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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    6

    Default Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington

    I am contesting a ticket I received and would appreciate any advice. I have read through many of the threads on this site and have found them to be a wealth of knowledge, but my case is slightly different and I am hoping to get some specific advice as to how I can get the radar or the officer's declaration excluded from the record. There are several items that are simply untrue in his declaration along with several embellishments. The he said she said argument does not really hold up I know. The officer was in the right lane and I was in the left in a 45 zone. At first the officer was traveling below the speed limit. As I approached he sped up to the speed limit and we matched speeds. Ahead of him was a City Police vehicle and ahead of that was a cement truck. The City Police moved into the left lane and passed the cement truck as they started to go up a hill and the cement truck was not able to maintain speed. The City Police appeared to be traveling well above 45. As the Trooper approached the cement truck he was forced to slow, since I was in the left lane I was able to maintain the 45 mph speed and passed the Trooper and the cement truck. After cresting the hill and rounding the corner around 1200 feet away is the 55 mph sign. When I could see the sign I began to accelerate to 55 mph. At this point I was ahead of the Trooper and less than 1200 feet from the 55 mph sign. I probably hit 55 just before the 55 sign.

    The Trooper clearly states that he obtained the speed from his rear antenna, but also states that I was in front of him. He also states that he had the speed reading for at least 15 seconds. I am not sure if that is required or not, but it is not even 15 seconds from the point I started to accelerate to the 55 mph sign, so he could not have possibly has me on his radar in the 45 zone for 15 second. I have also noticed that there is an argument to made for not clearly stating the subsection of 46.61.400, should I open with this, or the fact that he states that he used his rear antenna and I was in front of him.

    Here are the the excerpts from the State Trooper's statement:
    "When defendant's speed was obtained on the rear, it emitted a clear, concise, high pitched audio tone. I observed a visual display on the RADAR SMD of 55 MPH in the 45 MPH speed limit zone for at least 15 seconds. I was using my RADAR in the same direction moving mode, the vehicle was approaching my location. The reading on the defendant was obtained using the rear antenna."

    "The defendant moved up to my left rear quarter and remained there as if he wanted to pass by me. I was traveling the 45 mph speed limit through Morse Creek. As we rounded the curve at the top of Morse Creek the defendant accelerated to 55 mph. He then passed me in the left lane and continued to accelerate just as we exited the curve."

    Seems like to me that if he was in fact using his RADAR in the rear facing direction and I was in front of him the RADAR data should be excluded from the evidence.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,814

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    When I could see the sign I began to accelerate to 55 mph
    That was a mistake. The new limit starts at the sign, not before it.

    I probably hit 55 just before the 55 sign.
    Then you were doing 55 in a 45 mph zone.

    The Trooper clearly states that he obtained the speed from his rear antenna, but also states that I was in front of him. He also states that he had the speed reading for at least 15 seconds. I am not sure if that is required or not, but it is not even 15 seconds from the point I started to accelerate to the 55 mph sign, so he could not have possibly has me on his radar in the 45 zone for 15 second. I have also noticed that there is an argument to made for not clearly stating the subsection of 46.61.400, should I open with this, or the fact that he states that he used his rear antenna and I was in front of him.
    Sorry, I don't see any defenses there. If you got cited for 10 miles over it was because you were doing 10 miles over.

    Seems like to me that if he was in fact using his RADAR in the rear facing direction and I was in front of him the RADAR data should be excluded from the evidence.
    The antenna is multi-directional. Ask him when you get to court. He'll tell you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    Doesn't the officer need to switch from the read antenna to the front? The last time I did a ride along with my cop friend he had to do that on his radar?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    Since this is in WA the officer will not show up unless you subpoena him which is generally a bad idea. You have a problem that the officer states that you were doing 55 both in approaching him and after you passed him. Even if you get the reading from after you passed him excluded you still have to deal with the reading from when you approached him. The officer states he was using the rear antenna when you were approaching him but is silent about which he used after you passed him. Your other issue the standard for conviction, it only requires preponderance of the evidence, not beyond reasonable doubt. That lower standard is really hard to overcome unless you can get radar excluded. If you post the complete statement from the officer, calibration certificates, etc., it will be easier for the group to find issues that could lead to SMD exclusion and an acquittal. There are details the officer has to address in the statement which can lead to a dismissal if the i's are not dotted and the t's not crossed. With the information provided so far it is not looking good for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    I have tried to post links to the scanned report, but they have not been posted. Is there another way to add a picture or pdf?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,867

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    PM it to me and I'll post it for you. Make sure any personally identifying info is blocked.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    The PM didn't seem to work.

    I converted the officer's statement to a word document. I probably will not be able to do that with the ticket itself, those are the only two items that I received in discovery. As I mentioned before some of the statements that he makes are not true and/or embellishments. I did question him on why I got the ticket, but as he started droning on about how I was in the left lane and speeding earlier and that this is a NO TOLERANCE roadway, I stopped him and told that he had more important things to get to (specifically the accident) and that he should get to that. I did not continue to argue with him at all. There also was not any cars driving by honking their horns, that is absurd and I would have noticed that. He at the beginning of the stop told me that everything was being recorded. That was not provided in the discovery request, but that is probably normal, and really would not have any affect on the RADAR anyhow, he just makes it look bad with all of his extra dialogue.

    IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
    IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF CLALLAM
    STATE OF WASHINGTON, Plaintiff
    vs.
    (name captioned on NIO/C) Defendant
    NO. xz0038645
    Declaration of
    Trooper XXX
    I certify under penalty of perjury:
    I have been a commissioned Washington State Trooper for 20 years and was on duty on 1/9/2020 when I
    made contact with the defendant.
    This affidavit incorporates by reference Notice of Infraction
    xz0038645. On the date, time, and location
    listed on the Notice of Infraction, the defendant was observed at a speed, which appeared to be in excess of
    the posted speed limit of 45
    MPH. When defendant’s speed was obtained on the rear, it emitted a clear,
    concise, high pitched audio tone. I observed a visual display on the Radar SMD of
    55 MPH in the 45 MPH
    speed limit zone for at least 15 seconds.
    K| I was using my Radar in the same direction moving mode, the vehicle was approaching my location.
    The reading on the defendant was obtained using the
    rear antenna.
    Careful attention to the RADAR unit and the traffic present at the time indicated to me that the
    defendant’s vehicle was the only target in the RADAR beam.
    Kl The speed indicated in the Radar patrol speed window was verified with the patrol vehicle’s
    speedometer. The patrol vehicle’s speedometer was certified on 1/9/2020 by Trooper Fallon, using
    RADAR unit R2896. It was found to be accurate.
    The following Radar SMD was properly operated on the above date and time listed on the Notice of
    Infraction. Radar SMD was Tag #R2896. I checked the Radar by use of internal test switch and externally
    by use of the following tuning forks (manufacturer’s serial numbers) 423115. and 423060 at the beginning
    and ends of my shift and it was found to be in proper working order. The Radar SMD is certified by WSP
    Technicians once every two years. I am qualified Radar SMD operator having received training and
    instruction in the proper use and operation of Radar SMDs.
    NOTE:
    The defendant caught up to me in the 40 mph zone at MP251. I tracked his speed at 50 mph before he
    slowed as he neared me. He was in the left lane and remained in the left lane during my entire observation.
    The defendant moved up to my left rear quarter and remained there as if he wanted to pass by me. I was
    traveling the 45 mph speed limit through Morse Creek. As we rounded the curve at the top of Morse Creek
    the defendant accelerated to 55 mph. He then passed me in the left lane and continued to accelerate just as
    we exited the curve. The 55 sign was still more than a quarter mile away and past the intersection of Deer
    Park Road. I was driving a fully marked patrol car. There was also a fully marked Sequim Police car
    driving ahead of me in the right lane. The defendant clearly had no regard for the presence of law
    enforcement.
    As I was getting out of my car to contact the defendant, passing traffic that had been behind us honked as
    they went by. Based on my experience this indicated the defendant had likely aggravated other motorists
    before he caught up to me and now they were expressing their displeasure in the defendant.

    The defendant acted as though he had not committed a violation. He stated he didn’t accelerate until he
    could see the 55 sign.
    While I was completing the defendant’s ticket, Dispatch advised me of a collision blocking the high just
    four miles ahead.
    I issued the defendant his citation then advised him I needed leave because of the pending collision. The
    defendant then began to argue with me over the details of the violation. He stated there was a car in front
    of him going faster and I should have stopped it. The only two cars ahead of him with the two police cars.
    He continued to argue and be disrespectful. I had to discontinue the traffic the contact and respond to the
    collision.

    I certify or declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington the foregoing is

    true and correct /S/ XXX____________
    Trooper XXX 1/10/2020 Clallam County

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    It looks as if you approached the trooper from the rear and caught up to him. If so, then the rear antenna was appropriate.

    The officer's added commentary does not change the underlying offense. You can go to court and argue your position, but as you have been told the officer will not be there unless you subpoena him. And, as previously explained by others, that may not be in your best interest. If the judge is decent at his job, the supposition made by the officer will have no real effect on the outcome as it was not relevant to the offense.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    I know that is what it says, but that is not what happened. What about the fact that prior to me speeding up he states that "The defendant moved up to my left rear quarter and remained there as if he wanted to pass by me." He never mentions the concrete truck that was in front of him that forced him to slow and then I passed by him. Shortly after that I began to speed up to the 55 mph. I know that the fact that he left out the concrete truck is unfortunate, but the fact that he stated that I was on his rear quarter and remained there seems to me that he would not have been able to record me at 55 mph from his rear antenna.

    I did in fact at the time think that I did not commit an infraction, but I do know now that I did. I had always thought there was some 500' rule with changes in speed. Turns out there is, but it is for a reduction in speed, not increase. Lesson learned, but seems pretty extreme for a few hundred feet at most, especially since we all do it. I drive the same road every day and 99 out of 100 drivers start speeding up as they get close the sign. Do anyone think there is a spirit of the law - letter of the law plea I could make with the judge?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Radar Speed States Using Rear Antenna, but I Was in Front of Him

    Quote Quoting srhhrs
    View Post
    I know that is what it says, but that is not what happened.
    So ... you did NOT come up from behind him?

    What about the fact that prior to me speeding up he states that "The defendant moved up to my left rear quarter and remained there as if he wanted to pass by me." He never mentions the concrete truck that was in front of him that forced him to slow and then I passed by him. Shortly after that I began to speed up to the 55 mph. I know that the fact that he left out the concrete truck is unfortunate, but the fact that he stated that I was on his rear quarter and remained there seems to me that he would not have been able to record me at 55 mph from his rear antenna.
    So, you DID speed up to 55 in a 45? It doesn't matter that he had a truck in front of him, what matters was what he estimated and clocked your speed as.

    And why would he NOT have been able to get a reading because a truck was in front of him? The radar is a cone, not a tight beam to the rear. So, the fact you were in an adjacent lane would not be an issue.

    I did in fact at the time think that I did not commit an infraction, but I do know now that I did. I had always thought there was some 500' rule with changes in speed. Turns out there is, but it is for a reduction in speed, not increase. Lesson learned, but seems pretty extreme for a few hundred feet at most, especially since we all do it. I drive the same road every day and 99 out of 100 drivers start speeding up as they get close the sign. Do anyone think there is a spirit of the law - letter of the law plea I could make with the judge?
    What you suggest is essentially a guilty plea with an explanation. That won't save you from a penalty. I am not sure of your options in Washington, so there might be the option of mitigation of penalties through traffic school or some other program available to you. You might want to look those up.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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