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Need Advice about a Traffic Ticket

sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
edited Jan 2008 in The Pub
I got a ticket last night from one of the local cops. I was going down a long straight road and noticed headlights wayyy behind me. I automatically slowed down about 5mph just in case. I was going probably 40 in a 30, give or take. The car got closer, then I realized it was a Cop, and he pulled me over. He gave me a ticket for going 45 in a 30, and sent me on my way.

Here's the thing - I have a radar detector. It's a Beltronics 995. Just like any radar detector, it's obviously not perfect and far from failproof. BUT, I've used this radar detector for quite a while around town, and I know how it works - very well. The entire time this Cop was behind me, when he got closer, AND the entire 10 minutes his cruiser sat behind my truck, my radar detector never went off. I've had Cops from the same town (same cruisers, same K-band), pull me over, pass me, sit behind me, etc, and it always goes off. Even if he had used Instant On on me, my radar detector would have gone crazy the whole time he sat behind me.

This really pissed me off, so I asked him. I said look - if you're sitting right behind me with your radar gun, how come my radar detector is just sitting at "Highway"? His response, after looking dumbfounded, was "Uh umm.. maybe your thing is broken" and then "Maybe it doesnt pick up from behind" - Wrong, and especially wrong when he is sitting 10 feet behind it. A silly $39 Cobra would have picked him up.

SOO.... When I go to court, I'm wanting to plead not guilty. I strongly feel this officer never had his radar gun ON the entire time. Yes, I do believe he made it up. Yes, I was most definitely exceeding the 30mph speed limit, but can they prove that?

What should I do? Flame suit ON.
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Comments

  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    you know you were going 45 in a 30, and you're going to plead not guilty?

    you may want to look up the definition of not and guilty.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    Yes, I guess that is the case. Except I don't believe I was going 45mph, but probably 40mph.
    A plea of not guilty means that you deny guilt, and require the State to prove the charge.

    I don't think it's right for an officer to look at a fast-moving car and slap a number on it. If another officer had legitimately clocked me going 40 in that 30, I almost surely would have gotten off with a warning.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    i thought you said you slowed down by 5 mph to 40 when the cop showed up behind you?
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    I was never going 45mph within view of the officer. As soon as he came over the hill onto the long flat stretch I was on, I slowed down by 5mph to about 40mph.

    But that's not really the point... I know officers can give tickets for speeding based on what they judge by THEIR speedo or by counting the time between poles, etc, but he maintained that he used his radar gun and I don't believe it.
  • MrBillMrBill Missouri Member
    edited Jan 2008
    The judge is going to tell you that if you know were going 1 MPH over the speed limit then don't bother pleading NOT guilty. You can ask to go to driving school and possibly get the ticket "erased". Worked for me in Tennessee a few years ago.

    p.s. You can ask to see your speed on the radar gun when you get stopped. :)
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    don't you hate it when someone gets off something on a technicality? Sure, it's generally something significantly more important than a speeding ticket...but you decided to speed, you admit that you were going the speed that was on the ticket, and you still don't think you should pay it?

    If the judge (or whomever) asks you "Were you doing 45 in a 30?", what will you say? I suppose you could plead the fifth...
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    MrBill wrote:
    The judge is going to tell you that if you know were going 1 MPH over the speed limit then don't bother pleading NOT guilty. You can ask to go to driving school and possibly get the ticket "erased". Worked for me in Tennessee a few years ago.

    That thought has already come into my mind. I highly doubt the judge will agree with anything I say. Partly because, quite simply, my age. I'm a teenager, and they are out to get teenagers all the time - honestly, they really do target us. Also, I doubt he will give a hoot about my radar detector.

    I wonder.. if I had asked the officer to let me SEE the radar gun in his cruiser..
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    perhaps they think that teenagers would do 45 in a 30, then deny that they were doing 45 in a 30 when they receive a ticket for doing 45 in a 30. WHEREVER WOULD THEY GET THAT IDEA.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    I may just have to give in on this one. Nobody will ever know without a doubt what the officer did or didn't do.

    I can just picture the judge after hearing my detector story... rolling his eyes and shaking his head. I doubt anything I can say to him would make him believe my side.
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Well, first of all isn't having a radar detector illegal?

    In any case, the cop doesn't need a radar gun to pull you over. Cops are pretty good judges of distances and speed. He could have been far behind you for awhile, doing 45 himself and realizing he wasn't gaining any ground on you.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    Nomad wrote:
    Well, first of all isn't having a radar detector illegal?

    In any case, the cop doesn't need a radar gun to pull you over. Cops are pretty good judges of distances and speed. He could have been far behind you for awhile, doing 45 himself and realizing he wasn't gaining any ground on you.
    Only in Virginia and Washington DC.

    That may very well be the case, and I'll just have to quit bitching about it. I can see how that scenario could be true.

    But why... why did he look so dumbfounded and confused when I asked him about it? It was like I caught him and for a half-second he wasn't sure what to say. Couldn't he have just said "Oh I didn't use radar, but due to my X years of experience I can assure you were speeding" ??
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Nomad wrote:
    In any case, the cop doesn't need a radar gun to pull you over. Cops are pretty good judges of distances and speed. He could have been far behind you for awhile, doing 45 himself and realizing he wasn't gaining any ground on you.
    Ding Ding Ding....give that man a prize :)

    LawnMM could confirm this, but IIRC, an officer does not have to use Radar/Laser to determine you were exceeding the speed limit. (No, I actually don't know for sure, in case someone reading this says "hey I read on the Intarweb....") :D
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    RyderOCZ wrote:
    an officer does not have to use Radar/Laser to determine you were exceeding the speed limit

    EDIT: Wow I read that wrong - sorry.
  • tmh88tmh88 Pittsburgh / Athens, OH
    edited Jan 2008
    No one is going to agree with you, and I wasn't there so I'm not even going to make any comments. I dont think this thread is gonna get very far.
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    In the situation you described... I could have told you how fast you were going...for the very reason Nomad pointed out.
    How hard is it to see if you are gaining or losing ground? If I am doing neither...then I am very close to the speed you are traveling...whether I am right behind you, or 3/4 of a mile behind you, simple as that.
    With that information, you got a ticket. That is my opinion about what happened after reading your explanation.

    Did you read my disclaimer? I didn't say it WAS the truth, I said it was how I understand things to be and that will vary from state to state as well, more than likely.
  • MrBillMrBill Missouri Member
    edited Jan 2008
    sfleuriet wrote:
    I may just have to give in on this one. Nobody will ever know without a doubt what the officer did or didn't do.

    I can just picture the judge after hearing my detector story... rolling his eyes and shaking his head. I doubt anything I can say to him would make him believe my side.
    Mentioning to the judge that you have a radar detector, in my opinion, is like admitting you speed all the time. Why else would you need one?

    If you're under 18, a parent will likely have to attend traffic court with you so you may not have that much to say about it anyway. Good luck!

    Oh yeah - the method in which it sounds like he determined your speed is called "pacing". See Nomad's or Ryder's explanation of how it works.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    RyderOCZ wrote:
    In the situation you described... I could have told you how fast you were going...for the very reason Nomad pointed out.
    How hard is it to see if you are gaining or losing ground? If I am doing neither...then I am very close to the speed you are traveling...whether I am right behind you, or 3/4 of a mile behind you, simple as that.
    With that information, you got a ticket. That is my opinion about what happened after reading your explanation.

    Did you read my disclaimer? I didn't say it WAS the truth, I said it was how I understand things to be and that will vary from state to state as well, more than likely.

    Wow I read that wrong - I'm sorry. I read it as "an officer does not use Radar/Laser to determine you were exceeding the speed limit", which made no sense to me! :p

    Under 17 has to be accompanied by a parent. I will probably just go alone.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    MrBill wrote:
    Mentioning to the judge that you have a radar detector, in my opinion, is like admitting you speed all the time. Why else would you need one?
    I agree.. all the more reason for me not to argue with it.
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Nomad wrote:
    In any case, the cop doesn't need a radar gun to pull you over. Cops are pretty good judges of distances and speed. He could have been far behind you for awhile, doing 45 himself and realizing he wasn't gaining any ground on you.


    *Quoted to emphasize*
  • RWBRWB Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Stop speeding and while we're on this topic everyone try to drive safely I personally don't care if you think you're touched by God himself when it comes to driving.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Ryder is correct, an officer does not need a detection device to determine that you're speeding; the cruisers have precision calibrated and verified speedometers that they can legally use to judge your speed. In fact, visual judgment was the only option before the advent of radar guns.

    My only question is why did he select "radar" on the ticket if he was judging your speed by pacing you, though that doesn't eliminate the fact that you've admitted your guilt.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    THIS THREAD IS COMEDY.

    Welcome to the real world, oh naïve one.

    //EDIT: He could have LASER'd you. But I just read the first few petulant lines and started laughing, and was compelled to reply.
  • edited Jan 2008
    Remember what they say. speed kills.. luckily me and my family was on holiday as we had booked a last minute cancellation when a fiat punto decided to drag race down our street narrowly missing 3 children on bicycles leaving the road clearing 15ft of garden and entering our living room at 8:15 on a summers evening, you've been caught now be a man and accept the consequences there is no excuse for speeding in a 30mph zone. end of or period as you might say!
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    Might as well just fight it.
  • sfleurietsfleuriet Texas New
    edited Jan 2008
    This is why I don't post here very much... this is absurd. Instead of offering some advice and constructive criticism, this turned into nothing but negativity. It's clear that I was in the wrong, and I stated that more than once.

    This thread should be deleted due to the simple fact that nobody searching this forum would find any useful information in here.
  • ThelemechThelemech Victoria Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    sfleuriet wrote:
    This is why I don't post here very much... this is absurd. Instead of offering some advice and constructive criticism, this turned into nothing but negativity. It's clear that I was in the wrong, and I stated that more than once.

    This thread should be deleted due to the simple fact that nobody searching this forum would find any useful information in here.

    WITH THE UTMOST FRIENDLINESS !!!!!!!

    FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHSTS !!! :rolleyes2:tongue:


    Come on sfleuriet; Ya screwed up a little and you are probably going to have to pay the consequence...... should we have patronized you and told you what the mad you because I got a ticket wanted to hear????????

    You are a smart lad, who has even admitted to "probably" speeding?!

    :eek3:

    :cheers::wave:

    edit:/ ...if you honestly believe that the officer was in the wrong ; laws are made to protect those beliefs... proving that to be factual maybe difficult in a court of law.
  • yaggayagga Havn't you heard? ... New
    edited Jan 2008
    Okay, I will provide a few brief points.

    laser can't work yet in moving vehicles, so that would be out in this situation, unless the cop was working with another cop that was stationary, but in that situation, there probably would have been even more cops, a speed trap, in a busy area, which does not sound like your situation.

    radar can be turned off (in standby) most of the time, and most cops are intelligent enough to know this, especially the younger ones, only ocasionally do you see a cop with the radar on all the time, and if that is the case, they probably aren't "looking" for a speeder.

    radar detectors also generally can't detect from behind. some claim to, but still don't. I would say valentine one is the only one that can truly do it, or some exotic custom made, or foreign one I've never heard of. Do you actually have a rear facing sensor, that isn't just a "mirrored" reflected little device within the unit (I am thinking escort here)? Also, was your detector mounted level? Facing one up to the stars or down into the dashboard and windshield wipers can drastically make performance worse.

    don't believe manufacturers claims about "pop" "instant on" etc... all marketing. a decent detector/locater will turn on briefly if given a strong signal to work with

    radar is generally strong, and stretches for miles on straightish area, I believe k stretches farther than ka which is solely used around my area. It is worthly to note radar bounces off of structures, so forward facing detection may have picked up a bounced signal in your case.

    Pacing is a possibility. Writing tickets to teenagers is a possibility. Writing tickets BECAUSE of your radar detector is a possibility. Being a jackass is more than possible, it's likely.

    BEST ADVICE I COULD POSSIBLY GIVE YOU:
    1. A radar detector will only encourage a cop to write you a ticket, or multiple.
    2. You can never talk your way out of a ticket, but you can most certainly talk your way into a ticket.
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX Member
    edited Jan 2008
    yagga wrote:
    2. You can never talk your way out of a ticket, but you can most certainly talk your way into a ticket.

    Yeh, pretty much.

    I got pulled over a month ago coming back to stillwater for doing 85 in a 65, which I thought was a perfectly fine speed to travel. I was only following traffic. So I see some pig lights out in the distance about 2 or 3 miles so I slow down to 65 with the rest of the group of cars I was in.

    When I get up to the cop he jumps out in the middle of the road and starts waiving all of use (about 15 cars) over to the side of the road. He comes up to my window and the conversation went something like this:

    cop: "License and registration please."
    me: (finding insurance form)"What seems to be the problem officer?"
    cop: "Well we're working with an airplane today and you were clocked doing 85 mph in a 65 mph speed zone."
    me: "oh really, well my jeep doesn't have cruise control and sometimes on the down hill I can get going faster than I mean to."
    cop: "Everytime you get in this vehicle you have a responsibility etc etc psychobabble...."

    After that I just smiled and cooperated because I could see I was getting absolutely nowhere with this hi-po. It was a speed trap, and he wasn't interested in being nice or making any friends. Which is fine. I speed, I plan on getting caught once a year or so. He wasn't nice about it, but trust me he wasn't a douchebag about it. I've been in vehicles where the cop was actively trying to escalate the situation by provoking the driver. But I'm sure overzealous officers certainly aren't that common.

    The bad news is I have to pay the fine, $244 donated to the donut fund. Do 15 hours of community service, and not get another ticket until march 15. The good news is that the ticket will be deferred and my insurance won't find out about it. Which is the biggest deal. Because if I thought the ticket was bad, I guarantee you the insurance would have really bent me over.


    I guess the moral of the story is if you are going to break the law, expect to get caught. You probably won't get caught today, and maybe not for a long time. But it IS just a matter of time. eventually the proverbial dice will land against the odds and you will be going home with a ticket.

    As much as I disagree with speeding tickets. Since I fail to see the harm in going fast as long as you continue to drive safely and not try to take turn too fast. Now, driving like a dip**** and sporadically all over the place and weaving. That's dangerous. Going fast isn't in my opinion. But the fact is that the laws are there and the cops are interested in making revenue. If you don't like the system, try and change it, which I would bid you good luck in doing.

    You sped, you got caught, you got a ticket. Seems fairly reasonable. But you want advice. My advice to you isn't going to get you out of this ticket, but it will help you. Find a suit to wear. or at least some slacks and a long sleeve button up dress shirt. Wear that to court and look like a good valued long man. Plead nolo contesto (your not admitting guilt, but at the same time you aren't saying you didn't do it) Talk to the judge with respect, and ensure him that this was your fault (DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES, judges hate them) that it won't happen again. And if you're lucky the judge will most likely defer the ticket and perhaps reduce the fine.

    Maybe if you would have slowed down to the speed limit you could have escaped with a lesser ticket or maybe none at all. Also, in the future, when you get pulled over, I would make an effort to hide that radar detector quite quickly.:bigggrin: That little piece of plastic will only encourage a cop to give you a ticket because it's a dead give away that you speed consistently.

    That's my spiel. Hopefully I'm not too outlandish for not persecuting the kid because he got a speeding ticket.
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited Jan 2008
    pig... hi-po...

    Strong respect.
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX Member
    edited Jan 2008
    Nomad wrote:
    Strong respect.

    I respect them as people, not their occupation. I realize that if I was to be a police officer or highway patrol I wouldn't want to give people tickets. But for the sake of my job I would have to. Therefore I respect the person, not the occupation.

    And nomad, instead of senselessly antagonizing the situation, how about you say something nice or say nothing at all. I felt that my post was about the most constructive one in this thread while most of them be fairly destructive.
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