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View Full Version : Speeding ticket from a PA Trooper

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 12:35:23 AM
Yesterday I merged onto I-95, and no more than 20 seconds after I got on I had a state trooper behind me. He told me I was going 87mph in a 55mph. He wrote me a speeding ticket for just that.

Now I was going 80 AT THE MOST at the time and the trooper did NOT use radar or check it on the ticket ( i have a valentine 1) and instead checked CLOCKED on the ticket. I'm assuming this means he paced my speed, but I don't see this possible because of the distance he wrote on the ticket. The officer wrote on my ticket miles followed and miles timed, which are both .03 miles. This is 3/100th's of a mile. My guess is that he made a visual estimate and tried to pull some hokey crap on me that he clocked me. This is a BIG ticket in Pennsylvania because I face 5 points and a departmental hearing with PennDOT if convicted. My question is how to face this in court? I have a completely clean record in the state and it is my home state.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 01:26:12 AM
Hard to say what he used. The usual game is that you have to go to court to find out (unless you go through the whole formal request for State evidence against you before the trial date). He might have used VASCAR (although I haven't seen it around much lately). You can do some web searching to see what the minimum timed distance for VASCAR is - but if I recall correctly - there is no minimum.

3/100 mile *IS* pretty short. You may want to do the calculation to see how fast a car traveling 85MPH takes to cover 3/100 mile.

[NOTE: I found this on ther web --"Please help...I've become disillusioned with the judicial system. I was pulled over for doing 51.2 mph in 35 mph zone. Vascar was set up as .021 (110.88') mile trap for 1.47 seconds. My driving record was spotless and I drive this road every day so I checked my speed often and am convinced there is no way I was going 51.2.

In preparing my defense, I found several articles showing minimum recommended distances of 1/8th and 1/10th mile as well as one calling for a 4 second minimum trap time. The error would drop to (in my opinion) an acceptable range of +/-2 mph. I felt well prepared.

When I went to the hearing, the justice told me to put that stuff away, reduced the points from 3 to 0, and kept the fine/court costs/etc. "

Of course many courts don't play the "I have a technical objection to the method the officer used to determine my speed" game. Justice can move very, very fast in traffic court. Many cases I have seen were basicly over in less than 15 seconds. I wouldn't count on a technical challenge to the evidence.

Good luck!

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 01:49:59 AM
He didn't use VASCAR, i know that for a fact, thats the main system of pulling over speeders in PA though. I really think the trooper just had it in for me there is NO way 3/100's of a mile is enough for the court to justify such a large speeding ticket.

*I've checked with my local police department and everyone is being quite reluctant to give me any information about internal police policies (that I can and will get access to with a discovery court order should I need to). A detective friend of mine in NJ has told me that he was pretty sure that any cop has to pace you for roughly 1/4-1/2 a mile before pulling you over for it to legally and mathamatically effective.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 02:00:34 AM
Based on my experience both in PA and with a V1, I would go ahead and say it's safe to assume that he eye-balled you getting on 95 and did not use a device to measure your speed. I'm considering that none of the 3 exits you would most likely use to enter 95 from Yardley (Main St., 332, or Rt. 1) have VASCAR setups, and your V1 didn't light up like a Christmas tree let alone at all.

I think that lmtfi is correct that your defense should not be to discredit the fact that you were allegedly (get used to using this term) going 87mph. You should focus everything on discrediting the trooper's ability to visually "clock" a vehicle over a distance of 0.03 miles. Investigate if there is a minimum "pace" distance in PA. If there is one, I doubt it's 0.03 miles.

I'm not sure this would fly in court, but hell, record a few videos from the same distance he allegedly "clocked" you from at various speeds and see if he can accurately identify the speed of the car travelling in the video. The video would have to have some sort of validating factors or controls so that you can accurately display the true speeds as well.

Ask the trooper to detail the specifics of his distance. Where was he located? Where did he start "clocking" you? Where did he "stop" clocking you? What was the traffic/weather/road condition like? What time was it?

You might entertain the option of including the Valentine 1 in your defense, but you'll have to do so very gently so not to portray yourself (blatantly, at least) as an offensive driver.

Hell, get creative, and see if V1 can provide you a statement from their professionals discrediting that you were clocked within that proximity without ANY warning. It will be your word against the trooper's, but the trooper was not in your car to say that it DID in fact alert you.

I'm ranting at this point. Good luck with your ticket and feel free to PM me for more useless legal-ese nonsense :)

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 02:02:21 AM
yeah man your from newtown right I was getting on 95 south from the bypass. There is no VASCAR trap there and my V1 didn't go off he had to pace me. I am investigating the minimum pace distance none of the cops are being very cooperative with me though. I've called Lower Makefield Twp PD and Middletown and neither would give me a straight answer to my question. Middletown actually asked me why I thought I was entitled to that information. I have a buddy in the Newtown Twp PD I'm gonna talk to him this weekend and ask him.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 02:08:46 AM
I think i got him 75 Pa.C.S. 3368 says the minimum distance for pacing is 3/10's of a mile.

(a) Speedometers authorized.--The rate of speed of any vehicle may be timed on any highway by a police officer using a motor vehicle equipped with a speedometer. In ascertaining the speed of a vehicle by the use of a speedometer, the speed shall be timed for a distance of not less than three-tenths of a mile.

(b) Testing of speedometers.--The department may appoint stations for testing speedometers and may prescribe regulations as to the manner in which the test shall be made. Speedometers shall have been tested for accuracy within a period of 60 days prior to the alleged violation. A certificate from the station showing that the test was made, the date of the test and the degree of accuracy of the speedometer shall be competent and prima facie evidence of those facts in every proceeding in which a violation of this title is charged.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 02:53:14 AM
0.03 mile = 158.4 feet

At 87 MPH you would travel 127.89 feet per second. So he claims to have timed you in 1.23 seconds? !

Yea. I don't think so.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 03:29:07 AM
yeah its so ridiculous im calling the court on monday and I'm gonna see if i can file a pre-trial motion to dismiss because the trooper "failed to meet the state requirements for pacing"

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 03:39:31 AM
I think i got him 75 Pa.C.S. 3368 says the minimum distance for pacing is 3/10's of a mile.

Moved to Jamison recently, but I still frequent the Newtown area.

Given the information, I would certainly present it to the judge.

So within roughly 50 yards of entering 95 you were paced (150' roughly). This occured during a 1.2 second period. By your memory, it took roughly 15-20 seconds for the trooper to flash you. What happened during the other 14-18 seconds prior to flashing? If the pace was 0.03 miles, wouldn't he have flashed you just after the pace?

Come to think of it, it could be a "math error" on the trooper's behalf. Not to imply that he or she doesn't understand how decimals work, but 15-20 seconds of pace time would certainly be enough for 0.3 miles and plenty of time left to flash you (5 seconds maybe?).

Another "food for thought" question: If the officer was pacing you as soon as you entered the highway, why was he traveling 20mph+ over the limit?

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 04:13:11 AM
Troopers speed all the time around here nobody does anything about it because they are Troopers. I will say one thing though NOBODY speeds more than Troop E NJ Troopers. Those guys FLY down the GSP and the AC Expressway. Anyway PA law allows police to speed when it's within duty, but you make a good point that the Trooper must have been moving pretty fast without a reason. I don't think it will fly well with the judge though if I start accusing the trooper of speeding without a purpose.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 04:37:24 AM
I'll disagree with earlier advice re: mentioning you had a radar detector in the car at the time of the (alleged) infraction. That would very likely backfire on you and cause the judge to see you as a speeder.

I also recommend against stating that the cop must have been speeding. The charge that will be heard in that court on that day will be against you - not the writing officer. The judge will be on you in a flash.

Stick to the law and the evidence presented against you. As I said before - be prepared for the wheels of justice to move very fast after they call your name. The judge has heard it all and will usually tend to give the officer more than the benefit of the doubt.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 12:08:53 PM
yeah i know this won't be my first time to traffic court.I've beaten every traffic ticket I've ever gotten in court.

Sat, Feb-04-2006, 03:21:37 PM
Yeah, just point to the trooper and say "He did it!" or the My Cousin Vinny "Everything that guy just said is bullshit." :)

Fri, Feb-17-2006, 04:21:49 AM
VASCAR by air, no minimum distance required, what ever you do, don't introduce any speed detecting device at the time of you hearing. There's also ENRADD, ESP and Acutrack. If you're worried about the points, call the cop, admit the offense, tell him you drive for a living, and ask if he can do anything about the points. Paced by speedometer requires 3/10ths AND the speedometer has to be calibrated no longer than 60 days prior to date of the offense. If clocked by VASCAR in pace mode, no minimum requried.

Mon, Feb-20-2006, 09:35:37 PM
Remember, these are Police Officers, not Mathmeticians. I got my wife off when the PA Officer timed her between the lines. Based on his math, she was doing 575mph, in a 97 Nissan Altima!! It was dismissed. The officer met me at the court and spoke to the judge beforehand. He saved himself the embarassment. :rofl2:

Mon, Feb-20-2006, 10:54:59 PM
Remember, these are Police Officers, not Mathmeticians. I got my wife off when the PA Officer timed her between the lines. Based on his math, she was doing 575mph, in a 97 Nissan Altima!! It was dismissed. The officer met me at the court and spoke to the judge beforehand. He saved himself the embarassment. :rofl2:

She must have teh +250hp vinyls. :rofl2:

Thu, Jul-27-2006, 05:10:32 PM
IF and I mean if, the ticket says .03 miles he screwed up, taking that to court and pleeing that he messed up the paperwork is grounds for having the whole ticket being wrong

Mon, Aug-14-2006, 05:27:48 PM
You're the last guy to get a ticket that says .03 miles when he means .3 miles (precisely what the law requires and what he is attempting to state).

I wonder how long he's been making this mistake and no one took the time to notice.

So what happened anyway???