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be glad you don't live in Ohio

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by teodons, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Can't highway patrol officers in NSW do the same thing?
  2. It is the same here, a court will take a Police officers estimation of speed as evidence on the basis that they are trained to do this. However you can present contradictory evidence. A court will generally trust Police judgement over an untrained person however.

  3. oic, was not aware police here had the same power. Good to know.
  4. I believe that a reasonable defense is to challenge the officer's estimation ability by bringing a radar gun and a baseball to the court. Have someone throw the ball to someone else, and take note of the speed. Do this a few times, each time asking the officer to accurately state what the speed of the ball was. If he can't state it accurately for each throw, then his testimony can be called into doubt.
  5. has that actually been tried or just a "what i think" theory?
  6. AFAIK, a similar sort of thing has been tried in courts both here in Australia and in the USA, and it has resulted in the dismissal of the testimony. I've heard of balls being used, or another variant is rolling a coin quickly along the court room floor and asking the officer the speed of it.

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me that if anyone is going to get up in front of a court of law and state that they can accurately determine velocity by eyesight alone that such should be proven before the judge considers the validity of the testimony.
  7. Any Police Officer who CAN'T provide an accurate estimate of a person's speed shouldn't be in Traffic. I'd bet my experience that I can tell when someone is driving up my street at 50, which is the limit, and 60 or more, and be right every time and I'm not a Police Officer.
  8. Ohio has a few weird traffic laws. When I got my license there I was surprised to find that hey have a law stating it is compulsory to sound your horn when overtaking another vehicle. Nobody did it, of course, but the law was there nonetheless.
  9. If a copper were to prosecute on the basis of an estimated speed (in Victoria) then the court would be inclined to accept his evidence as an 'expert'. It's then up to the defendant to disprove that assertion.

    Chances are that no copper would be inclined to pursue such a prosecution, however: they're too used these days to the current 'guilty until proven innocent' techniques of speed cameras, etc :roll:

    I always remember PC Beer, who pulled me over back in 1973 driving through Redruth, Cornwall, and did me for an estimated 35mph in a 30mph zone. Just because it was a Lotus Elan :angel:
  10. Wouldn't the prosecution argue that the test is irrelevant. The officer has no experience in judging speeds of baseballs. He does however have experience in judging cars speeds.
  11. Yes indeed. But I was on a motorcycle. So I,ll be going now.
  12. That sounds... unlike anything I've ever seen or could imagine in traffic court.
  13. Good call.