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GPS Tracking Device Beats Radar Gun in Court 702

Posted by timothy
from the double-edged-sword-at-least dept.
MojoKid writes "According to a release issued by Rocky Mountain Tracking, an 18-year old man, Shaun Malone, was able to successfully contest a speeding ticket in court using the data from a GPS device installed in his car. This wasn't just any old make-a-left-turn-100-feet-ahead-onto-Maple-Street GPS; this was a vehicle-tracking GPS device — the kind used by trucking fleets — or in this case, overprotective parents. The device was installed in Malone's car by his parents, and the press release makes no mention if the teenager knew that the device was installed in his vehicle at the time."
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GPS Tracking Device Beats Radar Gun in Court

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  • by Mesa MIke (1193721) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:54AM (#24237873) Homepage

    Take that, you oppressive pigs!
    We've got counter-measures.

    • by von_rick (944421) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:10AM (#24237977) Homepage
      All of this doesn't resonate with what I have learned in Hollywood movies. Malone should be the cops name. Its just doesn't sound right.
      • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Forge (2456) <kevinforge&gmail,com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @10:42AM (#24242257) Homepage Journal

        Hollywood fracks up a lot of stereotypes.

        If you follow them Presidents are brave and willing to fight (Air Force One & Independence Day). Women in Miami are always hot (Every show with a Miami scene, except Golden Girls).

        The rely big question in this story though is "will any consequences flow to the cop?"

        You see Police do a lot of corrupt things for a lot of different reasons. One of the worst is to clock a car traveling well above the speed limit and then assign that recorded speed to the next car to come along.

        This happened to me when I was pulled over for speeding without my radar detector going off. The cops claimed I was doing 71 Kph in a 50Kph zone. They were wrong on both counts.

        1. The speed limit on that road is 80Kph
        2. I was actually going just shy of 180Kph.

        I pointed out item #1. without mentioning item #2 and avoided a ticket. The real trouble is that even if I had taken the ticket and challenged it in court I would be acquitted of the speeding charge but the cop would still be allowed to keep defrauding motorists in this way.

        • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ciscoguy01 (635963) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:03PM (#24243623)

          This happened to me when I was pulled over for speeding without my radar detector going off. The cops claimed I was doing 71 Kph in a 50Kph zone. They were wrong on both counts.
          1. The speed limit on that road is 80Kph
          2. I was actually going just shy of 180Kph.

          I pointed out item #1. without mentioning item #2 and avoided a ticket. The real trouble is that even if I had taken the ticket and challenged it in court I would be acquitted of the speeding charge but the cop would still be allowed to keep defrauding motorists in this way.

          So the important part of your post and of the story is this:
          1.The radar units used by the police are completely defective and unreliable.
          or
          2.The police who use them are lying.

          I'd be really interested in knowing which it is.
          If they are unreliable they need to be done away with as a speed measuring method.
          If the police are actually lying that is even more disturbing, because no government employee is hired and charged with the responsibility to lie, cheat and steal in their job description, including the police officers.
          They are only supposed to cite us for things we actually did. They are not supposed to fake crimes, though I suspect some of that does go on, I can't imagine why anyone would lie, cheat or steal for an employer. I sure wouldn't.

        • by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw@cTWAINhebucto.ns.ca minus author> on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:58PM (#24245271) Homepage
          I'm confused. You seem to have foiled my ability to parse numbers.

          80,000 what per hour?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Forgot to say that his VERY OPPRESSIVE PARENTS installed the device on his car...

      • by Chris Burkhardt (613953) <Chris@MrEtc.net> on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:02AM (#24238339) Homepage

        Forgot to say that his VERY OPPRESSIVE PARENTS installed the device on his car...

        Only to protect him from the cops.

      • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KGIII (973947) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:57AM (#24238591) Journal
        Parents making a choice to protect their children is oppression??? How old are you? (Really, I want a real answer.) I am a parent. I'd have my kids LoJacked if it could be safely removed (with minimal scar) at the age of 18, were legal, and could be proved to be safe. No questions asked and no they don't get a choice. *gasp* Choices are for me to make when it comes to protecting my child, not for you nor for the government, and sure as hell not for a child who doesn't know the differences between right and wrong. (I was going to go to sleep but this one caught my eye.) In one thread you (not just you but a generic you) scream for holding the parent's accountable and in another when they take reasonable steps to monitor their children it is oppression? I kid you not, I love my children and want to protect them from all that I can while allowing them the freedom to make their own mistakes, I'd LoJack their asses in a minute. They are aged seven and nine, they carry cell phones that let me know a fairly decent triangulation of where they are at all times. Those phones can call only numbers that my ex-wife or myself authorize. They both use the internet more often than some of you. They both aren't ever allowed a single moment of privacy. *gasp* Nope. They use a computer only in a main living area of the home and only when there is a responsible adult there to watch them. My goal isn't to prevent them from being hurt, it is to let them get hurt because that is how they learn, but to be there when they fall and to be able to make things as better as a daddy can make it.

        Being a responsible parent means those things. My children do not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" (except my daughter). There is nothing I can't and won't search of theirs. There is no nook and cranny that I don't feel comfortable going into and looking at. I search for the parents of their friends. I go to their friend's houses alone so that I can meet the parents. They KNOW this and UNDERSTAND it because I've never talked to them like anything less than humans. (And yes, they both know why I would LoJack them if I could and BOTH agree that I should if I'm allowed to and haven't a problem with it.) "Daddy's job is to ensure your safety while allowing you the freedom to make mistakes and I always make it a point to balance the two as best as I can." Oppress? Are you high??? You just must not have children... When you learn love, that that you have for a child, you will understand. Maybe.

        *gasp* I pick their video games out too! I limit them to certain movies. My daughter and my son each have about 10 cubic feet of space that is off limits. I bought, when they were way too young to understand even, a couple of fire proof safes. They have the only keys (as far as I know - I know I don't nor does their mother have the spare) for this case. This is where they can put anything that fits into that space and have it be as secret as they want it to be. Anything bigger should not be a secret when you're a child. My son leaves his wide open and stores his more expensive model cars in it. My daughter locks her safe because that is where her diary is and she doesn't want her brother to read it. Hell, I'm DIVORCED from this wife and we still have one of the most open families on the planet I suspect. I treat them like humans and I talk to them like that.

        Finally I am not writing this for me. I wrote this for YOU. I want to get some sleep sometime soon as I have things to do in the morning. If you view a parent protecting their child in a reasonable (and hopefully open) manner as oppression than you fail. Your mother turning the handles in on the stove so that you're toddler self didn't grab them and get scalded and die is not oppression, it is love. Now go call your mother and tell her how much you love her, appreciate her, and then respond here if you'd like.
        • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jacquesm (154384) <j @ w w.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:16AM (#24238693) Homepage

          My kid read this and is happy he's *my* kid and not yours. You probably score pretty good on the 'protect my kids' scale, but you don't respect them.

          • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by KGIII (973947) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:42AM (#24238857) Journal
            Tricky tricky terms. I respect them but I think we may have differences in opinion as to how one shows that. First, I love them. Second, I protect them. Third I respect them. They go in that order for me but, well, I'm a Marine or at least "was" but, really, I'll always be a Marine. The first two they can't do for themselves. The latter one they don't have to earn BUT they should. If, at any point in time, one of my children came to me and said that they felt they needed (to use my above post as the example) a larger box to hold their secrets in I would ask why they felt that way and, if it was a good answer, I'd get them a larger box. In all actuality I would probably get them the larger box regardless, for simply having the forward thinking to ask, because my views aren't that important in this matter. To me it doesn't matter the size of the box. What matters to me is that they know they have a place that no one else can go.

            They ask to live with me and I could take custody right this minute. I am probably the most strict parent on the planet that isn't abusive (I don't need to hit them or even belittle them for emotional abuse) but I expect and am given an exacting set of behavioral standards when they are with me. I don't disallow play, joking, or even dangerous play. If they want to make noise then they have the entirety of the time when no one is sleeping to do so and they encouraged to do so. If they want to play a practical joke or even give a bit of hassle to each other or to myself and my girlfriend they're allowed and encouraged to so as long as it doesn't become a personal attack. If they want to go out four wheeling or climb a tree then not only are they encouraged (wear a helmet and stay in the back three fields) to do so then I'll even go out there and show them how to wear a set of chaps and use climbing studs on the straight trees.

            Heck, if they want to drive my truck or my wife's car and we're either here on the property or on the driveway leading into the last bit of driveway they can certainly do so. They can not only do so but they are going to go only a few miles an hour so they are even going to get to make a choice of freedom and not wear a seatbelt while their sit on our respective laps and drive.

            Depending on the store and the motive while there they get a single dollar, a ten dollar bill, a twenty, or a hundred dollar bill. They do their own math and they get only what that provided. (Lately it has been a five dollar bill instead of the single or a ten.) Purchases ARE subject to monitoring but that's what they get, that is all they get, and it isn't an allowance. They aren't "allowed" anything. They WORK, yes WORK, for their food, school, special things, etc... They have helped to carry cords of wood since they were barely able to carry a small 2" stick. They do that because it is their job. It is your job, as a family member, to assist in those things that are done for the benefit of the family. There are no questions, it is what your job is and we all do it. To this day I still go over and even cut my ex-wife's wood down to ensure that it is dried in time to be burned cleanly and safely. With me standing over them (and they wrapped in Kevlar chaps with hearing protection and gloves) they too have actually sat there and helped limb a tree. Respect? Yes. I treat them like humans instead of the nanny state crap you see being done by people who seem to think children are a status symbol.

            Finally, I hope, I'm not even DEFENDING my position. I haven't done this before so I don't KNOW if I'm doing it better than anyone else or if I'm failing horrifically. But they are happy. That is most important. After that? They are safe, they are more responsible than any other kids I know, they speak in clear English though they can't spell worth a damn, they are loving, they are kind, they are giving to those in need, and they articulate their needs and differences clearly.

            | I wasn't done. I'll make this short, I hope. My mother recently died. (The first of this mon
            • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by jacquesm (154384) <j @ w w.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:59AM (#24238963) Homepage

              Funny, I figured out the ex-military bit before you mentioned it.

              House != barracks... if you want your kids to succeed in life and not just house them until they're 18 or something like that you'll have to allow them a lot of independence, otherwise they'll always be looking to you for their everyday decisions and one day you won't be there.

              It's like bicycling with training wheels, at some point they have to come off, best if your parent is still around so they can catch you when you fall (or console you if they didn't catch you) :)

              Good luck there, it sounds like you are in a pretty difficult situation and you're doing the best you can.

                  Jacques.

              • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

                by KGIII (973947) on Friday July 18, 2008 @04:14AM (#24239041) Journal
                They are happy and safe. I treat them with ten times more respect than I think people here understand and give them way more freedom than many and I'd allow them more but they must learn where the limits are first. They have a few hundred acres of private woods to play in when they are here with me. I don't hover or stand over their shoulder normally. I don't give them complete freedom (the people who write in below haven't any kids or, if they do, they'll be sorry) but I give them as much as I can do safely. They know that their phones track them, they knew that before they were given the choice to take them, and they take them because they watch the news too and see what goes on and they want me to be able to find them. (In my area they're more likely to get lost than to be taken.) I *gasp* limit my children's exposure to the internet at the ages of seven and nine! (Horrifically oppressive aren't I?) I do insist on the PC in the room and I, or my girlfriend, or my ex-wife back at their house, we really WANT to know the URL they are at. There is a free game site that my daughter, the eldest, goes to. Some of the games have things like undressing boys in them. Yes, yes I do restrict that content. She doesn't WANT to play that game but she has clicked on an inviting title and that's the resulting game and she was just as bothered as I. So, they are happy, they are safe, they are loved, and they are loving in return. As they change so won't my policies as will their methods to circumvent them. She's just nine and she's gone on dates where we didn't even go in the movie theater with her. It is not them that I don't trust, it is other people whom I know, first hand, will take a thread (such as this) and respond without actually understanding and that can cause harm that she doesn't need as well as far worse things. I'm no expert but I like the way the results have been so far. I get letters of praise from their school and the church that their mother has started to bring them to. *sighs* But, that's respect for you... I give them the respect to let them make choices and they asked/opted to go and so she started bringing them.
                • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by jacquesm (154384) <j @ w w.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @04:33AM (#24239151) Homepage

                  The problem is that kids will find ways around stuff that their parents restrict, no matter how clever you are with tech they'll be more clever than that. Kids today (and probably at any point in the past) can and will run rings around their parents, using their peers and technology to help them with that. Tracking their whereabouts is not going to help you one bit with this. (after all, all it tells you is where their cellphones were...)

                  That sets you up for a bit of a problem in the long term because they'll already have a habit of going around your back by the time it will really matter.

                  Better to get your kids to trust you, and for you to trust them. That way if something comes up that they don't know how to deal with they'll come to you first, instead of going to the 'peer' group (I use the world loosely) and hiding it from you because you're going to restrict it.

                  Forbidden fruits and all that...

                  The problems won't really start until they're in their teens, for your daughter somewhere around age 13, for your boy 14 or 15. That's when it matters that there is a huge bond of trust between you and them, basically you need to be able to let them go at that age and *know* they'll make the right decisions, even if you're not there.

                  It'll make you sleep better too :)

                  Right now you can control your kids but that time will be over sooner than you can possibly imagine, but the kind of relationship that you make with them now will persist long past that point and trust once gained is hard to lose.

                  Just for a small example from my own life:

                  I wasn't allowed to have a moped, but I was crazy about engines and anything associated with it, so a friend of mine who lived about 5 miles from my house housed my moped in his garage box... nobody, and I mean really nobody, including my control freak of a steph father, had any idea of what was going on. So much for all that control... (and believe me, you look like an angel in comparision, your intentions are clearly good).

                  So, when I had a kid myself I decided that control was not going to cut it, assuming that history would repeat itself. Give your kid repect and trust, get the same in return. Control your kids and sooner or later they'll slip the leash and you won't be the wiser until it's much too late.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by KGIII (973947)
                    Oh my... Dude that is priceless! I mean, really. You just proved my point entirely. Kids are going to find a way around any monitoring system (and my methods are reactive, not even proactive - being a good parent is proactive, the other methods are for when some dirtbag decides he wants your children more than you do) and that's just it entirely! YES! You got it in one shot. Or two... They will find a way around any rules I impose or any methods I opt to use to track them. They will CHOOSE to do so. They wi
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by couchslug (175151)

                "House != barracks... "

                Training, supervision, and gradual increase of unmanaged activities allows people to grow and become highly competent and empowered. The military/barracks model, done right, is actually a great way to produce effective people who can function independently meeting challenges far beyond those in (most) civilian life.

                The only way to internalize self-discipline (self-mastery, the key to personal effectiveness) is challenge under imposed discipline.

        • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by HTRednek (793937) on Friday July 18, 2008 @03:29AM (#24238755)
          Absolutely!!!
          There is an old saying that my dad used, and I use it still today. "Give your kids enough rope to run with but not enough to hang themselves."
          You have to give your kids the ability to do what they want, so they can learn for themselves, but at the same time you need to protect them from MAJOR issues until they are old enough to think for themselves. If you hover too closely, yes, there will be resentment, but if you don't hover at all, you have no way of knowing when to intervene.
          "Living in their back pocket" would be doing things such as being a chaperone, calling them every 15 minutes, following them around, etc... Lojack or GPS, etc, is not being too close. It allows a parent to give their children extra freedom while still giving the parent insight to verify if the child is doing what they say they are and wether they are capable of handling additional trust or not.
          Parents who let their children run around blindly are either fools, or their Give-a-shit-o-meter is broken. The way many children of this generation, and my own (I'm 35 in case you're wondering), have turned out, I'm a firm believer that the government should require licensing to procreate. No license, means no government assistance should you be stupid enough to have a 5 kids on a $8/hr job. ....
          Wow... is it just me or did I end up on a soapbox?
          I hate it when that happens.
          • Just enough rope.. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Friday July 18, 2008 @07:55AM (#24240171) Journal
            I think that if I gave them a car, that would be just enough rope to hang themselves.

            If I gave them a lojacked car ... then they'd either accept the car WITH lojack, or not accept the car. Either way, I offered.

            and if my kids are smart, they'd find a way around being tracked, and I'd congratulate them for it. Then I'd tell them I actually had two tracking devices in it (which I wouldn't) ... and watch them go crazy trying to find the second, non-existant one....
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheJasper (1031512)

          Parents making a choice to protect their children is oppression???

          Your arguments are filled with fallacies. While you have a right to take certain measures to protect your children this doesn't mean saying that you are protecting your children makes the measures right.

          How old are you? (Really, I want a real answer.)

          Trying to imply someone's opinion is invalid based on emotion.

          I am 32 and don't have children btw.

          Choices are for me to make when it comes to protecting my child, not for you nor for the government,

          well that certainly isn't true. There are certain things that most people agree noone should be allowed to do to even their own children. Please tell me you don't think you can do whatever you want with your

        • Re:Heh, heh, heh. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kokuyo (549451) on Friday July 18, 2008 @04:28AM (#24239131) Journal

          I've only read like a third of this drivel.... and drivel it is. My parents never had the means of protecting me like that. They had to trust that I would call if I stayed out longer (and I was basically allowed to stay out whenever I wanted and however long I wanted, because I was trusted to know myself when it was a good time to return home).

          You know, I think I'm still alive and doing quite well for myself. Looking at the latest generation, though, who is always reachable and traceable by the likes of you, I'm not quite as sure about that.

          One thing was funny, though... you let them make their own mistakes? What mistakes would that be? Choosing ketchup instead of sauce cafe de paris for their meat? Or perhaps wearing a brown belt with black shoes? The way you sound it's certainly not going to be stumbling over unsuitable websites or getting drunk at bloody fifteen. Not that I ever did that, because I somehow never saw the need to... well, contrary to some kids who weren't allowed to swear at home, and had to be home right after school.

          Oh and contrary to them, I didn't have to hide my smoking habit. Because I didn't smoke. Even though my parents made it perfectly clear that they would not forbid it since they were such bad examples themselves.

          I had a lot of freedoms as a kid and I am of the firm belief that I didn't fuck up even close as often as the average kid does. I've tried smoking exactly two times in my lifes (more to actually know what the hell I was talking about) and it was limited to just inhaling once per try. I tried space cookies, as smoking was out of the question, and found the experience to be less than stellar (although that was at age 20 something). I've had a bout of kleptomania around age 13 which I got under control on my freaking own without my parents having to watch my ass every damn second.

          So would you allow your kids to make the mistake of shoplifting not once but several times? Would you let them learn to deal with it on their own? Sorry if I don't think so.

          From my experience, parents like you produce social garbage that usually gets the fuck outa there as soon as they turn legal. I'm not saying your kids will do that... sometimes they become completely dependant and shy personalities, who can't function in this world without someone holding their hand. And I'm still not saying your kids will turn out like this, but I say chances are high. And if I get modded Troll for this, I'll actually be proud of it, because, frankly, people like you give me a very bad feeling in my stomach area.

          Seeking freedom and wanting to be your own boss is like a basic instinct for a lot of humans. Trying to completely repress that, because the person in question doesn't have enough experience, often leads to rebellion and doing stupid shit out of principle. And besides, let me ask you a philosophical question: If my grandfather told you that you can't go out after 5pm because he thinks you're too young to make your own decisions, what would you say? You're an adult, right? But what the hell does that mean? It means you turned 18 already. Big freaking deal. Most of us manage to do that.

          The ability to weight the pros and cons of your action is what makes you mature and that ability doesn't turn on at 18. It has to be learned, and from my experience, kids in the kind of environment you create often haven't learned that when they're given all the responsibilities and freedoms of an adult.

          In my personal opinion, kids should be confronted with responsibility as soon as they're able to handle it. It is our duty as parents to decide when that day comes. Some of us, though, don't want to get to know their kids that well or just don't have the time, so they just trace their every move to make sure they don't do anything wrong... and then they go and think that this way their kids are going to turn out to be well rounded and mature adults.

          • by gutnor (872759)

            "They had to trust that I would call if I stayed out longer (and I was basically allowed to stay out whenever I wanted and however long I wanted, because I was trusted to know myself when it was a good time to return home)."

            His kids are 7 and 9 - while he looks like he is over the top - complete freedom to kids aged 7 and 9 is also over the top.

            If I could also do anything I wanted by the time I was 16, at 7, I was not even allowed to chose not to eat my vegetable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mr2001 (90979)

          I'd have my kids LoJacked if it could be safely removed (with minimal scar) at the age of 18, were legal, and could be proved to be safe. No questions asked and no they don't get a choice. [...] I've never talked to them like anything less than humans.

          Stop right there. You might not let them know you think they're less than humans, but you made it loud and clear to us in the first few lines of your comment.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:55AM (#24237881) Journal

    Good thing: enabling people to install these devices voluntarily to defend themselves against false claims of speeding or reckless driving.

    Bad thing: having the government mandate their installation, and at some later time mandating that the data be uploaded to a central processing facility.

    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:01AM (#24237933) Homepage
      Agreed. While some people fret about modern society approaching the dystopia of 1984 [amazon.com] , I think it's scary that technology has moved to the point where government could easily do even more to hold citizens down. Orwell didn't foresee electronic tracking devices that could follow you wherever you go. In the book, the protagonist got a break from the telescreen for a few hours by walking down to a remote place. Now, even this means of privacy isn't guaranteed.
    • Another take (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gazzonyx (982402) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:36AM (#24238189)

      Good thing: enabling people to install these devices voluntarily to defend themselves against false claims of speeding or reckless driving.

      Bad thing: having the government mandate their installation, and at some later time mandating that the data be uploaded to a central processing facility.

      My thoughts...

      Good Thing: Everyone thinks the output of electronic devices is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
      Bad Thing: Everyone thinks the output of electronic devices is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo (196126)

        For this very reason I am working on a GPU tracking unit for my car, which will store the data encrypted on an SD card.

        It will warn me about speed cameras, but in the event that one mistakenly flashes me I will have GPS data to prove it. The encryption will prevent abuse by the police in the case of such an event (I live in the UK so it's a real concern...)

        Th thing is, it would be trivial to write a program that massages the records to get away with speeding. I don't think there are currently any measures t

    • by plover (150551) * on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:37AM (#24238207) Homepage Journal

      It's likely that you already have a monitoring device installed in your vehicle. Cars made in the last decade have increasingly sophisticated recording capabilities that record detailed information about the car's state at the time of an airbag deployment or a seatbelt pretensioning event. Some of the data stored includes the speed, throttle position, brake position, seat belt usage, etc., and it stores a buffer of information for 20 seconds before the crash event and five seconds after. The older Restraint Control Modules simply recorded safety equipment usage, but not operational information. The new recorders are located in the Powertrain Control Module and store a lot more about your vehicle. This information is usually downloaded by an officer on the accident scene, and is admissible as evidence in court.

      Of course it's not as bad as your scenario. It's not retrieved unless there's an accident. But it can be retrieved without your approval, so if you had your foot on the gas and had no signs of brakes being applied, it'd sure come out in a courtroom if you lied about your driving.

    • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:04AM (#24238349)

      In Quebec vehicle tracking GPS systems have been mandatory for years. It's mostly because the government made a deal with the car insurance people so all cars had to have the device installed as an 'anti theft' measure. It's a good example of how little it takes to force those things on people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by grolaw (670747)

      Hey, Libertarians don't follow rules, they make them up as needed!

      Meanwhile, those of us lucky enough not to be hit by a speeding Libertarian exercising his/her "rights" - unconcerned about the speeds the road was engineered for - get to enjoy the benefits of the progressive fine system that creates an incentive for Libertarians to OBEY SPEED LAWS.

      This message brought to you by your local municipal/traffic court.

  • by ya really (1257084) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:56AM (#24237891)
    I believe insurance companies give discounts to drivers (especially young ones) for having gps tracking installed in their cars.
    • Not always (Score:5, Informative)

      by atari2600 (545988) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:38AM (#24238221)

      Only if the drivers allow themselves to be tracked at all times and allow the data to be uploaded to a location where the insurance company can monitor the data at their own whim and fancy. You are right though - I know Progressive gives discounts for kids who have GPS trackers in their vehicles.

  • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:56AM (#24237901) Homepage
    The highly accurate radio wave reflection system or the highly accurate satellite positioning system? One of you must be wrong! Machines can't lie?! MACHINES CAN'T LIE?!!??!!
  • by jfengel (409917) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:56AM (#24237905) Homepage Journal

    The article says that he was doing 62 MPH according to the radar gun. The GPS says 45. If the GPS was right, why was the gun wrong? Bad calibration? Operator error? Dyslexia?

    How many other people were caught "speeding" by the same gun,and are they planning to notify any of them that they have reason to believe the gun was wrong?

    • by kauos (1168299) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:08AM (#24237969) Homepage
      After he provided his GPS data as evidence, the cops should have back tracked from the point in time where the speed camera and the GPS disagree. They know the spot in the road, they know the direction he was heading in. He's an 18yo kid so surely he was speeding somewhere within the last 5 minutes.
    • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:43AM (#24238247)

      Likely operator error.

      For all their bluster guns are only accurate under very specific circumstances. The dopler effect and software used in the gun assumes certain things when making it's speed "measurement", the first is that the measurement is head on, a cop shooting your speed from greater than a 5 degree angle can alter the measurement dramatically and greater than 15 degrees and you might as well just disregard whatever it reads as the error will exceed 35mph. Second most guns are calibrated for approaching traffic, if shot from behind, they are extremely inaccurate. Third, unless the gun is a laser based measurement system the gun picks out the fastest object in it's line of site and a typical gun has a 15 to 25 degree measurement window such that if there is a car anywhere near you going faster than you then that car is the one that will get measured. Cops are typically trained such that they know these limitations and abide by the requirements, that doesn't mean all do and it doesn't mean cops don't lie or that your age,sex,ethnicity,clothing and what you are driving plays a greater role in whether you get tickets than just about any other factor including how fast you drive. An 18 year old in gang attire driving a sporty car can drive by a cop going 15mph slower than a station wagon with a 45 year old guy in a suit and the 18 year old will get the ticket and the cop won't look twice at the other guy. Such is life.

      • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:59AM (#24238313)

        I'm no fan of the cops, but measuring at an angle to the direction of travel decreases the speed as perceived by the radar gun.

        • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday July 18, 2008 @11:01AM (#24242553) Homepage Journal

          Thats why I'm always clocked going OVER the speedlimit when I make a right-hand turn?

          I've had to fight this one twice, a radar gun will show it up as an INCREASE unless the angle of reflection is negative to the approaching vehicle (ie the cop is behind you trying to clock you.) I had to demonstrate this with two radar guns and police officers on bikes. I had them keep around 20 mph then clocked them as they turned. readings jumped from +/-2 mph to +10 mph (no decreases at all.)

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:11AM (#24238391)

        Is new guns and their "pop" mode. Basically it is an ultrafast start and shutdown mode for the gun. The reason is, of course, RADAR detectors. They've gotten quite good. They don't necessarily need the gun to be on and transmitting to pick it up. When the gun is in standby (with it's electronics operating but not transmitting a beam) they can still be picked up. Same sort of way RADAR counterdetectors work. Even though the detector itself isn't trying to emit anything, it does anyhow (as does any superheterodyne device).

        Ok, great, however you might pause to wonder about the ability to electronics operating in the 30GHz range to quickly come on and stabilise and, well, you'd be right. Guns in "pop" mode aren't accurate. In part due to the fast start, in part due to less data points, they can produce unreliable readings. The gun manufacturers say that pop mode isn't to be used as a final speed measurement, but that doesn't stop police forces from doing so anyhow.

        Or it could be even more simple: The gun wasn't calibrated. Like any precision device, they need periodic recalibration. Had this been allowed to happen, it is entirely possible the gun was producing inaccurate readings.

        It is a good idea for all drivers to take a little time to educate themselves about various speed measurement technologies and such. While I'd say the majority of police departments use their equipment right and the tickets are legit, they aren't always. If you get nailed with a bogus ticket, you don't necessarily need GPS to fight it. Tell the department you want the calibration records for the gun in question, find out if it was in pop mode, etc, etc. If they screwed up, let the judge know and they'll most likely drop the ticket.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by eth1 (94901)

          Yet another possibility is that the officer had the gun in the wrong mode. Most radar guns & in-car radar have "stationary" and "moving" modes. In moving mode, the gun has to figure out how fast the officer's car is going, and add/subtract that from the speed of the target. Being in the wrong mode could easily cause this error.

          I've used some of these, and done exactly this. Had the gun in "moving" mode while I was stationary, and had a "WTF? He can't *possibly* be going that fast!" moment.

          Of course, if

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khyber (864651)

      Let's see. For RADAR guns, air temperature difference, proper orientation (You don't try clocking someone from a perpendicular angle to the car) even rain can screw up the signal. If you're making a turn the radar gun will clock you at a higher speed than normal.

      I love having a radar technician as a father. Hooray for knowing how radar works (Harpoon missiles, baby!) as you can get out of most any ticket.

  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Friday July 18, 2008 @12:57AM (#24237909)

    Perhaps he's just hard on the brakes as well as the accelerator.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:02AM (#24237941)
    is the so called professor revising his "expertise" so quickly and so radically. Now it would be interesting to know (or the court forcing him to say) on WHAT he based his first expertise and what new publicly available information made him change his mind, and why he did not make use of this information for the first written testimony. I get the feeling this guy is as much expert in GPS & radar gun, as my expertise in medicine forensic is (not much).
    • by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:21AM (#24238071)

      My guess is the expert's original statement was based on the assumption that the device was a run-of-the-mill GPS navigation system, which probably aren't accurate when it comes to speed and position.

      Although if that hypothesis is correct it does leave one wondering why they made that assumption and didn't bother checking; it certainly reads like he then took a closer look at the device, when the finding was contested, and realized that it was a much more high end device.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by whoever57 (658626)

        he device was a run-of-the-mill GPS navigation system which probably aren't accurate when it comes to speed and position.

        It is difficult to tell how accurate run of the mill systems are -- I think they "snap" to the nearest road and I have seen my system think that I was off the road when driving at high altitude. Nevertheless, the ticket claimed he was doing 20mph over the limit and I am very confident that a run of the mill system is far more accurate than that.

        Accuracy probably has more to do with tr

  • by vic-traill (1038742) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:08AM (#24237965)

    It's the same thing as a desktop, web client, or indeed the browser itself - the client can never be trusted.

    Are the cops or the courts going to audit every GPS device or line of device code to ensure that 20 mph is *not* being deducted off what is written to the log above a certain speed?

    Come to think of it, that's a great idea for OS or FSF - create code for popular GPS devices, and then produce the code for audit when you go to court contesting a ticket, while asking that the cops produce the code off of their device!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yotto (590067)

      The GPS isn't logging the speed, or if it is it's as secondary, calculated data. I would assume (else I can't imagine this ever got him off) that they used the location data over time points. If you're here at point x at time a, and point y at time b, you were going (y-x)/(b-a) miles per hour.

    • by michaelhood (667393) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:37AM (#24238205)

      Come to think of it, that's a great idea for OS or FSF - create code for popular GPS devices, and then produce the code for audit when you go to court contesting a ticket, while asking that the cops produce the code off of their device!!

      A variation of this has been done in a number of DUI/DWI cases. A number of defendants have demanded [google.com] that the source for the breathalyzer be made available for review by the defense.

      In the cases I'm aware of, the manufacturer has refused to release the source as their agreement/license with the relevant law enforcement agency does not provide for this.

      I believe the outcomes have ranged, but in general this has been a successful defense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MDMurphy (208495)

      Shaving 20 mph off the logged speed would never fool anyone. With a small amount of logged data you'd have positions, time and speed. If your speed is reported at 50 meters per second, the position better be different by 50 meters each second. So besides fudging the speed you'd have to fudge the time ( or positions ) as well. Your time as reported in the logged positions would have to run slow in additon to the bugus speed. If that were true, your log would not show you in the position the cop knew you

  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Friday July 18, 2008 @01:33AM (#24238181) Homepage

    I have a handheld Garmin GPS (with car mount) that specifications claim that it is within .75 knot accuracy on the speed display.

    I used it to get out of a speeding ticket outside of El Paso. I said the GPS said I wwas doing 75, the cop said his radar gun said 76 and it is calibrated. I responded thatt my GPS uses government satellite signals. He let me go.
     

  • A cool way around... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Friday July 18, 2008 @02:16AM (#24238407)

    First we can use GPS gear to get our locale.

    Instead of using some recorder, we can transmit this on the HAM bands via GPRS, and have it recorded via a local digipeter for a webserver.

    We now have hard-ish logs to cook, along with federal laws backing us up, as it is illegal to transmit on a radio that you are not in the vicinity of. And since the data is real-time, you can argue that we have local logs X, and server logs based on my Federal License at Y.

  • who's at fault (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Binder (2829) on Friday July 18, 2008 @10:03AM (#24241609)

    The real question here is wether the radar gun is ineffective (in which case stop using them). Or did the cop do something naughty (in which case legal action should be taken against him).

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