Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

No Need for Radar Gun in Ohio

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM
  • 4 Replies

State Court Rules That Properly Trained Police Can Estimate Motorists' Speed By JIM HICKEY June 3, 2010—

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=10815868

Imagine a highway trooper pulling you over in the middle of your summer travel and declaring that you were speeding. How's he know for sure? Because he says so; at least, in Ohio. The state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the trained eyeballs of police officers are enough to hand out speeding tickets. A radar gun is unnecessary. Some Ohio drivers were stunned. One woman called it "crazy," adding that "just the radar gun itself is disputable." The 5-1 ruling comes in a case involving motorist Mark Jenney, who was given a speeding ticket nearly two years ago by a policeman in Copley, Ohio. The officer said his radar had clocked Jenney traveling 82 mph in a 60-mph zone. He also said that with his 13 years experience as a traffic cop and certification in speed estimation by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, even without the radar, he visually guessed Jenney's speed was at least 79 mph. Stay Up to Date on the Latest Travel Trends from ABC News on Twitter A lower court threw out the radar evidence because the officer was unable to produce the required certification for his training on the device. But the court ruled that the officer had the background and training to make an educated guess of Jenney's speed and found the motorist guilty. In its ruling upholding that conviction, the Ohio Supreme Court said "a police officer's unaided visual estimation of a vehicle's speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding ... if the officer is properly trained." In this case, the court ruled, the office was properly trained and certified to eyeball speeding motorists. The court added in its ruling that a radar gun "is not necessary to support a conviction for speeding." The prosecutor in the Summit County case said the ruling changed little. It "still requires an officer to be trained," he said. "Judges in the past have found defendants guilty based on the same evidence [visual estimation]. It's just that no one has ever appealed it before.'' But one dissenting judge argued that the ruling creates too broad a standard for jurors who must evaluate police testimony. He said the ruling "eclipses the role of the fact-finder to reject such testimony" which, by itself, may not be enough to support a conviction. Rare for Ohio Cops to Depend on Observation Other Ohio motorists had a more basic objection. Some worry about vengeance. One said "a police officer could know you and have it in for you and just make up something." Ted Hart, a spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's office, which operates the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, said it's unusual for officers to rely solely on observation to issue tickets. "Typically, an officer would observe someone that appears to be speeding and then use radar or laser to confirm it," Hart told the Plain Dealer of Cleveland. Jenney's attorney, John Kim, told the newspaper, "We might as well throw all that technology out the window. "And now a police officer based on his own human biases can stand on the side of the road and write all the tickets he wants. So, we have taken Draconian steps backwards." Copyright © 2010 ABC News Internet Ventures

by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-4):
lanceandhailey
by Bronze Member on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:49 PM

That's crap, I want proof.

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Perhaps they can but this better not hold up in court. They had best have documentation of to this extraordinary ability.

MovalMomsADMIN
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:01 PM
Quoting lanceandhailey:

That's crap, I want proof.

Kaelansmom
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 3:02 PM

That is BS... if you say I am speeding, then you better have the radar to back it up.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)