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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    Default California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    I am trying to find laws or codes on timelines for calibration of radar units and tuning forks and so far I have had no luck.

    I also am trying to find the exact wordings on how the officers are supposed to test the radar units and how close to the stop are they supposed to do it.

    Could anybody help me please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    CT & IL
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    Default Re: California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    Quote Quoting tm6
    View Post
    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    I am trying to find laws or codes on timelines for calibration of radar units and tuning forks and so far I have had no luck.

    I also am trying to find the exact wordings on how the officers are supposed to test the radar units and how close to the stop are they supposed to do it.

    Could anybody help me please?
    There are no laws but the NHSTA may have a guide, but its likely not mandatory. You will need to look at individual police department policies and manufacturer's manuals.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    9,175

    Default Re: California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    Quote Quoting tm6
    View Post
    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    I am trying to find laws or codes on timelines for calibration of radar units and tuning forks and so far I have had no luck.

    I also am trying to find the exact wordings on how the officers are supposed to test the radar units and how close to the stop are they supposed to do it.

    Could anybody help me please?
    Since you are asking a general question (without being specific as to which VC section you were cited for), I will give you a general answer where you can start your research...

    The only specific "legal" requirement for radar calibration (that I am aware of) is included in CVC section 40802(c)(1)(D) which establishes the prosecutions burden to prove that "The radar, laser, or other electronic device used to measure the speed of the accused meets or exceeds the minimal operational standards of the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, and has been calibrated within the three years prior to the date of the alleged violation by an independent certified laser or radar repair and testing or calibration facility" when prosecuting a Prima Facie speed limit case.

    Anything above and beyond that will more than likely be part of an inter-departmental policy for each law enforcement agency... My guess is that you will not get too far requesting any of it.

    You're free to search through the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration website in hopes that you can establish what their minimal operational standards are... Although with as broad as the legal requirements (which i outlined above) are, I highly doubt that you can successfully turn any findings there into a viable "legal argument" or a "plausible defense" that will work for you in court.

    Based on the numerous times I have heard officers testify during speeding cases, and while they may make reference to a daily test for their radar equipment, I am yet to hear of anyone successfully arguing that the case should be dismissed based on the lack of a "tuning fork" test or in the absence of related testimony.

    You're free to do the work that you set out to do, or you can post more information about your citation so that we can all find out if you have any other possible defenses that you might be able to utilize.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    CT & IL
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    Default Re: California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    Since you are asking a general question (without being specific as to which VC section you were cited for), I will give you a general answer where you can start your research...

    The only specific "legal" requirement for radar calibration (that I am aware of) is included in CVC section 40802(c)(1)(D) which establishes the prosecutions burden to prove that "The radar, laser, or other electronic device used to measure the speed of the accused meets or exceeds the minimal operational standards of the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, and has been calibrated within the three years prior to the date of the alleged violation by an independent certified laser or radar repair and testing or calibration facility" when prosecuting a Prima Facie speed limit case.

    Anything above and beyond that will more than likely be part of an inter-departmental policy for each law enforcement agency... My guess is that you will not get too far requesting any of it.

    You're free to search through the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration website in hopes that you can establish what their minimal operational standards are... Although with as broad as the legal requirements (which i outlined above) are, I highly doubt that you can successfully turn any findings there into a viable "legal argument" or a "plausible defense" that will work for you in court.

    Based on the numerous times I have heard officers testify during speeding cases, and while they may make reference to a daily test for their radar equipment, I am yet to hear of anyone successfully arguing that the case should be dismissed based on the lack of a "tuning fork" test or in the absence of related testimony.

    You're free to do the work that you set out to do, or you can post more information about your citation so that we can all find out if you have any other possible defenses that you might be able to utilize.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for the cite! Now I know it is mandatory. Most times, if the cop tells you every step he took but does not tell you he took a measurement per manufacture's method (even if it is the method) then you can motion to strike the testimony on this issue .. depends on the judge what he rules

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

    Default Re: California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    TG... you forgot to point out that the calibration requirements you refer to are only required if the speed survey (assuming one is required) is more than 5 years old.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: California Laws on Proper Calibration of Radar Units and Tuning Forks

    Quote Quoting tm6
    View Post
    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    I am trying to find laws or codes on timelines for calibration of radar units and tuning forks and so far I have had no luck.

    I also am trying to find the exact wordings on how the officers are supposed to test the radar units and how close to the stop are they supposed to do it.

    Could anybody help me please?
    How do you plan on using these 'laws, codes or guidelines'??? If you are fighting a speeding ticket, it isn't so much knowing the codes, but determining if there IS an error and how to exploit them...

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