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Report: Florida Cops Used Illegal RADAR Guns

police badgeOfficials in The Sunshine State may have to come up with an extra $200 million to refund thousands of speeding ticket fines. What impact does this development have on citations in Bridgeport and Mammoth Lakes?

Authorities in Orlando-Lee County have issued an estimated 52,000 speeding tickets using the Python II RADAR gun, which shoots a radar beam at a 15 degree angle. The problem is that Florida law requires a more narrow 12 degree angle to help ensure accuracy. In addition to fine reimbursement, the state could be on the hook for damages, including such items as attorneys’ fees and increased insurance rates.

The Python II has been around for about 20 years and is widely used by law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Speed Detection

Speeding tickets are some of the easiest citations to prove in court, which probably explains the large number of these tickets. Nevertheless, there are some ways to poke holes in an officer’s testimony in this area.

Mobile officers nearly always use “pacing” to estimate a vehicle’s speed. Sometimes the officer uses the speed of the patrol car relative to the target vehicle’s velocity, and sometimes they use the other vehicles in traffic to estimate speed. In any event, it is little more than an educated guess. Especially if the officer is somewhat inexperienced overall or new to traffic patrol in that particular area, pacing may not be sufficient to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

RADAR (an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging) is much more precise, but as the problems in Florida illustrate, not very accurate. The readout proves that one of the vehicles in a cluster was speeding, but does not prove which one was speeding.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.