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MWM
07-16-2012, 10:35 AM
Last week on my way to work I pulled onto the freeway like I do every day. The first several miles of that freeway is loaded with cops pretty much every day, a lot of them on motorcycles. I know better than to speed.

I saw a motorcycle officer as soon as I pulled on in my rear view mirror. Speed limit is 55 through a construction zone, so I made sure I stayed below 60 keeping my eye on him the whole time. I know for a fact my speedometer is spot on. After a few minutes, he rides up next to me and signals me to pull over.

He said he "pace clocked" me at 70 mph. Not having picked up on that, I said I'm going to need to see that because I know I wasn't going that fast. He then reminded me it was pace clocking and explained to me what it was. I never knew they could do this. I told him I saw him the whole time and know I stayed below 60. He said my speedometer must not be working correctly.

In the times I've been pulled over before, I've never done anything other than yes sir, no sir. And while I didn't argue with him, I was very clearly not happy as I was pretty certain I was being taken advantage of. Florida cops are notorious for pulling over out of state vehicles with all the tourists down here. I was going to be changing over from MN to FL next month when mine expires. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what happened. Of course, in typical fashion he told me he was going to do me a favor and cite me for 64 only and not in a construction zone.

My question is should this even be allowed? I've never been more certain of anything as I am that this guy was totally lying his head off and writing me up simply because he could. What can I say in response? He had no radar that was time stamped with the reading on it. It was simply because he said so. I know there's a lot of reverence given police officers in our culture and I understand the nature of their jobs, but I also know many of them love the power and authority that comes with their badge and allowing a person to basically give someone a traffic ticket in this manner is too much power in the hands of these guys.

Has anyone ever gotten "pace clocked" and given a ticket before?

Sea Ray
07-16-2012, 10:44 AM
It comes down to whether you have the time to fight it in court. It'll probably take at least two half days of your time and energy, one to plead and another to testify your side. My guess is you could probably win if you state what you said here..."I know the speed limit and I saw him right away as I pulled on so I was careful not to go over..."

MWM
07-16-2012, 10:48 AM
Oh, I figure I could fight it and probably either win or get it knocked down, but it's only $120. They do that so it's easier just to pay it. I'd love to fight it out of principle, but I just don't have the time.

Sea Ray
07-16-2012, 10:51 AM
Oh, I figure I could fight it and probably either win or get it knocked down, but it's only $120. They do that so it's easier just to pay it. I'd love to fight it out of principle, but I just don't have the time.

I understand and they know that as well

nate
07-16-2012, 11:20 AM
This happened to me once when I lived in Tennessee. It was at night and he said he "paced me" going 80. I told him I wasn't sure my car went that fast and he laughed and gave me a reduced ticket.

gonelong
07-16-2012, 01:15 PM
My question is should this even be allowed? I've never been more certain of anything as I am that this guy was totally lying his head off and writing me up simply because he could. What can I say in response? He had no radar that was time stamped with the reading on it. It was simply because he said so. I know there's a lot of reverence given police officers in our culture and I understand the nature of their jobs, but I also know many of them love the power and authority that comes with their badge and allowing a person to basically give someone a traffic ticket in this manner is too much power in the hands of these guys.

Has anyone ever gotten "pace clocked" and given a ticket before?

I supect he would have to use his speedometer to pace you? If that is the case it would probably need to be calibrated from time to time. Other than that I don't see how you would approach it.

Shut up and pay your fine, citizen. :(

That galls the hell out me.

GL

MWM
07-16-2012, 01:36 PM
I supect he would have to use his speedometer to pace you? If that is the case it would probably need to be calibrated from time to time. Other than that I don't see how you would approach it.

Shut up and pay your fine, citizen. :(

That galls the hell out me.

GL

He asked when the last time I had mine calibrated. I told him I didn't know. He said his is calibrated every 6 months. Jax has those radar booths that give you your speed all over the place here. Every time I drive by I always check and mine is exactly the same, not even off by a couple. My wife was following home this weekend and I got on the phone with her and our speeds were exactly in line. When I drive exactly the speed limit, I'm getting passed all over the place. I know the speedometer is fine.

I'm not suggesting he even miscalculated here. I believe he decided he was going to write me a ticket and made the whole thing up. And yes, it galls the hell out of me.

Caveat Emperor
07-16-2012, 01:43 PM
You want to get into real nuts stuff -- until very recently Ohio law permitted an officer to cite you for speeding based purely on his visual estimation of your speed (providing he had been "trained" to visually estimate speed).

PedroBourbon
07-16-2012, 02:05 PM
Has anyone ever gotten "pace clocked" and given a ticket before?

I'm not THAT old, but I do remember the pre-radar gun days where "pacing" was the most common way to determine speed. They basically match your speed for a period of time. Sometimes you will see white lines oriented left to right on highway, these are used for pacing too. The lines are a fixed distance apart (say 1/4 or 1/2 mile) and they time you to determine your speed. They often did this with airplanes and would radio a car on the ground. Radar detectors obviously won't help you here.

MWM
07-16-2012, 02:34 PM
You want to get into real nuts stuff -- until very recently Ohio law permitted an officer to cite you for speeding based purely on his visual estimation of your speed (providing he had been "trained" to visually estimate speed).

Yeah, that's scary. I don't think pace clocking is allowed in all states. It just seems so obvious that this is a very dangerous practice, relatively speaking of course. I was genuinely surprised when he told me he could do this. I would have never thought something like that would be permissible.

vaticanplum
07-17-2012, 02:01 PM
This happened to me once, the only speeding ticket I've ever gotten (knock on wood). I was under the speed limit, in the slow lane of 71-S, at a safe distance behind two cars who were clearly not going slower than I was. The cop drove behind all three of us for a while, with me quite aware of his presence the whole time, and then pulled me over and said he had paced me. By the time the cop talked to me and checked my record, I swear he felt bad about the whole thing. But not too bad, because he gave me the ticket anyway.

I was so upset that I did fight it out of principle. Took a day off work and drove four hours (eight round trip) to where I had gotten the ticket, in Ohio; i was already living in Pennsylvania at the time. I ended up paying *more* than the ticket due to court costs or something, or else show up AGAIN for trial a month later, which was not an option. I also forgot to ask them not to put the points on my license, which the cop had agreed to. Total disaster. I've never gotten over the injustice of all that.

vaticanplum
07-17-2012, 02:01 PM
double post, sorry

MWM
07-17-2012, 02:08 PM
This happened to me once, the only speeding ticket I've ever gotten (knock on wood). I was under the speed limit, in the slow lane of 71-S, at a safe distance behind two cars who were clearly not going slower than I was. The cop drove behind all three of us for a while, with me quite aware of his presence the whole time, and then pulled me over and said he had paced me. By the time the cop talked to me and checked my record, I swear he felt bad about the whole thing. But not too bad, because he gave me the ticket anyway.

I was so upset that I did fight it out of principle. Took a day off work and drove four hours (eight round trip) to where I had gotten the ticket, in Ohio; i was already living in Pennsylvania at the time. I ended up paying *more* than the ticket due to court costs or something, or else show up AGAIN for trial a month later, which was not an option. I also forgot to ask them not to put the points on my license, which the cop had agreed to. Total disaster. I've never gotten over the injustice of all that.

I got bombarded with mail advertisements from lawyers who handle traffic citations. I called one today and as soon as I said pace clocked in Duval County by a guy on a motorcycle, the guy said said, "Ah, must have been XXXX (the officer's name)." I checked the citation and he was right. Apparently this guy is infamous for this. He told me that he gets calls from people pissed about pace clocking all the time and they are the ones who actually want to fight it most often. He told me point blank I'd lose. I'm paying him $79 to keep the points off my license.

I've never had driving record issues until I moved to FL. It's a whole new ballgame down here.

vaticanplum
07-17-2012, 02:13 PM
I got bombarded with mail advertisements from lawyers who handle traffic citations. I called one today and as soon as I said pace clocked in Duval County by a guy on a motorcycle, the guy said said, "Ah, must have been XXXX (the officer's name)." I checked the citation and he was right. Apparently this guy is infamous for this. He told me that he gets calls from people pissed about pace clocking all the time and they are the ones who actually want to fight it most often. He told me point blank I'd lose. I'm paying him $79 to keep the points off my license.

I've never had driving record issues until I moved to FL. It's a whole new ballgame down here.

At least the lawyer was honest with you. This just sucks. It's an abuse of power plain and simple, with nothing you can do to fight it. Hopefully it gives you good driving karma for a while.

The fact that you get a lot of ad mail for this shows that there is something to the driving situation in Florida being quite different.

SunDeck
07-17-2012, 03:18 PM
Pace clocking is old school, tried and true, so to speak. I can't remember the details, but there is a certain distance an officer has to follow you in order for it to be valid.
Also, I know it could seem a little dubious, but that Ohio law had a purpose; we've all seen cars going way faster than the speed limit and even the "untrained" eye can tell that. That gave police the ability to write a ticket, but perhaps now they can do more with radar anyway.

One time when I was about 19, I was heading west on I-74 and there is a spot just east of the Harrison Avenue exit where no cops can sit and clock you, so I always sped through there at, well let's just say a pretty high rate of speed. Anyway, right when I'm thinking I could peg the speedometer, I looked up at the eastbound lane (which is elevated about twenty feet higher, and staring down at me were the mirror shades of a Deputy Sheriff. I knew exactly what was going through his mind, so I headed for the exit, figuring he was going to turn back west as soon as he could (which was about 1/4 mile) and if he had the chance with that big police interceptor heading out the interstate he'd have nabbed me in a heartbeat. I ducked out onto Harrison, headed for Rybolt Road so I could get off into the hills, so to speak. In that situation, I believe he would certainly have been justified writing a ticket, based solely on his visual detection.

hebroncougar
07-17-2012, 05:12 PM
I got bombarded with mail advertisements from lawyers who handle traffic citations. I called one today and as soon as I said pace clocked in Duval County by a guy on a motorcycle, the guy said said, "Ah, must have been XXXX (the officer's name)." I checked the citation and he was right. Apparently this guy is infamous for this. He told me that he gets calls from people pissed about pace clocking all the time and they are the ones who actually want to fight it most often. He told me point blank I'd lose. I'm paying him $79 to keep the points off my license.

I've never had driving record issues until I moved to FL. It's a whole new ballgame down here.


So, the police let the local lawyers know how got a ticket to solicit your business? Or is it a matter of public record?
Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

dabvu2498
07-17-2012, 08:15 PM
So, the police let the local lawyers know how got a ticket to solicit your business? Or is it a matter of public record?
Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

They can get a copy of the ticket easy enough.

dman
07-18-2012, 01:22 AM
MWM... I'll chime in here, as traffic enforcement is my specialty. Pace clocking, as many have already stated, is a valid way enforcing the speed limit. Using the speedometer of the officer's vehicle is a means that this is done by, by using one fixed object to the next and looking at how fast the patrol vehicle was going to a point where they were staying in pace with the violator's vehicle (neither lagging behind, nor catching up). The only time I like this method of enforcement is when it's done from a patrol car equipped with a radar. Radars have the two modes, moving and stationary. When a radar is switched into the stationary mode, a ground speed is displayed in the target window, which should equal the speedometer speed of the police vehicle, and it's easier to articulate this, both to the violator and in court, if the officer had this available to them.

Aerial enforcement is my specialty, as I'm a pilot for a police agency. To me, this is the absolute most accurate way of determining vehicle speeds, because you're using simple math. Yes, that's what the white marks are for on each berm of the roadway, at least here in Ohio. These are typically mile to mile and a half zones, with each section broken down into quarter mile sections of roadway, each section identified by white berm markings. The stop watches of the pilots are checked monthly against the Atomic Clock at the Naval Observatory in D.C., and daily against a comparison calibration chart.

There's a formula that is basically an off-shoot of the time/speed/distance calculations.

Just for conversation's sake, because I know right away that if you travel through a 1/4 mile at 11 seconds it will equal 81 MPH, I'll show how we determine the vehicle speed:

1,320 (distance of a 1/4 mile) / 11:00 (elapsed time) = 120 Feet per second
120 feet per second * 3,600 (seconds in an hour) = 432,000 feet per hour
432,000 / 5,280 (obvious, LOL) = 81.818 MPH

I love this method of checking vehicle speeds because it gives every advantage that can be given to the violator, in terms of accuracy. Even if I were to short change the violator's 1/4 mile by 13 feet, a 1% error, it would only throw the violator's speed off by less than 1 MPH. So instead of doing 81.818 MPH, they would have been doing 80.9 MPH. If they wanted to argue that they were going the posted speed limit, let's say 65 MPH, then I would had to have missed their vehicle by over 300 feet for them to have been going 65 MPH.