Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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I got a speeding ticket based on a radar gun. Do I just pay it?

Are you among the many people living here in Cincinnati who believes that the data from a radar gun is irrefutable? If so, then you may be glad you stopped to read this article.

Before getting into the details, you may want to know that you can challenge the so-called evidence from a radar gun. Like any other piece of machinery, it doesn't always work as intended, but police officers aren't going to tell you that.

Don't just pay that ticket until you know more

You have some time to address your speeding ticket, so it probably wouldn't hurt to learn a bit more about radar guns before making your decision regarding whether to just pay the ticket, incur the points on your license and possibly face an increase in your auto insurance premiums.

Radar guns bounce radio signals off your vehicle and the quicker those signals return to the machine, the faster you are going. That's the simple version of how these devices work. Some departments use Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology as well, which works the same way, except instead of radio signals, these devices use lasers. Both devices require regular calibration and maintenance.

The device and its user

If authorities do not properly calibrate and maintain the devices, they will not produce accurate results. Manufacturers of radar guns recommend officers calibrate them with a tuning fork prior to each use, which probably doesn't happen. You could ask for the records regarding when the officer last calibrated and otherwise maintained the radar gun or LIDAR that produced your ticket. If the officer cannot produce the records or did not take care of the machine, the results that led to your ticket may be called into question.

Another area in which you may challenge your speeding ticket involves the officer. Officers must go through the required training programs in order to use both radar guns and LIDAR. You can ask for the proof that the officer that issued your ticket received the appropriate training. If the officer did not receive the training, you could argue operator error.

Of course, no one can guarantee that the court would dismiss your ticket, but if you have the chance to avoid the fines and other possible repercussions, it may be worth your while.

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