Speed Detection in Mecklenburg County
There are several tools and tactics officers use when it comes to speed detection in Mecklenburg County. The most common ways an officer determines speeding is by radar, lidar, and pacing.
Fighting against a speeding ticket or reckless driving charge can be challenging but an experienced traffic attorney could help. These tools and tactics that officers use are usually accurate. However, there could be errors made by the officer. Read below to learn more about speed detection in Mecklenburg County.
Officers in Mecklenburg County typically measure the speed of someone’s vehicle by using radar. Their radar devices have a video screen that flashes the speed of the fastest-moving vehicle that is visible within the screen. All vehicles visible within the screen produce an audible tone with the more high-pitched tone being assigned to the faster-moving vehicle. Officers calibrate their machines before and after their shift on a regular basis and file those calibrations with the court. They often keep a copy with them when they appear in court to testify against cases.
Radar readings carry significant weight as evidence in court because they are reliably calibrated and have been shown to be capable of reliably measuring driver speeds. There are defenses to radar gun readings in court, including when the radar has not been calibrated recently. There are additional defenses available, depending on the circumstances of each case, including other traffic in the area, and perhaps the officer misread the radar.
Another tool that officers use for speed detection in Mecklenburg County is lidar. A lidar device works similarly to radar but uses light from a laser to detect speed instead. The same issues and defenses exist for lidar that exists for radar in that machines are not always infallible. Additionally, lidar devices rely on human observation and are susceptible to human error.
The state needs to prove in court that speed-reading instruments work. To prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, an attorney is going to need to show that the speed measuring devices work accurately and effectively.
Errors by Traffic Instruments
Improper or lack of recent calibration of the gun is the primary defense for radar readings.
There are other issues with traffic radar instruments that could come up in speeding cases. These include the reading of the radar, which requires human observation of the video screen and being able to match the observation with the audible tone that is produced by the radar machine. Other issues include heavy traffic where there might be multiple vehicles on the screen at the same time in the case of mistaking, which vehicle is the one speeding.
Determining how common operator error is in the use of radar and lidar guns is difficult because usually, there is not another person present in the corner when the officer is operating the radar. Everyone becomes accustomed to the fact that the officer does it so often that they must be doing it reliably.
What is Pacing?
Pacing in Mecklenburg speeding cases is another means by which officers might measure a driver’s speed. Pacing involves an officer traveling behind a suspected speeding driver and measuring the driver’s speed by trying to match their speed and make observations of the officer’s speedometer to try to determine the driver’s speed. Pacing is admissible evidence of speeding as it is the observation of the law enforcement officer conducting the pacing.
Some issues or defenses regarding pacing in speeding cases include that pacing is far less reliable than radar or lidar devices because it relies on an officer being able to maintain observation of the vehicle that is pacing while also maintain observation of the officer’s speedometer. It relies on the accuracy of the officer’s speedometer. Also, two vehicles that appear to be traveling at the same speed might be off by two or three miles per hour, which could make a meaningful difference as to whether or not someone is charged with speeding or reckless driving.
Defenses in pacing cases may include contesting the reliability of the pacing exercise and performance. The main issue that could arise could be confronting the reliability of that measurement as opposed to the officer measuring speed with a radar. Other issues that might come up could be the accuracy of the officer’s speedometer.
Call today to learn more about speed detection in Mecklenburg County and how an attorney could help you.