• Jun 3, 2010
Bad news, Buckeyes. The Ohio Supreme Court just ruled that a police officer needs nothing more than his or her informed guess on how fast a vehicle is traveling in order to issue a traffic citation. Yep. You can forget the radar gun, LIDAR or even the archaic pacing method. As of right now, officers can merely say that you're exceeding the posted speed limit and you'll be stuck with points on your license and a hefty fine to deal with. If that sounds more crooked than a Jersey car salesman, it gets better.

Turns out, officers have to go through very little training in order to properly gauge a vehicle's speed by eye. According to The Plain Dealer, visual assessment is only a portion of the five-hour course on traffic enforcement. Instructors bring recruits to various traffic situations and have them guess speeds. The instructor then checks the guesses against what the radar gun says and calculates the difference.

So let that be a fair warning to natives and passer-bys alike. Leave the cruise control on and don't bother trying to argue if you should happen to get cozy with one of Ohio's finest. It's their word against yours.

[Source: The Plain Dealer | Source Image: Noel Hendrickson, Getty]


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  • 81 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cops are just people and not superhuman, even though talking to them you'd sure think they were. I have two cop neighbors that think we should all grovel at their feet for existing. Believe it or not they have flaws like everyone else.

      I'm sure there must be nice police officers out there but the ones I know were jerks in high school and wanted to continue being jerks in their adult life so they got the job that allows them to be.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is true in every state.

      Radar and LIDAR are very new and pacing isn't practical in many cases.

      To anyone who is surprised by this, how did you think cops gave speeding tickets 40 years ago?

      The good news is you can fight it. If the cop says you were doing 66 in a 65 by eyeball, the judge will be likely to let you off. But if you're doing 75 or 80, then do you really think a cop can't tell you're doing 10 or 15 mph over?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm never going to OH.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This really doesnt change anything... its always truly 'your word against theirs'.

      Radar guns or not...

      Speeding tickets = random tax diguised as a saftey measure.

      If we truly cared about saftey, we wouldnt give licences to half the people on the road.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But often times when you take your speeding ticket to court, if the cops admits they were pacing, you can then ask about they received proper training in "pacing," which often times they'll say no.

        With this, they don't even need training, because cops supposedly have terminator-like eyes that can sense what speed you're going. It makes it one step easier to defend speeding tickets, whether that step is a big one or not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I actually agree with that.
        A cop can pull you over for ANY reason. What he SAYS that reason is, completely depends upon what he finds.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I find that mind-bogglingly unbelievable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Discraceful!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I had the cruise control set to the speed limit (or maybe 5 over :P) I'd definitely argue if I got pulled over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay, here's my story: I zoomed past an intersection just as a cop pulled up to the same intersection on the intersecting street. He immediately turned on his lights. He couldn't possibly have had time to get a gun on me and a reading. I pulled over within 200 feet.

      I was speeding just a wee bit but was surprised at the high number he claimed. I asked to see the display on his gun. He said, "Uhh, ummm, I'd show you but it's not working right." I knew he didn't get a reading on me.

      I fought the ticket and told the judge I understood the cop wasn't required to show me the radar display. The judge robotically told me that the cop, by law, wasn't required to show me the display - even though I JUST said that - and found me guilty.

      Total fabricated BS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, dude, you've got some issues here. Who's angry?

        The cop lied. I plead my case. I lost. I shared my story. Move on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My defense was that the cop fabricated his evidence which isn't legal even in traffic court. He claimed he got a solid reading on me with his radar gun which was impossible. His location immediately prior to arriving at the intersection was completely concealed by a dense grove of trees. I took photos demonstrating that and presented them in court. If he truly got a reading on me and I knew I was busted, I would have quietly taken my lumps.

        I wasn't doing 50 in a 25. It was more like 45 in a 40 on a lightly traveled county road. The cop said I was doing something like 54 which also wasn't true. The judge was bleary eyed and seemed to be counting the days till retirement. Next!
        • 4 Years Ago
        What exactly was your defense? Other than he didn't didn't show you his radar gun? The presumed innocent stuff isn't nearly as strong in traffic court, so you really need to present a positive defense.

        In the end, isn't your story just "I'm angry I got a speeding ticket"? I mean, you even admit you were speeding.
      • 4 Years Ago
      juelze:
      Which beers do you recommend? I am always looking for a good beer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Something tells me that this law will not last long on the books. The eye is BS. As soon as a Lawyer or someone with money gets a ticket this will be fought against so well that it will be over with in the Blink of an Eye
      • 4 Years Ago
      The more rediculous these laws get, the more backlash there will be. The more backlash, the better chance for reform of our rediculous and out-dated traffic laws.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yea, I don't know...if you do it slow enough and say it's all done for the safety of the citizens most people will buy it. Heck today we've shredded the 4th amendment and basically said it's OK for our government to assassinate people, including U.S. citizens (so long as we allege they're some sort of "terrorist") and most people are A-OK with that. After all, if you look at history, most dictators were elected and chosen by the people. Ours will be too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ohio has a long history of screwing motorist at every chance. The overzealous enforcement of traffic law is a big reason to not live in Ohio.

      Related: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Rome,_Ohio (summary: Ohio had a town that was solely created as a speed trap. Surprisingly it was forced to dissolve...)
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