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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    409

    Default Maximum Distance for LIDAR Accuracy

    I called the Iowa State Patrol one last time. It was to request the distance from the off-ramp on the interstate I was on in relation to the speed limit change. The trooper I spoke with did not know. He proceeded to ask me if I knew the distance I was clocked at. I told him I did not, and that I had been trying to obtain it, but the State Patrol department would not tell me, and neither would the County Attorney. I explained to him I had also obtained the ticket left for the courthouse, and that this information was not present. He said it is rare to use it over 1,000 ft, and most LIDAR readings are usually around 800 (as an arbitrary number) and guaranteed I would be within this range. I asked him about whether or not this should be on the ticket, and he admitted he always includes it, but some do not, as it is not required. Probably because it makes it easier to write tickets for them, and the state knows the public is unsuspecting and rarely considers challenging speeding citations. I left that part out.

    I told him I knew I was nowhere near that range (which he didn't believe). He said he could find the distance for me in the database (thinking I'd pay the ticket then most likely). After a long silence, he finally said "longer than expected, 2,017ft". I then asked if this was within the State LIDAR protocol. He said he did not know, went on about how mistakes are made, but I was still speeding, even if I was in the 70 zone. I told him I wasn't and referred to this citation as an "across the board" mistake. From what I've noticed, there are no LIDAR regulations in Iowa. Anyone can be ticketed at any distance. I can only wonder how much money the state has made over bogus LIDAR tickets. Probably a lot. He did not speak further on the subject even as I tried to elicit more information. I thanked him for the information and told him I would be notifying the County Attorney once again regarding LIDAR protocol and whether or not my distance was in the specified range for Iowa, now that I had the distance. It seems like there is no specified range in Iowa required by law, but they do recommend keeping it under 1,000ft. I plan to use this to my advantage.

    I have a few options. I plan to let the county attorney know of this, and hope they drop the charges before court (which I don't see happening), but worth a try. How the original trooper deliberately left this distance off my ticket, and his ticket, knowing this information could be advantageous to me, then in court I wouldn't know anything as to whether or not this was within any regulations (which apparently don't exist.)

    I could tell towards the end of our conversation, he regretted telling me. Expected it to be under 1,000ft easily. There's also the possibility because he gave me the distance trying to prove a point to me (which failed) my case could be thrown out.

    If anyone knows of other states that also adopted the New Jersey 1000ft ruling, please let me know. Thanks to those who have been helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    28,298

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    Unless you can prove LIDAR has some inherent inaccuracy beyond 1000 ft, being clocked at any greater distance is meaningless. To prove there is an inaccuracy inherent in using a LIDAR at such distances, you would have to deal with the manufacturers specifications. What any other state has determined to be acceptable, while supportive of any such claim, is not proof there are any inherent inaccuracies.

    Your ticket isn't going to be thrown out simply because the distance wasn't included, even if it is a requirement. The onus is upon you to file motions based on the failures of the ticket. If there is no maximum distance allowed in your state, the distance is irrelevant unless you can go beyond the current acceptance of LIDAR and prove there is a valid argument of lack of accuracy at some given distance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    409

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    I didn't have a license plate as well (just bought the car that day). This cuts the range by a wide margin. Every manual explicitly states it. I cannot find the manual online for the LIDAR used here and Lasertech wants over $100 for it.

    There seems to be no maximum distance. I plan to paint the paint the picture several in this state could have received tickets that may have been erroneous and illegal in other states, for good reason. Personally, I think it is unethical such a system can go unregulated.

    Leaving the distance off my ticket was questionable. Every trooper I've spoken with has told me they always do. This particular trooper may have known upon me seeing such a great distance, that I may have been compelled to research LIDAR and consider challenging the ticket.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    CT & IL
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    5,276

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    Quote Quoting lostintime
    View Post
    I didn't have a license plate as well. This cuts the range by a wide margin. Every manual explicitly states it. I cannot find the manual online for the LIDAR used here and Lasertech wants over $100 for it.

    There seems to be no maximum distance. I plan to paint the paint the picture several in this state are receiving tickets that may have been erroneous. Personally, I think it is unethical such a system can go unregulated.
    FOIA request to police did not get you the manual? And it would be admissible as a FOIA request & response.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    whether they left the distance off or not is meaningless unless it is required by law or it would affect the reading of the unit in your case. So far, you cannot prove that and apparently refuse to obtain the information that would prove it.

    as far as what's happening in other states; irrelevant unless you can prove there is something accepted in those states that applies to LIDAR in general or the specific unit that was used in your case.

    license plate making a difference? I wouldn't put any money on that plus, unless you provide documentation that proves that makes a difference, an off the cuff statement with no supporting evidence is meaningless. Unless you are willing to put out the money to be able to provide supporting evidence, your statement will be ignored.


    basically, you are trying to fight a ticket on the technical abilities of the LIDAR unit that was used but refuse to provide any supporting documentation for those arguments. That is quite likely to result in the court ignoring all of your claims.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    409

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    Basically, you're setting yourself up to be Shanghai'd on all fronts. That's what you're telling me. Having read your posts here, it's hardly surprising.

    I don't believe in spending as much money as the ticket on a manual - to beat the ticket. That's letting them win. Especially considering the State has the information I need.

    The Iowa State Trooper I spoke with, told me it was "guaranteed to be under 1,000ft". There's obviously some sort of recommendation, even if it's not the law. It's really all up to the judge. You could get a judge who is mad on that day, considers this a waste of his time, and stands by the ticket. Or, a judge who sees your points as valid and finds it questionable the distance was left off the ticket, considering how rare that is. The distance has to be visually estimated first. No idea who can do that given the estimation had to happen at over a half mile.

    Maybe Superman.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
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    5,276

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    The officer must use the equipment per the manufacturer's recommendations (which actually become mandatory under the law~you should find court opinions regarding this point as it is an important point to make at trial). If not, the testimony/evidence is not admissible as a proper foundation would have not been established.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    28,298

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    lostintime;527921]Basically, you're setting yourself up to be Shanghai'd on all fronts. That's what you're telling me. Having read your posts here, it's hardly surprising.
    ??? I'm simply telling you why the manner in which you propose to defend yourself is not a winning defense. I figured that would give you the opportunity to adjust it as necessary should you wish to mount an actual valid and effective defense.

    I don't believe in spending as much money as the ticket on a manual - to beat the ticket. That's letting them win. Especially considering the State has the information I need.
    they might have it, they might not but unless you know how to get it, if they do, it is irrelevant. If you know how to get it, you can get the manual the cops have.


    The Iowa State Trooper I spoke with, told me it was "guaranteed to be under 1,000ft". There's obviously some sort of recommendation, even if it's not the law.
    but a recommendation is not something to rest your hat on. If it isn't required, it doesn't mean much and since you won't have the supporting documents that state anything in particular must be done in any certain fashion, it's irrelevant. A cop is not able to testify to things he is not qualified to testify to. Even if the manual says you should use it for distances less than 1000 ft, that is all the cop can testify to. He can't say why other than the manual says it should be done that way.

    Now, if it states, point blank, that a reading from a distance greater than 1000 feet is not dependable, then you have something but again, unless you have the document to prove that statement, its meaningless.

    It's really all up to the judge. You could get a judge who is mad on that day, considers this a waste of his time, and stands by the ticket. Or, a judge who sees your points as valid and finds it questionable the distance was left off the ticket, considering how rare that is. The distance has to be visually estimated first. No idea who can do that given the estimation had to happen at over a half mile.
    well, so far, if the judge follows the requirements of the law, you will lose. Of course he could take pity on you and dismiss the ticket. Most courts aren't known for that without a reasonable justification.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    9,175

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    With the exception of the distance of 2017 ft, all of this was discussed in your other thread. Not sure what starting a new thread is going to accomplish....It certainly didn't change the answers you’re getting, did it?

    Now, since you're still not even close to confirming that distance was in fact what the officer said, AND since you have no way of showing that 2000+ feet is too far for this particular unit, You haven't really added much to your "defense plan"!

    Quote Quoting lostintime
    View Post
    The Iowa State Trooper I spoke with, told me it was "guaranteed to be under 1,000ft". There's obviously some sort of recommendation, even if it's not the law. It's really all up to the judge.
    You know what… You can type up everything that officer told you, frame it up on the wall and stare at it until your trial date… Just keep in mind that until you subpoena that officer into court, and until you can be sure that he will repeat everything he’s told you over the phone, that conversation and the information you gathered from it is useless. You're not going to be able to stand in court and say “your Honor, I spoke to officer so-and-so and he said…” (you can try but you're not likely to get too far)...

    ^That^ is hearsay and the prosecutor will more than likely object, and as a result, the judge will not allow you to continue your “story”…

    So if you think you’ve made a big discovery that will solve your case when you found out about the 2000+ foot distance, think again. You still have no verifiable information (aside from your mere guess) that the 2000 feet is outside of the range of the SMD used, nor do you have any sort of precedent to back up your statements that 1000 is normal and everything else is an anomaly.

    Quote Quoting lostintime
    View Post
    The distance has to be visually estimated first. No idea who can do that given the estimation had to happen at over a half mile.
    Maybe Superman.
    See what I mean??? Who the heck told you that the distance has to be “visually estimated first”? (probably the same person who told you they are required to write it on the citation).... Where do you pull this stuff from?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    28,298

    Default Re: Over 2,000ft LIDAR Reading.finally Know Distance

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    With the exception of the distance of 2017 ft, all of this was discussed in your other thread. Not sure what starting a new thread is going to accomplish....It certainly didn't change the answers you’re getting, did it?
    ?
    I guess I should go read the OP's other post.

    while you keep claiming the users manual makes certain statements, you are wrong in every one of them. While it does say the closer the better, better not through a windshield, license plate makes a nice point for reflection, the problem is, it doesn't say the resulting reading will be inaccurate for any of them. If you read the entire manual, it will state that as long as the receiver gets a good return, it will provide an accurate reading. If it does not receive an acceptable return, it will show an error code indicating it is beyond the capacity of the unit.


    You also seem to want to impart suggestion in the manual as law. That is not so. The law is the law and since you do not want to do any investigation as to what the law is, you will simply sound like some smart aleck kid that read a manual but has no idea how it figures in to any laws in place.

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