Annapolis Speed Detection Devices
An officer who has pulled over a vehicle for speeding that has used speed detection equipment will most likely show the driver they have been trained and certified to record vehicle speed. Additionally, the officer will demonstrate the equipment was properly calibrated and fully functioning at the time the driver was pulled over.
Three common methods officers use to record driver speed include pacing, radar devices, and LIDAR devices. Typically, the equipment used by officers in traffic stops can be difficult to defend against. Unless a driver is able to defend against the method used by the officer, the officer’s word regarding the speed of the driver at the time he or she was pulled over will generally prevail. In these cases, it is important to contact a speeding lawyer in the Annapolis area.
Radar and LIDAR Devices
Radar devices use radar waves that reflect off of moving objects in order to determine the object’s speed. In such devices, a transmitter generates waves directed at moving objects then reflected off of such objects back toward the transmitter. These reflected waves are then picked up and amplified by a receiver in the device. Once the waves are analyzed, an officer is able to read the analysis.
Radar device readings carry a lot of weight as evidence in court. However, they remain subject to certain defenses. For instance, an individual may argue that an officer lacks the necessary training to operate a radar device. Alternatively, an individual may argue that, though the officer had the appropriate training, the device was not properly calibrated at the time of the citation, or the device’s analysis was improperly influenced by other moving objects.
LIDAR devices use low-powered beams of laser light that bounce off of moving objects and return to receivers within the devices. Such devices use this reflected light to then calculate the speed of the moving object.
In Annapolis, speeding is also monitored through the use of speed cameras. When speed cameras are used, no officers are involved. Instead, speed cameras are used to record images of vehicles traveling more than 12 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Citations are then mailed to the owner of the vehicle. Citations generated by speed cameras carry a $40 fine but do not result in assessed points. Individuals who receive such citations may contest them by requesting a hearing.
An officer uses pacing to determine a driver’s speed, in which he or she must maintain a constant distance between his vehicle and that of the driver for a sufficient period to make a reasonably accurate estimate of the driver’s speed.
Pacing as detection is admissible as evidence of speeding in Annapolis courts. The officer must first prove his or her speedometer was functioning properly and the period of time for which he followed the driver was sufficient to establish the driver’s speed. The distance between the officer’s car and that of the driver can affect the officer’s ability to determine the driver’s speed. The greater the distance, the less accurate the estimated speed will be.
Pacing can be difficult to defend against. However, an individual may argue that the presence of hills, curves, traffic, and stop signs affected the officer’s estimate of his or her speed as these conditions may have prevented the officer from continuously pacing the driver’s vehicle.