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Cops Can Guess How Fast You’re Going And Ticket You.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Father of four, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ohio Supreme Court: Sure, Cops Can Guess How Fast You’re Going And Ticket You.


    Ohio Supreme Court Rules Officers Can Just Guess How Fast You’re Going


    "In what has to be one of the biggest violations of common sense and burden of proof in motoring news this year, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that officers can “visually estimate” how fast a person is driving… and give them a ticket for it.

    Thanks Ohio Supreme Court for giving cops the green light to make up speeding tickets.

    Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor said “Rational triers of fact could find a police officer’s testimony regarding his unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed, when supported by evidence that the officer is trained, certified by (the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy) or a similar organization, and experienced in making such estimations, sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s speed. Independent verification of the vehicle’s speed is not necessary to support a conviction for speeding.”

    Hey “Supreme Court Justices” why don’t you guys get this part of what laws are supposed to do through your thick skulls. It’s safe to say that officers might be trained to identify speeds, and they might even be great at it – but it blasts the notion of burden of proof being on the state out of the water. You didn’t just blast it out, you nuked that fish to dry land. There is no factual evidence when officers have the ability to do this, “I think you were going 120 mph.”

    Where is the public recourse for police officers who abuse their abilities? We have to take an officer’s (the state) word that we committed a crime? Did you guys even go to law school?"

    They must be joking. Right? :nuts:
  2. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Police can give speeding tickets if they 'think' car is going too fast


    FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

    In Ohio, if a cop says it looked like you were speeding, he can write you a ticket - no proof needed. Makes things so much easier for law enforcement if they don't have to be bothered with the burden of proof. True story.

    The state's supreme court ruled five-to-one that independent verification of a driver's speed isn't necessary... things like laser guns or radar or actually clocking how fast you're going. The court says an officer's visual estimate will work as long as the officer is trained, certified by a training academy and experienced in finding speeders.

    Supporters say that officers undergo extensive training where they have to visually estimate the speed of vehicles within one or two miles per hour of the actual speed.

    Nonetheless, law enforcement officials insist they won't be getting rid of their speed guns; and that it's rare for officers to give tickets based solely on their observations. But the state's highest court says if they want to, it's quite all right.

    The case stemmed from the appeal of a traffic ticket issued near Akron, Ohio in 2008.

    In that case, a police officer ticketed a driver because he said it looked like the driver was going too fast.

    Without any technical assistance, the cop determined that the motorist was going 70 miles-per-hour when the speed limit was 60. The driver says the court's decision "stinks." The driver is right.

    Here's my question to you: What else will police be able to do without proof if they can now give speeding tickets if they simply "think" a car is going too fast?

    Interested to know which ones made it on air?

    Steve in Bedford, Texas writes:
    Dear Jack, It sounds like speed traps throughout the Buckeye State will be wallowing in more ill-gotten cash than a Wall Street bank! More practically (and less sarcastically), this ruling will erode the sort of community trust law enforcement needs to do its job correctly, and I hope the Ohio legislature will reverse this mistake during its next session.

    Ex cop writes:
    I was trained by a highly regarded, 10-month law enforcement academy. The "extensive" speed estimate training was limited to about two hours of guessing the speeds of cars driving by. This is an inappropriate decision by the courts. Even police must be kept honest – and "thinking" or "guessing" a car is going too fast does not cut it.

    M. writes:
    I went to training to stay out of Ohio. So far it's working!

    Nik in Austin, Texas writes:
    Jack, Don't act so surprised. Law enforcement officials have been overstepping their authority for decades and the court system always supports them.

    Missy writes:
    As long as people still have the right to fight the ticket in court, it shouldn't matter. Without proof, I can't imagine these tickets will hold up in court.

    Peer writes:
    Nothing new. I once got a ticket because the cop could "hear" my motorcycle was speeding. Very impressive.

    John writes:
    Did you see the blown call in Detroit's almost perfect game yesterday? Yes, even highly-trained professionals get it wrong.

    Anton writes:
    That's what you get for living in Ohio.

    Tim writes:
    Might as well just skip sobriety tests, too. If you appear to be drunk in the eyes of the law, you are drunk (so long as the officer has been well-trained in identifying drunk people). What could possibly go wrong?
  3. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Speeding Ticket By Visual Guess


    In a 5-1 decision yesterday, Ohio’s Supreme Court upheld a speeding ticket based solely on how fast a driver appeared to be moving. The court considered the case of motorist Mark Jenney who drove through a State Route 21 radar speed trap operated by Copley police officer Christopher R Santimarino on July 3, 2008. Santimarino guessed based on the appearance of Jenney’s black SUV that it was traveling at 79 MPH in a 60 zone.

    Santimarino claimed that his thirteen years as a traffic cop and his certification in speed estimation by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy qualified him to make expert visual determinations of how fast vehicles are moving within 4 MPH. In court, Santimarino testified that his radar showed Jenney was traveling at 82 MPH on direct examination and 83 MPH on cross-examination.

    Based on this, a district court convicted Jenney. On appeal, Jenney succeeded in having the radar evidence thrown out because the officer failed to produce the required certification documents at trial. The appeals court then ruled that the visual guess as to Jenney’s speed was sufficient evidence for a conviction. Jenney appealed to the supreme court, which agreed with the lower court rulings that an officer’s educated guess is sufficient to overcome that state’s burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    “A majority of the appellate districts that have considered the issue have held that an officer’s testimony that in his opinion, a defendant was traveling in excess of the speed limit is sufficient to sustain a conviction for speeding,” Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote for the majority. “Given Santimarino’s training, OPOTA certification, and experience in visually estimating vehicle speed, his estimation that Jenney was traveling 70 miles per hour was sufficient to support Jenney’s conviction… We hold that a police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding in violation of R.C. 4511.21(D) without independent verification of the vehicle’s speed if the officer is trained, is certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy or a similar organization that develops and implements training programs to meet the needs of law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve, and is experienced in visually estimating vehicle speed.”

    Justice Terrence O’Donnell filed a dissent that argued the majority essentially created a standard that the police officer is always right.

    “Like any other witness, a police officer’s credibility is to be determined by the jury or other fact-finder,” O’Donnell wrote. “In fact, jury instructions given regularly by trial judges advise that a jury is privileged to believe all, part, or none of the testimony of any witness. Thus, I would assert that a broad standard as postulated by the majority that a trained, certified, and experienced officer’s estimate of speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding eclipses the role of the fact-finder to reject such testimony and thus such testimony, if found not to be credible, could, in some instances, be insufficient to support a conviction.”
  4. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    Please read the rules
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