No, I did not get a speeding ticket, but it's a lot easier to do so in Ohio now. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that officers do not need to use radar or laser or any other mechanized means in order to determine speed, simply the officer's best guess as long as they have been certified. I cannot sit idly by without idly talking about it since I do have some questions.
How long is the certification process?
I could, on a good day estimate the speed of something moving. The next day I may be less accurate, the day after that, more accurate. I could even estimate perfectly in the morning, but after lunch I may see speed differently. The certification process should take a week or more to complete, but most likely is a set number of classroom hours and a test that might take thirty minutes at the end.
What are the conditions tested for certification?
This would be my biggest question because simply having a car drive down a straightaway all by itself is not quite "real world". The perception of speed is not based solely on the object vehicle, but all the factors surrounding that vehicle. What if the offending automobile is on the highway with many other cars all doing roughly the same speed? How fast are the other cars going? If they're going 60 MPH, then the offending vehicle appears to be going a certain speed. What if all of the other cars are going 65 MPH, but assumed by the officer to be 60? The speed of the offender can easily be perceived as slower (and vice versa if the surrounding traffic is going slower). Also, if the offender is all alone on the road, then there is only the perception of the officer to go by.
Does the officer have to be sitting still to judge speed?
Again, this goes back to the perception of speed, but this time from within traffic. Which direction is the officer traveling in relation to the offender? How fast is the patrol car going and what is the apparent speed of the offender in relation? There are many factors that have to be taken into account before making an accurate judgement on speed.
Wouldn't counting techniques work?
No. Plain and simple. The truth is, people count seconds differently. Younger people tend to count off seconds slower than older people (this was displayed in Michio Kaku's "Time" documentary) which means that counting the seconds between fixed points is not accurate at all for such a narrow scale as road speed.
The way I feel, this ruling potentially makes every driver guilty of speeding even if they're not. I am not going to bring up corruption or prejudice in these decision since they are purely subjective assumptions. I think this decision is a poor one by the court and would certainly hope that the Supreme Court of the US will review it or that the legislature of the State of Ohio will work around this ruling. Thanks for listening.