a response, and it IS biased. I spent 27 years in law enforcement and decided early on after my "street duty" that writing speeding tickets was really petty. Getting in someones's wallet for doing 5-10 mph over the posted speed limit, then jacking up their insurance rates was NOT my favorite thing to do (so I didn't)..
    I went on to the 8p-4a shift working violent crimes, by choice. I knew I would not be good at writing tickets, as I had amassed enough of them to paper one wall of my room before joining the PD, most of them on my motorcycles.
    It's not police work. It's BS. Thats my opinion ( and I'm sticking to it).
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  13. #43
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    It's not police work. It's BS. Thats my opinion ( and I'm sticking to it).
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    Agreed. I'm seventy-two years old now and when I went into the Crotch in '57 I had about a dozen speeding tickets on which I never appeared. On joining they were "handled" by "higher authorities". I was a ticket magnet driving a 55 Porsche Speedster with a built 58 plain bearing Carrerra engine. Since the advent of Fuzz Busters and their decedents I've been relatively ticket free. I resent de facto taxation by police represented as "safety enforcement" It's BS pure and simple and I'd rather spend my dollars on farkles thank you. Ban low performance drivers not high performance vehicles.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  14. #44
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Moderator Interruption- Hey everybody, this thread started on the topic of the devices that may or may not help in our daily drives. It would be great if we could keep the personal aspect out of it. Thanks, Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  15. #45
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Moderator Interruption- Hey everybody, this thread started on the topic of the devices that may or may not help in our daily drives. It would be great if we could keep the personal aspect out of it. Thanks, Gary
    Hmm... While I agree that it may have varied a bit off topic, the logic train and discussion do still have value. Persons on both sides of the issue, with subject matter expertise (as LEOs) have weighed in. I for one find it fascinating and informative, even when at times some invoke emotion or personal experience as legitimatization of the whole argument.

    A Frenchman, studying our govt. once wrote: "In the United States, everyone has the vote and this is an indirect contributor to law-making. Anyone wishing to attack the law is thus reduced to adopting one of two obvious courses: they must either change the nation's opinion or trample its wishes under foot."

    We all know the law about speeding, we all know its penalties for violating it. The value of this discourse, which should be allowed to continue though, is multi-faceted. What can technology do to trick the system? What can the authorities do to prevent violation of the laws? Is the law appropriate -- are the punishments fitting to the crimes, are the crimes representative of the perceived problem? The best indicator that the law might not be the best is when good citizens admit to violating it (which many here have done) and law enforcement officers fail to enforce it (which some have admitted to, or at least there is an understanding that 5-10 over means nothing).

    However, this board is nothing more than civil discourse... of course it is amongst a unique group of individuals that while very different in most aspects, have at least one thing in common -- and aspect that has relevance to the subject matter at hand.... Why not allow it to be discussed? IF it needs to be moved to another section than gear, so be it, but I implore you, don't stifle it. I find it fascinating, precisely because I don't have the correct answer to the problem presented, and the members here give me great ways of approaching the issue.

    just my $.02,

    Chris

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