Estimated speed is enough for Ohio cops to write tickets
The Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that police officers can issue speeding tickets based on visual estimates of speed and without any other form of proof such as radar.
The practice is allowed as long as an officer has been trained and certified in visual speed estimation by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, a 5-1 majority of court justices ruled Wednesday, June 2.
Back in 2008, Officer Christopher Santimarino of Copley, OH, issued a speeding ticket to motorist Mark Jenney of Akron based solely on a visual estimation of Jenney’s speed.
Jenney challenged the ticket as any rational person would, but following a series of rulings and appeals, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision siding with law enforcement.
“(A) police officer’s testimony regarding his unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed, when supported by evidence that the officer is trained … (is) sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s speed,” Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote on behalf of the majority.
Trucker and OOIDA Member Daniel Roar of Dayton, OH, said the court ruling stacks the deck against highway users in his home state.
“Our constitutional rights are being taken away from us every day,” Roar told Land Line.
“You can’t tell how fast a car or truck is going just by looking at it. If you’re going to catch me for speeding, show me proof.”
Justice Terrence O’Donnell, the lone dissenting voice in the case, wrote that an officer’s credibility, just like a defendant’s, should be subject to determinations by a jury or another fact-finder that may choose to believe all, part or none of the testimony.
– By David Tanner, associate editor