Police can now give you a ticket based on visual judgment!
Wanna be Kyle Pettys (or as he pronounces it, “Cow Patty”), beware.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday in a 5-1 decision that law enforcement can give you a ticket even without a radar or laser. The Court based its decision on the training of the officer. In their training, officers usually get background about visual speed estimation. An examination of the Ohio Peace Officer’s class catalog reveals that trainees spend 2 days doing field exercises with radars and speed estimation. If broken down equally, that means all of 1 day is spent on speed estimation. Is there ANY field, besides law enforcement, where someone can be deemed an expert based on a day of training?
The Highway Patrol did provide some relief by stating officers don’t give tickets based on speed estimation. Yet a person has to ask themself, over the course of your driving records – tickets included- how many times have you gotten a ticket from HWP versus a municipality? I’ve been pulled over 5 times for speeding [I have a truck these days, so never speed anymore. She just refuses!], been given a ticket 2 times, one of which was HWP. But 4 of the stops were city police.
In 2009, according to OSHWP stats, officers made 230,905 enforcement stops. Interestingly, year to date, [January 1, 2010-today], they’ve made 205, 598. Maybe revenue is down!
I couldn’t find statistics on the gross amount of people pulled over in Ohio on a yearly basis.
While this ruling will make it pretty tough to fight a speeding ticket, I think it unlikely that many officers give tickets based on visuals alone. Whether the ruling will create more cases based on visual estimations will have to be determined.