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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    2

    Default California Pacing Procedure to Determine Speed

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California.
    I was charged with speeding(22350) by a cop using the pacing method.
    My question is where can I find info in the CA vehicle code for "pacing procedure for determining speed"?
    There has to be a standard procedure for pacing.
    In my case I only noticed the officers vehicle in my mirror after he had come around a corner and he was over 30 car lengths away and closing fast.
    There is no way for the police to accurately determine a vehicles speed if the car in question is so far away from the police car and around a corner.
    I was wondering where I can find the pacing procedure explained?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,628

    Default Re: California Pacing Procedure to Determine Speed

    I don't think you need to have the pacing procedure explained. You obviously recognize the fact that the procedure used violates common sense. You should just be prepared to question the cop about it in court. You should make him explain it and justify his procedure.

    Now, here's an interesting argument. People v Goulet states:

    Speed trap rules are not applicable to evidence of speed based on use of a speedometer without any use of radar. The Legislature may anticipate that when an officer is driving a vehicle and enforcing prima facie speed laws by observing traffic, roadside conditions, his and/or her own perceptions of safety under the circumstances, and then noting speed from the speedometer of the patrol vehicle, the judgment is likely to be similar to the reasonable and prudent majority of drivers, and not be determined merely by a speed limit which, for political, revenue, or other reasons, a local authority may have set below what is reasonable and necessary for safe and efficient movement of traffic.
    This means that the reason the prosecution doesn't have to consider speed trap laws in a pace case is because the cop is a part of the traffic and he can judge if the speed is dangerous or unreasonable for the conditions. Therefore, simply relying on 22351 saying that a person over the limit is presumed to be violating the basic speed law may not be enough.

    In People v. Behjat, the court stated:

    In a prosecution under Vehicle Code section 22350, the record must contain substantial evidence from which a fact finder could conclude either that the defendant drove at a speed that endangered people or property or that she drove at a speed that was unreasonable for the driving conditions.
    So, just saying that you were over the limit may not suffice. The officer should have to give evidence as to how your speed created a danger or was unreasonable under the circumstances.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    2

    Default Re: California Pacing Procedure to Determine Speed

    Thanks for the info.
    The conditions were all in my favor, weather clear, good visibility, light traffic, clear, paved roads.
    I believe that the officer sped up dramatically in order to catch up to my vehicle and concluded that if he was traveling at "x" mph then I must have been traveling the same.
    Fortunately in my case he was not only a great distance behind me, at least 30+ car lengths, also he stopped me after rounding a corner.
    It's not possible to accurately estimate a vehicles speed when the vehicle in question is not only far away from the patrol car but around a corner.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    533

    Default Re: California Pacing Procedure to Determine Speed

    Quote Quoting Sloan
    View Post
    Thanks for the info.
    The conditions were all in my favor, weather clear, good visibility, light traffic, clear, paved roads.
    I believe that the officer sped up dramatically in order to catch up to my vehicle and concluded that if he was traveling at "x" mph then I must have been traveling the same.
    Fortunately in my case he was not only a great distance behind me, at least 30+ car lengths, also he stopped me after rounding a corner.
    It's not possible to accurately estimate a vehicles speed when the vehicle in question is not only far away from the patrol car but around a corner.
    You really need to understand that police officers will simply lie.

    "I am trained in pacing, I passed a pacing course, I measured his speed at X for 2 miles at 100 feet from his bumper"

    You will disagree, you will have a complex argument about how many car lengths and where the officer was, etc, etc.

    Judge will say "Well, I see officer Bob here a dozen times a month for the last year, so I will go with his story...Guilty"

    I'd make them prove it, try and get them to mess up ...TBD, discovery/subpoena for all the records, etc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: California Pacing Procedure to Determine Speed

    Quote Quoting adam_
    View Post
    You really need to understand that police officers will simply lie.

    "I am trained in pacing, I passed a pacing course, I measured his speed at X for 2 miles at 100 feet from his bumper"

    You will disagree, you will have a complex argument about how many car lengths and where the officer was, etc, etc.

    Judge will say "Well, I see officer Bob here a dozen times a month for the last year, so I will go with his story...Guilty"

    I'd make them prove it, try and get them to mess up ...TBD, discovery/subpoena for all the records, etc

    Adam,

    Unfortunately, you are more right than most people would like to admit. How sad for us all.

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