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Ohio Residents May Be Getting More Speeding Tickets

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On: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 5:46PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ohio Residents May Be Getting More Speeding Tickets

The Ohio Supreme Court has recently ruled that police officers in the Buckeye State do not necessarily need evidence from radar to prove that a vehicle is speeding, they can; however ticket a motorist who is driving in the state of Ohio, simply because it looks like he may be speeding. 

Gone are the days of radar guns, LIDAR, or even the archaic pacing method. Officers merely need to estimate that you might be speeding and that is enough to start writing tickets, which can result in high fines or points on your license. Oh, of course, you can take your valuable time off of work to go to the courthouse and fight the ticket, but you may need the added expense of legal counsel to be completely in the clear. 

As it turns out, most police officers have little or no formal training that would help them gauge how fast a vehicle is going by eyeballing it. In fact, law enforcement officers are probably not much better than you or me at looking at a car driving down the highway and deciphering if it is speeding or not—well, except for in extreme cases, of course. But that leaves plenty of gray area, too much for my comfort zone, particularly at the end of the month when police are trying to meet traffic ticket writing quotas.

According to police training officials, “visual assessment is only a portion of the five-hour course on traffic enforcement. Ustructors bring recruits to various traffic situations and have them guess speeds.The instructor then checks the guesses against what the radar gun says and calculates the difference.” No comments were made about how far off the average officer in training really was.

The number of traffic citations received in a year can reach up to 35 million across the country, so you better believe it's big business for local governments in the U.S. In some small rural towns the revenue generated as a result of traffic tickets is virtually the only source of capital that funds their yearly operating budgets.

Most people take the path of least resistance and just pay their fines; it’s easier than taking the time and added expense of going to court to fight them. If you live in Ohio, you may well save your energy and time—looks like it’s going to be your word against theirs from this point forward.


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