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Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

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Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby StlSluggers » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:16 pm

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH wrote:Police officer's estimate good enough for speeding ticket
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:23 AM

Attention lead foots: Police don't need radar to cite you for speeding.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this morning that an officer trained to estimate speed by sight doesn't need an electronic gauge to catch speeders.

The 5-1 ruling was a defeat for 27-year-old Akron-area motorist Mark W. Jenney and speeders across the state. Jenney had challenged a visual speed estimate by a Copley police officer, but a trial court and the 9th District Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

The 8th District Court of Appeals, based in Cleveland, has ruled that police need more than sight alone to meet the standard needed to convict someone of speeding.

"The Eighth District stands alone in holding that an officer's visual estimation of the speed of a vehicle is insufficient to support a finding of guilt, and we agree with the courts that have found the opposite," Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote for the majority. "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."

Justice Terrence O'Donnell dissented, saying that courts should have more discretion to determine the credibility of an officer's visual speed estimate. Chief Justice Eric Brown, who joined the court after the case was heard, did not participate in the ruling.

During arguments in the case, lawyers for the state and for Barberton -- the venue where Jenney's case was heard -- argued that police can cite drivers for other infractions such as following too closely based on their visual judgments alone.

Jenney's lawyer responded that there should be more than just a visual impression, but he could not say whether a radar or laser speed measurement would be necessary.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:35 pm

Let's usa a little common sense here. I would have no problem with cop giving out speeding tickets for someone going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone on sight alone but if the speed limit is 65 mph no one is going to be able to tell me someone is driving 80 mph just by looking.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby StlSluggers » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:47 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:Let's usa a little common sense here. I would have no problem with cop giving out speeding tickets for someone going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone on sight alone but if the speed limit is 65 mph no one is going to be able to tell me someone is driving 80 mph just by looking.

when fines and punishments are scaled based on the severity of the offense, it doesn't make sense to estimate. i don't know what it is here in missouri, but i remember that ~20 mph got you a hefty fine in illinois and >20 gets you jail time. i'd like to know that someone is going to jail on more than an estimate.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby pjalst » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:15 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:Let's usa a little common sense here. I would have no problem with cop giving out speeding tickets for someone going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone on sight alone but if the speed limit is 65 mph no one is going to be able to tell me someone is driving 80 mph just by looking.


When I went through the NY State Police Academy back in 87. A great deal on time was spent estimating the speed of moving vehicle on the Hwy. We had to correctely estimate the speed of 300 vehicles +/- 5 MPH. The instructor verified the speed with the radar. If the estimated speed was not within the +/- 5 MPH range, we had to start all over again from 0 until we correctly estimated 300 vehicles. So Pogo it is possible if you included the +/-5 cushion. If you're talking estimating the excact speed, I say that can also be done but it would take much more training than what I received. The size of the vehicle also plays a part in the estimate. Larger vehicles like tractor trailers tend to look like they are traveling slower than the actual speed. Cycles look like they are going faster. Also vehicles on a curve look like they are going faster than vehicles on a straight road. Angles also play a part in the estimate. 90 degrees being the angle they look fastest. There are so many variables when doing a visual estimate. For the record, slower moving vehicles are more difficult to estimate. It's just easier to use radar or laser.


Help please:http://www.fantasybaseballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=414158&p=3284568#p3284568
Last edited by pjalst on Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:27 pm

pjalst wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:Let's usa a little common sense here. I would have no problem with cop giving out speeding tickets for someone going 50 mph in a 30 mph zone on sight alone but if the speed limit is 65 mph no one is going to be able to tell me someone is driving 80 mph just by looking.


When I went through the NY State Police Academy back in 87. A great deal on time was spent estimating the speed of moving vehicle on the Hwy. We had to correctely estimate the speed of 300 vehicles +/- 5 MPH. The instructor verified the speed with the radar. If the estimated speed was not within the +/- 5 MPH range, we had to start all over again from 0 until we correctly estimated 300 vehicles. So Pogo it is possible if you included the +/-5 cushion. If you're talking estimating the excact speed, I say that can also be done but it would take much more training than what I received. The size of the vehicle also plays a part in the estimate. Larger vehicles like tractor trailers tend to look like they are traveling slower than the actual speed, while cycles look like they are going faster. Also vehicles look like they are going faster, the greater the angle you look at them from. 90 degrees being the angle they look fastest. For the record, slower moving vehicles are more difficult to estimate.

I'd imagine a lot of that depends on the vantage point. I was initially thinking of someone sitting at a stop sign and another car goes speeding by because otherwise why wouldn't you have a radar gun? If you are at a decent distanct I would think it would be much easier to gauge the speed.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby bigh0rt » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:09 pm

I had this conversation with one of my former neighbors who is a chief at a precinct a few counties away. He was describing the training that he went through to learn how to gauge the speed of a car while he was stationary, and that he can get it typically within 3 or 4 MPH 95+% of the time, and that if you can't do that, they keep making you go through training until you're able to. That being said, I can't imagine that being passable in court, especially with the state of the economy and many local places trying to increase their town revenue via issuing tickets.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby jfg » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:40 am

Um... there's this thing called evidence and you kind of need it. I don't care if it's a cop or the Pope, nobody's word alone is enough to convict somebody of a crime.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby Buff Daddy » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:54 am

jfg wrote:Um... there's this thing called evidence and you kind of need it. I don't care if it's a cop or the Pope, nobody's word alone is enough to convict somebody of a crime.


Hate to break it to you man, but eye witnesses are a big key to convicting people, without them, a whole lot of guilty people would be in the general public instead of prison because the "evidence" alone wasn't strong enough to convict them.

So cops can't afford radar/laser guns anymore? The Buff Daddy says quit wasting money on tasers, buy laser/radar detectors instead.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby pjalst » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:26 am

bigh0rt wrote:I had this conversation with one of my former neighbors who is a chief at a precinct a few counties away. He was describing the training that he went through to learn how to gauge the speed of a car while he was stationary, and that he can get it typically within 3 or 4 MPH 95+% of the time, and that if you can't do that, they keep making you go through training until you're able to. That being said, I can't imagine that being passable in court, especially with the state of the economy and many local places trying to increase their town revenue via issuing tickets.


Why wouldn't it be passable? If Barney Fife estimates you going 40 in a 30 zone, according to his training documentation((which can be used in court) Fife has a +/- 5MPH error rate. Even if Fife is off by 5MPH you're still speeding.
Last edited by pjalst on Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ohio SC Says Trained Cops Don't Need Radar Gun

Postby Skin Blues » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:46 am

jfg wrote:Um... there's this thing called evidence and you kind of need it. I don't care if it's a cop or the Pope, nobody's word alone is enough to convict somebody of a crime.

You watch too much CSI. I actually read an article a little while ago that shows like CSI have made it much harder for prosecutors to convince a jury of somebody's guilt. Nowadays everybody wants a gun with matching bullet signature and bloody fingerprints and/or semen connecting a person directly to the weapon. Most of the time it doesn't work out that conveniently.
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