Ohio cops

I haven't had a long-standing relationship with the cops in my area. Aside from a single speeding ticket I got in high school, my interactions with the police force in the past have been extremely limited. So I don't exactly have a bone to pick with police officers in general. But if a cop tried to bust me for speeding based on a hunch, with no further radar or laser-based evidence, I think I'd be pretty annoyed.

Unfortunately for commuters in Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court just ruled this past week that a speeding ticket based only on an officer's reckoning of the alleged speed of the car in question is enough for a speeding ticket to hold. So, in short, you can't argue a speeding ticket down in court even when the cop is just guessing your speed. The officer needs "gauging speed" experience or training through the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy (or a similar training school), but even a rep of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission said, "It's kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing". Learning how to do this kind of visual gauging doesn't even take up that much time in training. Reportedly, visual speed gauging is only a small part of a 5-hour unit of training,  and the officers are asked to watch 20 cars and estimate their speeds. If they get an average of 5MPH off of the actual speed, they pass.

Personally, I don't think that 20 vehicles is really a large enough sample size to determine an officer's accuracy of speed gauging, especially when money, points, and a speeding ticket are on the line.

(via Cleveland.com and autoblog through Google Reader Play)


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