Police officers use several different procedures to determine a vehicle’s speed. Law Enforcement may use radar, LiDar, stopwatch, or pacing. If an officer has charged you with speeding using pacing or any other method, an experienced speeding ticket lawyer could help you fight back against allegations. Our attorneys at Leifert & Leifert have experience regarding pacing evidence in West Palm Beach speeding cases.
Pacing is when Law Enforcement follows another vehicle and determines that vehicle’s speed based on the speed of their speedometer. The officer follows behind the target vehicle maintaining an equal distance between the police cruiser and the target vehicle. The officer looks at their speedometer to determine the speed of the target vehicle. They cannot lose sight of the vehicle and must be at a certain distance, which is usually less than a quarter of a mile away. The officer makes sure that during a given amount of time, usually about 30 seconds, they are not gaining on the driver and the driver is not pulling away from them.
The officer maintains the same speed as the driver as determined by the distance between the two vehicles. When they determine that the distance is not changing between the two vehicles, they start a pace and look at their speedometer to see how fast the targeted vehicle is going.
The speedometers in police vehicles are supposed to be calibrated every six months. Due to this, the police vehicle is put on an instrument to spin the wheels to a known speed with a known tire size. If the instrument says the driver is going 60 miles per hour, they look at the speedometer and it should say 60. A calibration certificate is issued for the police car to prove it has a calibrated speedometer. The certificate shows the vehicle was tested with the predetermined speed and what the actual speed is. There is a definite standard deviation plus or minus one or two miles per hour. If the calibrated speed is 50 miles per hour and the displayed speed on the vehicle’s speedometer is 49, that is close enough for an officer’s vehicle.
When an officer comes to court testifying that they observed a vehicle they believed was speeding and followed it maintaining the same distance between the two vehicles for a specific time and distance. They may testify that they did not gain on the vehicle and the vehicle did not change the distance from the police car. The officer’s calibrated speedometer indicated that the target vehicle was speeding, so the police officer pulled the vehicle over and issued a speeding ticket. At court, the officer will submit the calibration certificate for their speedometer. The law enforcement officer’s testimony and the calibration certificate are used to prove that the vehicle was speeding.
How Much Weight is Pacing Evidence Given in Court?
Pacing evidence in West Palm Beach speeding cases is given significant weight in court. It has much significance as radar or LiDAR evidence. If an officer has a calibrated speedometer and testifies that they followed the targeted vehicle for a specific amount of time and distance to obtain the driver’s speed, that is given great weight in a case.
If the driver claims they had their speedometer checked and it was incorrect because they put different tires on the vehicle, that could be used in mitigation. Therefore, it might lessen their consequences in that they were not purposely speeding.
Contact a West Palm Beach Lawyer About Pacing Evidence in Speeding Cases
To learn more about pacing evidence in West Palm Beach speeding cases and how an attorney could help you, call us today. Our seasoned legal team at Leifert & Leifert could help explain your legal options and advocate for you.