Speeding: Radar Gun vs. GPS - HotHardware
Speeding: Radar Gun vs. GPS

Speeding: Radar Gun vs. GPS

Update: We incorrectly reported that that Shaun Malone was found innocent of speeding. As PressDemocrat.com reports, the trial is still ongoing and is scheduled to resume on October 3rd. The judge "is expected to issue a ruling after hearing additional testimony in October, including from both sides' experts."

 
While an 11-year old, Louisville, Kentucky boy is using a toy radar gun to get drivers to slow down through his neighborhood, the police are finding that real radar guns might not be a match for GPS--at least not when contested in court. 

According to a press 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.

 
 Credit: Rocky Mountain Tracking
No matter, because Malone knew by the time he had to show up in court to contest the speeding ticket for going 17-mph over the posted 45-mph speed limit. While the police clocked him going 62-mph, the GPS's data in fact showed him driving at the 45-mph speed limit. In an initial trial-by-affidavit, Malone was found guilty of speeding. GPS expert, Dr. Stephen Heppe wrote a report that essentially said that the GPS data was not accurate enough to contest the accuracy of the radar gun. Malone appealed the decision and had his day in court. At trial, things played out differently:

"However, when he took the stand to begin his testimony, Dr. Heppe corrected that written report, saying that the Rocky Mountain Tracking device was "very" accurate, to within a couple of meters on location and to within 1 mph on speed. Dr. Heppe also pointed out that the GPS device released instantaneous data, and not data averaged over a distance."

Needless to say, with Dr. Heppe's revised testimony, Malone was found innocent of speeding.

Obviously, Rocky Mountain Tracking's motivation for publicizing this incident is to promote the accuracy of its RMT Rover GPS device. But it also brings up a larger issue: The sophistication of vehicle telematics is increasing all the time. Are we now at the point that the data generated from our personal location devices (such as GPS in cell phones and in-car navigation devices) is considered reliable enough to help exonerate us from false accusations? But isn't this also a slippery slope, where the same data can be used to incriminate us as well? It's one thing for parents to keep a close eye on their kids, but what happens when jealous spouses are tracked, or law enforcement uses the data to know where you've been. When does it become an invasion of privacy? Tell us what you think.
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This is interesting. I didnt knwo GPS could do that. Nonetheless its still really good.

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So this leaves us with the question, why did he get the ticket?

Are radar guns highly inaccurate or did the cop profile the person because they are young and it's unlikely he would get a fair trial (his word vs the older cops)?

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Exactly Fyz.... I think it was probably a combination of an over-zealous Cop looking to make quota and he didn't operate the gun properly... Either that or like you said, he was actually just trying to stick it to the kid. I'm sure it happens often and most cops are of the opinion that folks don't bother with contesting a ticket when it's anyone's word against the cop and his radar gun.

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I think you're both right. My daughter was stopped twice in the same week by the same cop last month. He never said why he stopped her, and let her leave after checking her license and insurance information. We think he was just stopping teenagers looking for reasons to write tickets. She wasn't stopped again after taking the "Senior 2008" magnet off of the back of her truck.

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Well, I'm sure they do profile kids in general and if you think about it, it probably makes sense to do so. I recall the days of my youth and I would have pulled me over more than a few times actually! ;-)

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That doesn't make it legal. They actually need probable cause to make a traffic stop.

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If the RMT Rover was designed for trucking fleets then leave the RMT Rover with the truckers.

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In Ohio drivers who are cited for DWI several times are required to get "party plates" that have a mustard/maroon color scheme so the cops can see them.

I wonder how long it will take until the lucky owners of party plates are required to install these GPS devices so the cops can see what bars they're hitting.

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OK, I'll bite and toss a grenade in here. I think if you're a repeat DWI offender then you should definitely have one of these thing on your car at least as a step before they pull your license for a few years. Basically, if you're going to endanger folks, you should at least lose some of your civil rights before you kill someone. How's that? Stir, mix... discuss. ;) Welcome btw, mbear and jdhawq, new HH members! Rodriro, good to see you back on.

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I agree with you, Dave, and probably actually have harsher feelings about it. I really hate that people don't take driving under the influence seriously.

Why should we be soft on people who are taking their lives and our lives (you, your mother, father, grandma, kids, me, my family, and everyone else on or near the road) for granted by getting behind the wheel of a 2500-pound bullet because they are choosing to be irresponsible, careless, thoughtless a-holes?

As you can probably tell, I'd punish them harshly more quickly than the current system does. Maybe the GPS unit and a breathalyzer after only 1 or 2 offenses and then revoke license and fine and maybe jail time after that.

If you can afford to go to a bar or a friends house and get drunk, you can afford a friggin' taxi ride or to make a call to a friend...plain and simple.

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I am adamantly against putting badges of shame upon people in society because they have broken the law, regardless of the severity of the crime.

Murderers don't walk around with symbols on their clothing.
Drivers shouldn't drive around with symbols on their car.

Next thing you know, Jews will be forced to wear Stars on their sleeves.

It's unconscionable, and a stupid form of "punishment".

Someone with a DUI should either be legally allowed to drive, or not. Let's put the badges down. America, and the world, have enough bad history with such devices.

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imnotfake:
I am adamantly against putting badges of shame upon people in society because they have broken the law, regardless of the severity of the crime.

Murderers don't walk around with symbols on their clothing.
Drivers shouldn't drive around with symbols on their car.

Next thing you know, Jews will be forced to wear Stars on their sleeves.

It's unconscionable, and a stupid form of "punishment".

Someone with a DUI should either be legally allowed to drive, or not. Let's put the badges down. America, and the world, have enough bad history with such devices.

 

Your right, murderer's do not walk around with symbols on their clothing, but sexual predators must tell their neighbors when they move in to a new neighborhood, and register on a national database, and they should! On a job application you are forced to tell any criminal history you may have, as it may have relevance on your postion. If you have a DWI you will not get a job where you have to drive a company vehicle. If you are foolish enough to have been caught commiting the same crime multiple times I see nothing wrong with a licence plate that says so. As far a Jews walking around with stars on their sleeves youre reaching. No one said anything about religous descrimination, were talking about criminals and that's where it ends. It's not as steep of a slippery slope as your painting it.

 

 

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So, Savage Animal, by your standard, I'm inferring it's wise to make ppl put pertinent offenses to the job. I suppose murder is always pertinent..but if you are a child sex offender and don't work with children in any respect, then it shouldn't be put down. Seems reasonable.

So what if you have a DUI, if you don't have to drive to/from work or especially FOR work. Then it's none of the companies business. You shouldn't have to put it down on your application. BUT...as HR ppl know, it can't LEGALLY affect their decision, but you know damn well they'll nix a candidate b/c of it and simply give another reason. "oh, we found a more qualified candidate".

It's the major reason people with felonies on their record can't find decent work...which, in some instances, probably cause them to commit another crime b/c they can't find work to support themselves or their families.

You logic is just as flawed as the one you're trying to dispute...unsuccessfully.

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Well, actually as an employer it is my business who I hire; and the decisions that person makes during his or her own time show character. Someone who recklessly drives drunk obvioulsy has no regard for himself or others, so why would I trust him to care about my company. The same goes for someone convicted of larceny, how do I know he won't steel from me? I never said anything about child sex offenders I said sex offenders in general, which is what is rightfully required to be disclosed. If you can't control yourself outside of my place of business what would make me think you can in the office. Why should I put my other employees at risk because your an animal that can't keep his hands to himself?

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>>On a job application you are forced to tell any criminal history you may have, as it may have relevance on your postion.

Except if you're applying for the job as CEO of the Corporation that is "the United States of America". Doesn't your "president" have a criminal record? Surely hes in a high enough position for this to be cause for concern.

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Umm...there are enough bush bashing threads on this forum, can we not turn this into one. I don't think any of his disgressions were hidden. It was well known he had a dui and was awol, but he was elected anyway, which is the American peoples fault, not the same thing. Also he is the president, the quotes aren't neccesary, and unless your not a U.S. citizen he's your president too.

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Actually, if you really want to stop the problem with drinking and driving, don't cut off the driving or brand the cars. Instead, issue these buffoons a license that says NO ALCOHOL across it, just like they say UNDER 21 for minors. Then treat it the same. You sell or give alcohol to someone who's been caught drinking and driving, then you lose your right to buy and sell alcohol too. Guess what? If you lost your right to drink instead of your right to drive as a punishment/deterrent, there would be no more drinking and driving in this country. The fact is, you can't really take a person's drivers license away, and they know it. But you can take away the sauce, once and for all. Drinkers don't want to lose that under ANY circumstances, so they will behave. And if they don't??? No sauce.

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Lawlaland:
Actually, if you really want to stop the problem with drinking and driving, don't cut off the driving or brand the cars. Instead, issue these buffoons a license that says NO ALCOHOL across it, just like they say UNDER 21 for minors. Then treat it the same. You sell or give alcohol to someone who's been caught drinking and driving, then you lose your right to buy and sell alcohol too. Guess what? If you lost your right to drink instead of your right to drive as a punishment/deterrent, there would be no more drinking and driving in this country. The fact is, you can't really take a person's drivers license away, and they know it. But you can take away the sauce, once and for all. Drinkers don't want to lose that under ANY circumstances, so they will behave. And if they don't??? No sauce.

There are several flaws with your theory. For starters the drinking age is twenty one, so a drinker who is forty will not be proofed there fore making your "no alcohol" license null and void. Second you can revoke someone's driving license, driving is a privilege not a right. Now lets just say by some incredible stroke of weirdness a teller at the convenience store actually does check the forty year old's license, guess what, his drinking buddy goes to get the beer, or his wife. Also what is to stop him from drinking at a party then driving home, nobody checks ID at holiday parties

 

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f

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OK then, sounds good. Let's just pull their license after the second offense, no three strikes your out. Two strikes for DWI, max... Don't need any badges then. But then again, GPS' aren't badges. No one knows their in the vehicle, just the cops watching out for drunk idiots that could kill someone. Wow, this is quite a debate! Cool!

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If you think about it... What's being offered is actually more liberty than you'd propose. You see it as "Don't let them drive". What's offered gives a choice: not-drive *or* Drive-and-be-tagged. The ability to drive is a privilege (as my parents reminded me frequently growing up), not a right. Drinking and Driving, which turns your car into a weapon poorly managed at best, gets some of your privileges taken away.
Suck it up...

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Or when location devices are mandated under federal law and stored in a database with related data, such as all information for the lease, purchase, registration, insurance for the owner and all others insured or registered in the vehicle, and your location and speed are continuously logged and any "abnormalities" are recorded in a separate report.

Then, cops wouldn't need to pull you over to send you a speeding ticket. They could simply let you know the next time you arrived to renew your insurance or registration that you had $xxx in speeding fines to pay before you could register.

Aah, automated society.

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I think we all agree it would be great...

But lets take this to the next level, OK DWI and excessive constant vehicle violators. I mean we are in a country where we tend to take something and OVER do it... So what if we attach these to people who are constantly carless or reckless with their lives. I mean one of these is like having one of those house arrest ankel bracelets if you were to over enforce this... BUt in moderation this could be a good move in law enforcment....

And about those radar guns..... I knew a bunch of cops and they are just use and forget devices. They have to recalibrated constantly, I think this was more of ignorance or laziness of the officer...

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I really don't believe that GPS readings are, as the expert states, instantaneous.

I'm quite certain they are based on the difference between two position readings, and the time between them. How accurate this is depends on how far apart (in time or distance) these readings are.

I can also easily imagine that various GPS devices have various update times, and some with slow enough update times could easily miss peak speeds.

Furtheremore, I guess this is a different device than a typical GPS in that it keeps a record of these values. Anybody know the exact make and model of this GPS device and the resolution (in distance and time) of it's historical records.

(I didn't yet say it, but even if, by some miracle, the GPS did take instantaneous readings (of speed), the history will not contain those instantaneous readings, but instead snapshots or averages over time.

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Re: As far as the transmit time of GPS, the communication between the Satellite and gps is about the same as the speed of light.

I don't know why you brought up the transmit time of gps--if you're in any way replying to my comments, the transmit time is, as you say, close to the speed of light.

But, that is not the same as the update time of GPS readings, in other words the time between one GPS reading and the next. This depends on the speed and design of the processor and software in the GPS unit.

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