There is some bad news for those of us who live in Ohio. Not only might we lose LeBron James, but also police offers will be allowed to issue tickets because they ‘think’ a car is speeding.
New police officers in Ohio receive no extra training in estimating speeds. They won’t be using stopwatches, timing devices, or even a wonderful little thing called a radar. Instead, officers in Ohio will be giving out tickets based on a guess.
"There is no formula to apply," said Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission to The Plain Dealer. "It’s kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing."
An Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday has decided that a police officer’s hunch is good enough to issue a ticket. Though guesses have been used for quite some time, most courts in Ohio required more than that. Things like radar readings or comparing the speed of the suspect to that of the police cruiser were all used.
Now though, things have changed. The court ruled that officers trained by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy or a similar academy are now experienced enough to be a judge of speed.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Officers in Nebraska and Pennsylvania use the guess technique as well, but they also need some sort of evidence. That being said, officers in those states have the leeway to say that a vehicle was traveling at an unsafe speed.
Cleveland Heights Lt. Larry Shaffer said that officers are trained in this sort of thing. They follow behind a vehicle and determine its speed, but state training allows a reasonable estimate.
"Before you would be certified you have to be fairly accurate with the naked eye," he said to The Plain Dealer.
Students at state academies are taught to just speed by using four principals: their own knowledge, their own experience, watching vehicles move by stationary objects, seeing if a vehicle is moving in an usual way or the driver is driving like a mad man.
Yet, the principals that are taught don’t tell drivers how to judge speeds and that is why the world created the radar.
For speed guess training, the students are taken to a road to guess the speed of passing cars. The instructor uses radar to see how close the student was with their hunch.
"You just refine that and refine that by looking at the radar," Fiatal said to The Plain Dealer.
So, by the same logic, drivers should be able to guess if they are driving the speed limit with a few days of training. I thought I was doing 65 mph, sorry about that officer.