Per ER 901, radar evidence must be authenticated to be admissible. A radar affidavit should be filed with the court along with the ticket, and you get that by requesting discovery from the city attorney. That affidavit (which is the actual evidence) quite possibly lacks required elements relating to how you were tracked, or relating to identification, certification, and/or routine testing of the radar device.
As already suggested by free9man and joef, be sure to read the sticky thread Procedural Guide to Traffic Tickets in Washington State which contains a link to a discovery template and instructions on how to serve/file it. If you want help reviewing discovery, upload digital photos or scans (with your personal id and citation number redacted) to any free image hosting site and link them here in your thread.
Definitely will do - i sent the citation in contesting the charge and will post redacted info when I receive it.
Totally not looking for sympathy, just wondering what I can do as I contend he clocked me while I was still ahead of the temporary speed zone and I know I was braking in advance of the sign. If he clocked me once I had passed it, and I was still going 38, it would mean I was going much faster prior to the sign (unlikely as I was traveling with the flow of traffic).
I agree I was likely going 3 over (i dont have a reason to distrust his equipment, and I likely am going 3 over from time to time on most roads). My problem is my ticket is for 13 over, and he claimed I was 13 over in the construction zone (though he only cited me for the speed, not the construction zone).
I doubt I was specifically targeted for anything, as there were many people getting pulled over there. I witnessed 5 myself in just the amount of time it took me to go back and get pictures (5-10 minutes max).
I suspect instead that this group of officers were overreaching and clocked people immediately before entering the zone, then proceeded to give tickets as if they were going that speed IN the zone - then they say "we dropped the construction zone charge" hoping that people simply pay the fine and don't contest. Unfortunately I cannot think of anything concrete to share that PROVES my innocence. It really would be my word against the officer's which I know is likely a losing proposition.
As part of discovery is there a way to request the total number of citations by this officer and his partner(s) on this day and compare that to other similar situations? I suspect the tickets per hour or rate of ticketing would be MUCH higher in this circumstance...
And thank you all again for your advice! hugely helpful!
If you plan to fight the ticket, make sure the prosecutor can't bring the original charge back into play. The officer was cutting you a break as you were polite to him. The prosecutor may not be so lenient?
I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......
At this point it’s really not possible to formulate a defense until you see the prosecution’s evidence--which is the officer’s affidavit. Operator manuals for all radar devices contain required steps an officer must follow called “tracking history”. The officer will need to state how he tracked you in accordance with the manual’s requirements for obtaining a valid reading. In your case it’s possible they failed to meet those requirements.
IRLJ 3.1(b) specifies only 3 items the prosecution must provide, stating that “No other discovery shall be required.” It might be possible to make a separate public records request, but you would need to inquire with the city about that. Discovery is only about evidence for the citation issued to you personally.
Looks like a moderator needs to approve any post of mine with links in it, so the pdf of the officer note should be coming in a future post.
In the meantime, here is the text:
I still contend that the officer stepped into the road and waved me to the shoulder while I was still outside the work zone (sign is ~600 feet from the location i pulled over). His statement clearly states the distance was 481.2 feet at the time of the reading.By this reference I am incorporating the information on the front of citation ~
to this attached affidavit.
On 01103/2020 at about 1224 hours, I was monitoring traffic at a construction work zone located at
13200 block of SE 361h St. I was using an issued Laser Tech Inc, Tru Speed S L Tl 20/20 LIDAR unit,
serial number T J004684. This LIDAR unit is handheld, used in a stationary position and in a speed
I observed the defendant vehicle westbound on SE 36lh St in the city of Bellevue. The vehicle was
moving towards my location. The vehicle appeared to be traveling faster than the posted speed limit
of 25 mph. A work zone speed limit sign was posted in the 13400 block. I visually estimated the
vehicle's speed to be 40 mph. I have visually estimated the speed of over 10,000 vehicles, and I can
accurately visually estimate the speeds of moving vehicles to within five miles per hour I then used
my issued LIDAR to confirm my estimate and obtained a reading of 38 mph at a distance of 481 .2
feet. The LIDAR was operating properly and it gave a clear and staccato tone indicating proper
aiming of the unit. The LIDAR then gave a clear solid "target acquisition" tone. No low battery
warning was heard and RFI was not detected.
I verified the LIDAR was operating properly before and after the stop by conducting an internal light
check, internal circuitry check, and a sight alignment test. The device also demonstrated that it
conducted a self-test when I turned it on before this contact and I manually initiated the self-test after
the contact. I also tested the unit's ranging capabilities on an established and calibrated range testing
area at a distance of 103 feet and 172 feet and found the LIDAR unit to be accurate to within plus or
minus .5 as read on the display at both distances. I have been trained in the operation of the LIDAR
used and have about 5 + years of experience with speed measuring devices.
Defendant was identified by a photo drivers license or photo ID which matched the defendant.
My question is this: Given his statement, and it is likely my word against the statement - this seems like a waste of time, should I simply try to accept the fine and cancel the contested hearing?
Do you have something that would show the work zone commenced closer to the officer than 481 feet? That might be worth a try. Note that the "zone" is where the sign is NOT where the workers are.
No, I went back and took pictures. The sign starts ~600 feet from where the reading was taken (as estimated by google maps). I just dont know if the 481 feet was from memory or if that was recorded on the device somewhere...
If it is my word against the officer, I dont really anticipate winning that argument. but thought I would run that by this community if I missed something obvious.
The number is displayed on the unit. He almost certainly transcribed it and the speed to the ticket directly. There, like isn't any other record (nor is there required to be).
I'm not understanding you. If the sign is 600 feet from the officer, and you were observed 481 feet away, then you are guilty (if you were above the posted limit). Your arguments aren't even a "your word against his." You argue you were braking (which means nothing) and that you were going with the flow (again, means nothing). But yes, even if you say, you were positive you looked at your speedometer as you passed the sign and maintained a 25MPH speed, and the officer testified he observed you at 38, then you will lose. He's an expert witness. You're just another offender who said you didn't do it.
Yes, I agree that is what evidence is available. I happen to know that the officer stepped into the road and flagged me to the shoulder and THEN I looked up and saw the sign that indicated the speed change reducing to 25.
I am only saying my word against his in that my word says the above, his word is that the radar unit read that instead of something else. I will contact city hall and simply accept the fine. I agree there is slim to no possibility my defense holds up in court.
Thank you for your response, I appreciate it!