Speed Reading Instruments in Hampton Reckless Driving Cases

A traffic officer can prove that they were recording the speed of your vehicle by presenting paperwork in court to show exactly what equipment they used to obtain the speed of your vehicle. Typically the speed reading instruments used in Hampton reckless driving cases are RADAR or LIDAR. This equipment comes with a certificate of calibration which shows how the instrument was used, and whether it was functioning properly and had been calibrated and maintained within a specific defined period of time. If the calibration certificate is not up to date or proven to be maintained, a Hampton reckless driving lawyer will be able to use that to mitigate the damage of the offense.

RADAR and LIDAR Instrument Use in Virginia

In Hampton, as in the rest of Virginia, law enforcement officers use the speed reading instruments of RADAR and LIDAR tools to track and detect speeding. The court tends to consider these instruments to be very accurate and reliable, as long as the officer can show that the equipment was maintained and calibrated properly within a defined time period before the incident. The officer proves this by having a certificate of calibration available, which is supposed to have very specific information on it and needs to be an original or a true copy in order to be admissible evidence.

Defense Against LIDAR and RADAR Use

The need for a certificate of calibration makes the use of cross examination a strong defense in a reckless driving case. Sometimes the certificate is missing some information or the information is incorrect. Sometimes the certificate itself is not a true copy, which means that the results should be considered unreliable. If any of these situations present themselves then the case should be dismissed, if that is the only evidence the police officer has to go on.

Alternatively, while it is difficult to get the police officer to admit that the RADAR or LIDAR speed reading equipment wasn’t functioning properly without attacking the calibration certificate, it is not impossible. A good attorney can sometimes get the police officer to admit that there may be some doubt as to how he was able to track the vehicle’s speed, especially if the incident took place in heavy traffic, creating the possibility that the officer locked on to an incorrect vehicle.


Pacing is another speed reading method used in Hampton speeding and reckless driving cases. Pacing is when law enforcement officers target a vehicle that they believe to be speeding. In these cases the officer will get behind the potentially speeding vehicle, and attempt to match the cruiser’s speed to the driver’s vehicle. The police officer then looks at his own speedometer to determine how fast the targeted vehicle is going.

Is Pacing Admissible Evidence of Speeding?

Pacing is in fact admissible evidence of speeding in Hampton in reckless driving cases, but it is not without its errors. Pacing is very subjective and prone to human error, so it is not always difficult to get a pacing case dismissed if the officer is not 100% certain in every single answer that he is supplying to the cross examination.

Defenses Against Pacing

The issues with pacing as a speed reading method are mostly due to human error. It is possible that the officer believed that he was going the same speed as the vehicle, but in fact he was gaining speed, which will make the determined speed of the targeted vehicle inaccurate. It is important to pick apart the officer’s testimony and to make sure that he is 100% certain that he was going the exact same speed as the targeted vehicle, and that it is beyond a reasonable doubt. Another possible issue is that the officer’s own vehicle’s speedometer may not have been calibrated properly, so the vehicle that he was targeting may have been clocked at an incorrect speed based on the incorrect speedometer.