Types of Speed Measurement Devices

Types of Speed Measurement Devices


Effective with citations written after January 1, 2010, the officer MUST put the type of speed measurement device AND the manufacturer’s serial number on the body of the citation. That means that if you received a speeding ticket in Florida and that information is not on the face of the citation that is filed with the clerk’s office, our office will make a motion to dismiss the citation. The rule specifically states that it must be on the front of the citation.

RADAR- Almost all law enforcement officers in the State of Florida are radar certified. It is without a doubt the most common type of speed measurement device used in Florida. Law enforcement officers like radar because it can be used in both moving and stationary mode. Officers in Florida are NOT required to show you the readout on the radar device. Unfortunately, radar tickets are very much written on a professional or honesty system. The officer becomes certified to use the radar device after taking a 30 or 40 hour course and then granted a certificate from the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement. This certificate ensures that an officer shall understand how to calibrate their radar before the shift and the end of their shift, and that the radar is inspected once every 6 months by an authorized repair facility. After an officer comes to court and testifies that he visually estimated your speed over the posted limit, and that he/she verified their eyedar with their radar reading, then there is a presumption of reliability. In order to poke a hole in the officer’s case on a radar ticket we need to show that something was done improperly with the calibration of the unit, the unit wasn’t performing correctly on the day of the citation(or thereafter) or that the unit was not inspected within the last 6 months by a repair facility. The rules regarding the radar and their admittance into evidence can be found in Florida Administrative Code 15B.

LASER- A recent trend over the last 5 years has been to buy laser guns for traffic deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Unlike radar, laser guns can only be used in the stationary mode. Laser or LIDAR is usually very accurate if it is used correctly since it is vehicle specific.& After calibrating the laser gun the officer will place their vehicle in the median or on the shoulder and use the laser gun to clock vehicles passing their location. On most citations, the officer will put the speed you were traveling and the distance you were clocked from the laser operator. There can be possible defenses if the officer was operating the laser close to a sign that shifts the speed limit. As in radar cases, the law enforcement officer must conduct pre and post shift accuracy tests to determine the reliability of the laser.

PACE- Commonly referred to as speedometer pace tickets, these citations are issued by an officer who is behind a motorist and clocking their speed with their calibrated speedometer. Pursuant to Florida Administrative Code 15B-2.011, motor vehicle speedometer devices SHALL be tested by an approved shop not less than every 6 months. The rules require that the the shop performing the calibration use a calibrated wheel dynamometer. In addition the rule requires that the results shall be within a +/- 3 mph of the actual reading. Pace tickets are very common by undercover officers who sneak in behind motorists and clock them for a given distance.

AIRCRAFT/HELICOPTER CLOCK- The Florida Highway Patrol constantly uses fix-winged cessna aircraft in speed enforcement details. All Florida Highway Patrol pilots are promoted to sergeants and they spend countless hours patrolling Florida’s roadways from the air clocking cars. The pilots place sets of white lines on the roadway that are spaced 1/4 mile apart. They then use certified stopwatches and clock vehicles as they pass over the lines. The stopwatch is pre-programmed with the calculation to determine the mph based on the time traveled. The pilot will then call to a trooper on the ground and will pull the vehicle over and issue the citation. When fighting these tickets, both the pilot and the stopping trooper are necessary in court because both of the troopers are proving different elements of the case. The pilot is proving the violation and method while the stopping trooper is necessary to prove the identity of the driver. There are circumstances when these cases can be challenged so call the office and ask to speak with one of the seasoned attorneys.