Dodge Challenger Forum banner

101 - 108 of 108 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Pretty soon we will have to protect ourselves with a computer in your car that records the speed with a time stamp. This could be good and bad.

We are sitting here at the table talking about speeding tickets. There is photo radar in Colorado and if they catch you, they send you a ticket with your picture. The loophole is if you can hide from the police for 90 days so if they can't serve you in person, you don't have to pay.

100% agree
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
I thought when the radar detector goes off you're supposed to slam on the brakes immediately, that's what I do. When it's directed at you it usually gives an "all hell's breaking loose" alert as opposed to just the usual "cops around" sound
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Well, guess I pissed off the judge last month at the initial hearing. She remembered me when I stepped up on the stand and asked if I had everything I'd requested. I told her "no, I've filed another subpoena" and she gasped and made a big deal about how we spent 30 minutes at the last hearing. I told her that the officer just didn't produce the requested docs which amounted to the maintenance records for the radar device. Come to find out there weren't any. Ok fine...but I could tell she was a bit perturbed.

So we start the trial. I had done my research and had what I felt to be a very strong case. I had aerial photos of the area, marks where the officers were, radar gun user manual, pictures of the area, pictures of the officers after my citation was issued showing their positions, information on sources of interference in the area (Lowe's automatic doors use the same KBand microwaves as the radar). I even had an article from the Chief Of Police magazine where it discussed the IPCA's requirement for 24-36 month speed equipment re-certification.

I start immediately with a motion to dismiss for inadequate procedure. The radar device had NEVER been re-certified or checked for calibration since new in 2007 and did not meet the NHTSA requirement of every 2-3 years. I thought this was a slam dunk as I had the calibration records from the previous hearing.

Unbelievably the judge said that just because the PD was in violation of a NHTSA requirement, did not deter her confidence in the devices operation and that there was no TN law on the books requiring calibration checks at any interval. I argued the point for a moment but she continued to disagree.

OOOOOK, so I produce the docs showing the automatic doors at the Lowe's department store where the officer was using his radar used KBAND the same as his radar gun and suggested interference. I referenced the user manual which had a whole section on this very thing. The judge said unless I was certified in radio freq I could not argue that the Kbands were the same. I tried to explain to her that the definition of KBAND meant they were the same, but she just said that wasn't a consideration for interference.

So both my motions to dismiss were denied.

We start with the testimony.

The officer pretty much told the same story I did. He even admitted he lost sight of my vehicle momentarily but insisted his radar said 47MPH when aimed at my vehicle initially and that he observed me accelerate away from the stop light faster than the vehicle behind me.

I called my witness, who testified we observed the officers for 3-4 minutes at the light and knew they were there running radar. She also testified that she kept an eye on my speed the entire time we approached and it never exceeded 30MPH.

The officer asked her if she was trained in speed detection to which she said no, and the judge asked her why she was staring at my speedo. I offered to quantify that statement with the fact that I was in a bright orange hot rod and the witness was stressing to not draw any more attention to the car than it already did on it's own and to be extra cautious of speed due to the change from 45 to 30 at the location in question. The judge accepted said explanation.

No more questions for the witness.

I questioned the officer a bit about his use of the radar, weather, and traffic conditions.

I then offered up the 12° beam width of the radar device and explained that the width of that beam was 127 feet across 300 feet from the unit and picked up about 42 feet for every additional 100 feet. I suggested that it was entirely possible the unit picked up an unintended target and that all of these things combined with the fact that the PD didn't have a standard procedure for radar usage, nor did they have the manuals for the devices they employed raised reasonable doubt for the case.

The officer's rebuttal to my closing statements were that he was hidden and there was no way for me to have seen him. He said the car was a very high performance model that could easily accelerate to 60MPH and back down to 30MPH between the light and the 30MPH sign and that if I had seen him I would have easily been able to brake hard enough to avoid the ticket.

The judge said she believed I was traveling 47 in a 30.

That was supposed to be the end of it, but I piped up and asked for traffic school to keep it off my record. Normally this is not allowed if you take it to trial, but she said I had one of the most well presented and planned defenses she'd seen and allowed traffic school. $245 for court and school.

OK, so if my defense was so well executed, why the hell didn't she find me innocent. She let the guy in front me me go for passing three cars in the turning lane.

Ah well, I guess she didn't like I took up so much time is my guess. 30 mins at the original trial and ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES with me on the stand today. HOLY CRAP I lost my voice I talked so much.

At least I made them earn the money. She looked haggard when I was done and I tied the court up for nearly 2 hours.
Sorry to hear you lost your case. A well planned defense doesn't necessarily earn an aquittal( as you now know).

Traffic court only requires a "clear and convincing" testimony from an officer. So unless the officer is a total retard, it's very difficult to win.

I liked that you brought up the radars beam. In your questioning, I would have followed that up with the question to the officer, " What did you observe, if anything other than my vehicle?" If the officer replied," I kept my eye on you" then you would have effectively hurt the prosecutions case. An officer needs to know what else is around a vehicle due to the beam. In some instances, a larger vehicle will occupy more of the beam and will display the speed of that larger vehicle even though the target vehicle is closer.

Also, for the life of me, I can't believe that they don't require the radars be calibrated every year. Although durable, radars are sensitive instruments. Rhode Island requires yearly calibrations at considerable expense. I should know. I was just in charge of seeing to the calibrations. Must be one heck of a Kangaroo Court if they don't require it done.

An initial judges ruling can be appealed. FYI.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,566 Posts
Discussion Starter #104
Also, for the life of me, I can't believe that they don't require the radars be calibrated every year. Although durable, radars are sensitive instruments. Rhode Island requires yearly calibrations at considerable expense. I should know. I was just in charge of seeing to the calibrations. Must be one heck of a Kangaroo Court if they don't require it done.

An initial judges ruling can be appealed. FYI.
Yeah this town is a joke with the tickets and stuff. It's a miracle I've never had one before to be honest. It's a known speed trap city in my area. They don't even have Laser equipment....still using Radar.

I had subpoenas for the PD SOP on speed detection equipment usage at the initial hearing and the captain showed up to court and testified that they had no such procedure. He said and I quote "we assume the officers are well trained after receiving certification and see no need for a defined usage procedure."

I brought that fact up to the judge yesterday as well and she just shrugged it off.

I think she was pissed I had all this documentation and took up so much time. I might have done better to have just said "I didn't do it" haha.

I considered an appeal, but I think I'd have to go through some considerable expense to do so and even if I won it'd cost me more than the price of the traffic school.

I am going to write the mayor though and provide him with an account of what happened along with all the evidence I produced. Not sure if he can over rule a city court judge but we'll see. It should at the least make him do a review of the PD policies on speed enforcement...I may even suggest I'm forwarding a copy of my findings to the local news media.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
Yeah this town is a joke with the tickets and stuff. It's a miracle I've never had one before to be honest. It's a known speed trap city in my area. They don't even have Laser equipment....still using Radar.

I had subpoenas for the PD SOP on speed detection equipment usage at the initial hearing and the captain showed up to court and testified that they had no such procedure. He said and I quote "we assume the officers are well trained after receiving certification and see no need for a defined usage procedure."

I brought that fact up to the judge yesterday as well and she just shrugged it off.

I think she was pissed I had all this documentation and took up so much time. I might have done better to have just said "I didn't do it" haha.

I considered an appeal, but I think I'd have to go through some considerable expense to do so and even if I won it'd cost me more than the price of the traffic school.

I am going to write the mayor though and provide him with an account of what happened along with all the evidence I produced. Not sure if he can over rule a city court judge but we'll see. It should at the least make him do a review of the PD policies on speed enforcement...I may even suggest I'm forwarding a copy of my findings to the local news media.
Make sure you get a hold of the court transcripts for both hearings if you do go to the press. They would love the quote by the SOP about the fact that once the officers are trained they are not doing anything else to ensure that everything works properly. This is like the PD policing/investigating themselves. They have a tendency to cover their own arse when "called out" on their procedures and that they may be doing things wrong.

BTW - I am not saying that all officers will cover for other officers or the department but there is a very large tendency for that behaviour.

Also, if you do happen to "mention" that you may go to the local media it will tend to get them to take a more indepth look at things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
..I may even suggest I'm forwarding a copy of my findings to the local news media.
This is exactly what you should do. Get the word out that the PD is not recertifying the devices. I would also use the judges name who didn't think it was an issue that no such practice takes place.

The PD and their Kangaroo Court should be called out on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Make sure you get a hold of the court transcripts for both hearings if you do go to the press. They would love the quote by the SOP about the fact that once the officers are trained they are not doing anything else to ensure that everything works properly. This is like the PD policing/investigating themselves. They have a tendency to cover their own arse when "called out" on their procedures and that they may be doing things wrong.

BTW - I am not saying that all officers will cover for other officers or the department but there is a very large tendency for that behaviour.

Also, if you do happen to "mention" that you may go to the local media it will tend to get them to take a more indepth look at things.
I am 100% behind you . Every follower of this thread could easily write a letter as well. Even to the local news media, I'll be more then happy to call. Just imagine if we all complained about the unfair treatment, it will atleast generate some news... hopefully change a few things ...

and at the very least we can drive our challengers around your city hall while playing Bruce Springsteen..:bigthumb:
 
101 - 108 of 108 Posts
Top