Re: Ticketed for Speeding While Going Downhill
So Cal, I appreciate your comments, however misguided they are. First let me try to show how your "unrelated [but] similar example" is not applicable:
I assume you are referring to the Fourth Amendment's "Right to Privacy". Your error apparently comes from a misunderstanding of an individual's "Right to Privacy". The "Right to Privacy" is the legal right to reasonable privacy in NOT having your PRIVATE affairs made PUBLIC. It has been ruled repeatedly that what a person does IN PUBLIC is NOT PRIVATE. So, do the police have the authority to record a "quiet but public" conversation? Yep! Can they subsequently use that to establish probable cause? Yep!
Quoting So Cal
So, you're driving your vehicle on a public street or highway. Does law enforcement have the authority to use "an advanced electronic surveillance device" to determine if the driver of that vehicle is breaking the law? Yep!
Now, to address your initial point:
You obviously do not understand the proper use of RADAR to obtain evidence of speed and how that evidence needs to be presented in court. In order to introduce RADAR evidence of speed, certain foundation elements are required. First, the theory of Doppler RADAR has been well established and courts can take judicial notice of that element.
Quoting So Cal
Next, the individual RADAR unit must be "authenticated". That is, the prosecution must show that the individual device was in proper working order at the time of use. This actually consists of two items: it must be shown that the device is "periodically" calibrated along with any tuning forks used to subsequently check the device; next, it must be shown that the device is tested for proper operation and the calibration checked near the time of use.
Finally, it must be shown that the device was measuring the speed of the individual vehicle driven by the person who was cited.
I believe this last item is the source of your confusion. In order to legally identify the individual vehicle, the officer must establish a "tracking history". The major drawback to using RADAR is that the RADAR is NOT selective in its targeting. At 250 feet a RADAR beam can cover EVERY lane of a four-lane highway. Some devices, such as the Kustom Talon, cannot even distinguish whether a target is approaching or receding. Considering the potential for a vast number of vehicles to be within the beam, to prove in court that the defendant's vehicle was, indeed, the vehicle whose speed was being measured, a tracking history is performed as follows:
You can see that the "visual estimate" is the first step in establishing a "tracking history", which, in turn, is used to assure proper identification of the suspect vehicle. It is NOT even related to "probable cause".
Quoting Kustom Falcon User's Manual
Now, let me move on to LIDAR. LIDAR does NOT suffer from the same "beam spread" as RADAR -- at 1,000 feet the beam is only 3 feet in diameter. The probability that the reading was taken from a different vehicle is remote. In my opinion, there is absolutely NO NEED for a "tracking history" when using LIDAR. However, until we get a court case that establishes that LIDAR evidence is acceptable without a tracking history, I imagine that law enforcement will stick with "tradition" and present the evidence as though it were RADAR and perform the "visual estimate" -- even though it is not necessary.
Oops, I got called away while I was in the middle of writing this. When I did a "preview", I noticed some additional comments:
I believe, having attended several of the legislative sessions where these bills were being considered, that these are concessions to the vast majority of people who don't want a "Big Brother"-type state watching over our every move.
Quoting So Cal
I also see you've removed the words "but public" from your original post (see first quoted passage above). However, my comments stand.
Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?