Ohio Cops Play Guessing Games When It Comes to Giving Tickets

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

Pick a number between 0 and 100. That’s the game cops are allowed to play when giving out speeding tickets. A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court has just ruled the police officers can now give traffic citations by using his or her best guess on how fast a vehicle is going.

Radar guns are going to be put away in their holster, now that cops can say you’re going over the posted speed limit. There’s no trick to it – there’s no timing of cars over fixed distances, no special methods of determining an actual speed, no stopwatches required. All they need is an “educated” guess.

“There is no formula to apply,” said Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. “It’s kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing.”

State standards call for officers to use four principles to estimate vehicle speeds: their own knowledge and experience in watching traffic, watching vehicles move past stationary objects, seeing if a vehicle is moving in an unusual way like bouncing or the driver is driving erratically.

There’s not very much training required to properly assess a vehicle’s speed just by watching it. In fact, visual assessment is a small portion of the five-hour course on traffic enforcement. In that part of the course, instructors bring recruits to various traffic situations and have them guess speeds, while the instructor uses the radar on the vehicle in question so the recruit can compare results.

[Source: Cleveland.com]

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

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  • Guilty without evidence Guilty without evidence on Jun 18, 2010

    That's enough to keep Ohio out of any of my vacation plans. Too bad for their economy...........

  • Ronald E. Wesel Ronald E. Wesel on Jun 18, 2010

    This is a sad day for drivers. I would be willing to bet that it is impossible to guess how fast a person is going and be very accrite. I will tell you that I will not spend any money in Ohio and that I will do everything to avoid going through Ohio. I can see getting a ticket if you are speeding, driving drunk or reculessly, but not if you are trying to follow the law. I know for a fact that some cops give tickets to out of state drivers because they are easy targets and rarely fight tickets!!!