"A police officer's unaided visual estimation of a vehicle's speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding in violation of [state law] 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 the communities they serve," wrote the state justices. The said a radar gun was ''not necessary to support a conviction for speeding.''
Get the whole story here; http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/06/03/ohio.spotting.speeders.r...
I also live in Ohio. I could hardly believe this when I read about it. Never heard a word about it until the court approved this method. I can't wait till this gets challening in court. It's all about the buck.
It definitely doesn't sound good but article indicates he was found guilty of speeding at a lower speed than what the radar (tech issues) & officer estimated.
That's interesting that this is a new method in Ohio. It's an old method that pre-dates Radar Enforcement by over a decade. It has been an approved method in the NY-Area for at least the last 20 years. I can't say I've ever actually heard of anyone getting their ticket via this method (usually because the motorist makes the mistake of answering that first question, "Do you know how fast you were going?"... yea that quote will be on the official paperwork when you go to court). It is however a method that the officer's are trained on at the academy. They can't give an exact number, but they can ballpark you.
"Do you know how fast you were going?"... yea that quote will be on the official paperwork when you go to court."
Sure do Officer.. "The Legal Posted Speed Limit!" (So I guess that sure does shoot down the Academy training.. doesn't it?)
Continuing on.. "They can't give an exact number, but they can ballpark you."
Well talking about "Ball Parks".. we sure do know about visual abilities to call and see things correctly, don't we?
Tell that to the pitcher who just lost a perfect game due to a infallible observation. NOT!!
I would really like to hear about someone fighting this in court..making an officer compete with a radar detector.
Actually it was a court decision so it was fought in court and the idiots that we sent to Columbus seem to think an hour or two of training makes you an expert. That would appear to be the extent of the judge's training as well.
Fortunately, the court is not going to get the last word on this one because the legislature is enraged by the decision and is about to pass a law outlawing visual observation as a method of determining speed for speeding cases.
I hope they work out as intended and the legislature does take the court to task on this one! Technology (VASCAR, radar, etc.) replaced the old "visual" assessment for a reason.
This has been accepted practice for many, many years.
If you have been trained, and can qualify in court as an "expert" in estimating speed you can write tickets based on observation.
Don't know why this is "new" or "surprising" to anyone. It's been around a long time, and I retired 16 years ago.
IN PA, you can get a ticket for being 'too fast for conditions', which is another discretionary way for the officer to write a ticket. The 'conditions' can be anything.... weather, nighttime, traffic, just about anything.
Hard to beat a ticket in PA, the cop does not even have to show up at the hearing. The judge can read his notes and act on his behalf.
in favor of the police on this, but look for the Ohio Legislature to act and pass a new law restricting citations based on visual observation on this one.
Look for this issue to show up in the US Supreme Court.
I don't care how well your trained, this isn't a carnival game where your the mark and their guessing your weight or age for a cheap prize. And if your ticketed by a police officer for speeding without the aid of a speed detection device, he would be nothing more than a carnival game barker.
How can anyone be qualified to be an expert on how fast your traveling other than your above the speed limit. It's easy to see someone is speeding through a school zone if the speed limit is 20 mph but by how much? it's like the carnival barker, he can see someone is heavy, but has to guess his or her weight. That's what electronics and mechanical devices are for,to get exact speeds, anything else is a guess.
Expect this to go all the to the top court, the person they ticketed was a lawyer.
...the cop was moving along at the 60 mph speed limit and was passed by the vehicle in question? Even then, the accuracy of the speedometer can be questioned. It still stinks.
It may be soon forbidden to ticket for speed on police "feelings" only:
...A bipartisan effort to overturn a controversial Ohio Supreme Court ruling garnered the support of twelve of the state Senate's thirty-three members in just four days. Senators Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) jointly introduced legislation on Thursday that would forbid police from issuing speeding tickets based solely on the officer's best speed guess...
Why you ask, because it's HOGWASH, I don't believe it can be done.
It's the biggest load of crap I have heard since OJ Simpson didn't kill two people, and cameras in intersection don't make money for the locality.( even though you need to obey the laws or pay the price of the cameras, because they are not estimating, they are a precise device.)
Cop's should stick to eating donuts or reading the newspaper, if they are not going to run a speed device. or better yet be productive and catch a criminal. with all the tool they have to use.
Can you show me a url of a class that will train a person:
if you do then that would be both "new" or "surprising" to me.
Emotional responses aside, I wonder what the certification process is for police officers to become qualified to visually estimate vehicle speeds and what the accepted margin for error is.
Any law enforcement members out there that can answer this?
That's true pretty much anywhere
I'm not a law enforcement officer, but I have heard that officers are "trained" in speed estimation in the academy in Ohio. I doubt they receive much real training in this respect. The de-facto standard for municipal courts seems to be to take anything and everything stated by an officer as fact unless proven otherwise.
I would imagine that some officers become pretty good at estimating speeds in Ohio - especially in the 'burbs where they are dedicated nearly full time to speed enforcement.
To me, the interesting part is the fact that in the original case (that ultimately went to the Ohio SC) the officer "estimated" speed at 70 in 60, and clocked the vehicle at either 82 or 83. His testimony was contradictory - another issue in and of itself. The officer ticketed the motorist for 79 - most likely because 80+ would have been a non-waiverable offense which would have necessitated a court appearance by the officer. The trial court found that the estimation of 70 was better that radar evidence - perhaps because the officer either failed or refused to produce his radar training certification. (link: http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/2010/oh-visual.pdf)
I'm hoping that this will all disappear anyway as do a few of Ohio's esteemed Senators : http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/2010/oh-sb280.pdf
More and more tickets. Revenue enforcement.. I mean speed enforcement. 8+)
Well, I have worked for the miltary, city, and state in a law enforcement capacity and I have never had a course in judging speed by sight. I have always used either, radar, laser, or had a plane running speed. I have never used my visual acuity to write a citation for speed. First of all, it is not accurate. You can have two vehicles going the same speed at different times and one vehicle will look as if it is going faster due to the shape and design of the vehicle. There is no way you can accurately judge the speed of a vehicle without some type of help; either electronic or a plane running time and distance between stripes. (I, also, have never known another officer to write a citation using his/her visual observations alone, either.)
Driving too fast for conditions and estimating a vehicles speed is two separate matters. When cited with driving too fast for conditions, it is usually an example of someone involved in a traffic crash. It is used a lot in one vehicle accidents. It is also used when you may be driving on a snow or ice covered road. Even though the speed limit is posted at 70 mph, driving at that speed is certainly driving too fast for conditions. So, you wind up being cited. In fact, driving on the same road at 40 mph may also get you a citation, but the officer is not making a speed determination. He is making a judgement. Two different things.
if you do then that would be both "new" or "surprising" to me.
You cannot find these classes, because they are not open to anyone. They are only open to law enforcement. It is part of POST requirements for traffic investigation.
After completing these classes most are able to estimate speed within 5 mph. Don't look for this to go before the Supreme Court, it just isn't that big a deal. In light of today's electronic devices (radar guns and laser guns) the odds of getting ticketed for an officers speed estimation are about the same as winning the lottery.
If you watch enough traffic going by you get good at estimating speed. It really is a mental calculation of time and distance. You learn from observation what the average time it takes to travel between two fixed points. Variations of that average allow you to mentally calculate the speed. Experienced officers pick two points for which they know the distance and then watch the traffic flow between them. It's not rocket science.
Visual questimating of speeding will stand unless you get real crafty in court.
My wife was stopped many years ago for speeding. We went to court. The radar was thrown out by the judge when the officer was asked by my wife "What was the noise I heard from your car? It sounded like a tuning fork"? The visual stuck and she was fined. When I spoke to the judge after court (it was a very small town), I asked her if she knew the spot where the officer was sitting and also the spot where he "saw" my wife. She did. My question then was "How could he see her on the curve and through the line of trees"? Her response was "He couldn't". It would have been thrown out also if my wife had asked the question. The laws work for the courts. So even though there was absolutely no way the officer could have seen her,and the judge knew that also, she still got the ticket. What a wonderful world we live in.
Tickets in my area used to list 3 different means of determining speed, and the officer would check whichever was appropriate. The "radar" box is pretty obvious, and if that one was checked the officer would be expected to produce evidence of the last calibration of the radar gun in court. "Clocked" means they judged your speed based on their speedometer, and they needed to say when the speedo was last checked for accuracy. The last was "estimated", which Ohio apparently didn't have until now. Good luck overturning it - if it works maybe it'll spread to other states.
The fix for this unfortunate decision by the Ohio Supreme Court (without Tom Moyer who just passed away), is to have the Ohio General Assembly pass a law requiring radar or a speedometer to be used when issuing a speeding ticket. Re-write the law to be clear that "guesstimating" speed is verboten.
This is a slippery slope....The cop pulls a guy over and uses the speed estimation as a reason. He really wants to check if you are an illegal alien or maybe its midnight and he wants to do a sobriety check and has no other probably cause.
This is a bad ruling.
Oh great. this won't be abused by all the cash strapped cities here in the formerly great state of Ohio. I know if given the chance, my city will use it. Why have to prove your actual speed to get money from you. Truth and facts. We don't need any stink'n truth or facts. The court say's my calibrated eyeball is good enough.
I have no issue with it but only if there was a way to keep it conditional. An officer can't sit on the side of the road and make guesses, then dish out tickets. If, on the other hand, the officer is in a circumstance (not set up for speeders) but observes someone driving 50 in a 25 (must be blatantly obvious and dangerous)I am ok with the officer giving a ticket. At the very least the person should be pulled over, have their day disrupted and get a warning.
-----I live in a neighborhood where the speed limit is a justified 25 but people routinely drive twice that and I have seen some very close calls---- Ask me about obeying the speed limit while driving between Las Vegas and Barstow and I will give you a different answer all together.
I imagine that this will be overturned by a court since there can be no evidence of value from cops who merely make an estimation of a cars speed without repeatable & accurate results.
I think that not only should it be overturned but the municipalities should be forced to pay all associated costs as well as a humongous penalty.
When crooks make the laws expect citizens to rise up & remove them.
Put a stop watch in his hand and I will accept travel between two points. without a clocking device your right it's not rocket science, it's a carnival game.
There are just two may variables, such as the car height and length that come in to play and the mind is not good enough to make these calls.
Speed is relative; without calibrated instrumentation.
There will be challenging in court for sure and eventually it will drop. Another waste money for tax payer.
Never seen this happen. Everytime, I or somebody I know who has been ticketed here in Ohio has had accurate radar speed mentioned by the officer and put in writing on the ticket. And I'm talking about the last 20+ tickets I've heard of.
The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled in favor of the police on this, but look for the Ohio Legislature to act and pass a new law restricting citations based on visual observation on this one.
The newly elected House in the State of Ohio has introduced House Bill 16 that would ban issuing speeding tickets on the police officer's visual estimation of a driver's speed. This bill was prompted by last years ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that said an officer could issue a ticket after estimating the driver's speed. Look for a quick passage of this bill.
Many years ago a cop gave me a ticket for 37 in a 25 zone. The cop testified that he observed me speeding and looked at the radar display to confirm it. I asked the judge to have the prosecution produce a document that the radar gun had an FCC license to emit RF. The prosecution said it was on file. The judge asked me if I wanted them to go get it. I said that is what I wanted. So the judge said he would dismiss the radar evidence. He asked the cop a couple of questions about his experience. The judge ruled that the cops observation was enough to convict me. As a "favor" he reduced the fine.
Fast forward a couple of years. I was sitting in a deputy sheriff's car waiting for a tow truck. As a car would come around the curve, the cop would say his speed, then look at the radar. He was nearly perfect in every instance, and was only off by 2 mph once. I was impressed.
In many states the officer testifies to his/her training/expertise in visual speed estimation, and that the radar/lidar CONFIRMED the visual estimation. The device is not a requirment if the officer is trained in visual speed estimation. I have heard officers testify that they overestimated by a few mph when comparing their estimate to the device, so they wrote the ticket for the lower speed.
terms | privacy | contactCopyright © 2006-2020