Virginia Beach Speed Detection Instruments

Some Virginia Beach speed detection instruments used by police officers include radar guns or laser equipment that are used to measure speed. They also have a “box,” which measures how fast a person is going as it drives past an officer’s car. The box is usually not used for enforcement purposes, but for information purposes. If you have questions or concerns regarding Virginia tools and tactics to measure speed in traffic, call an experienced Virginia Beach speeding ticket lawyer.

Other Speed Detection Tools

The tools mentioned above are the primary measuring items. Law enforcement also have red light cameras, but those measure whether or not the person stopped at a light or went through an intersection, and not necessarily speeding. Airborne radar is not used frequently in Virginia Beach as a speed detection instrument.

Weight of Radar Reading in Court

Radar detection instruments carry a lot of weight in court as evidence. Judges put great value in scientific evidence. They put more value in science than they do in subjective ways of measurement, like eyeballing speed. If a police officer states that their radar gun was calibrated correctly and the person was traveling the speed stated, it is very difficult to overcome that.

Defense in Court

The most important defense in court for speeding is whether or not the radar gun was working properly or calibrated. If it was not working properly or it was not properly calibrated, for example, before or after a shift or every six months by law, then the radar gun detection is not an admissible source of evidence in court. That is something defense attorneys check. Also, defense attorneys check whether it is possible that the police officer could have clocked the wrong vehicle, especially if there were a pack of vehicles in traffic.

Accuracy of Radar Instruments

Law enforcement must calibrate radar instruments to within one mile of the exact speed. This is performed at the Department of Forensic Science, and they are given a printout that shows the correct calibration. When a vehicle is traveling at 30 miles an hour, their equipment will say that person is going 30 or 31 miles an hour. They are very accurate.

Personal Radar Use

It is illegal for a person to have a radar detector in their car, and not in their trunk, while they are driving in Virginia. If a person is caught with a radar detector, it will result in a fine. Some drivers will have one so they know whether or not police officers are active in the area. And, again, it is illegal to have a radar detector in Virginia.

People coming from North Carolina or other states where radar detectors are legal will see the signs that radar detectors are illegal in Virginia and unplug their radar detector. However, that is not enough. It has to be in the person’s trunk. If a police officer pulls over a vehicle for any reason and notices a radar gun or radar detector in their car, they will be ticketed.

Issues with Detection Instruments

Virginia Beach speed detection instruments are not always perfect. There can be interference from radio waves or other signals that could affect the readings. The equipment could also malfunction. If there are computers involved, it is possible that they might not work properly. A police officer may not use the instrument properly according to the manual as well.

Definition of Pacing

Pacing is another way Virginia Beach detects speed, but it does not use an instrument. Pacing is when the police officer follows a person for a period of time, bring their speed up to where the distance between the person’s vehicle and the officer’s vehicle is not changing, and use their speedometer to measure how fast the person is going. The length of time is not defined by law, merely the length of time to ascertain their speed. Often as a practical matter, the officer will follow the vehicle at least two-tenths of a mile.

Pacing as Evidence of Speeding

Pacing is an admissible piece of evidence in court for speeding in Virginia Beach. It is not as reliable as the radar gun, so there is more for defense attorneys to question. An officer has to pay attention to more things for pacing, like the distance, how far they are following behind the person, and their speedometer.