6/26/2005Connecticut Police Radar and Laser Guns Under Investigation
Radar and laser speed detection devices are under investigation in Connecticut after a review finds units in Southbury improperly calibrated.
Connecticut's Public Safety Commissioner has called for an audit of all devices used to ticket motorists for speeding in the state. A routine check performed in March uncovered evidence that the state police were using improperly calibrated speed detection equipment in Southbury. Several radar and laser had not been properly calibrated in more than two years. In at least one case, a device had never been calibrated. The guns themselves were not properly signed out when used.
A radar or laser gun can give a false reading by as much as 5 or 10 MPH if it falls out of calibration, causing motorists to receive tickets for offenses that they did not commit. Judges will dismiss a speeding case if the measuring device is found to have an expired calibration certificate.
The police in Southbury had issued 6800 tickets last year. Although state law prohibits quotas, troopers are expected to issue at least thirty tickets according to a May 18 memo obtained by the Hartford Courant. Officials refuse to refund tickets resulting from the uncalibrated radar and laser guns if they have already been paid.
The team found wrong expiration dates, erroneous times, erroneous dates and outdated calibrations, according to the inspection report. A spare cruiser wasn't calibrated at all. There was no process to sign out radar and laser units, and in one case, the inspectors learned that a laser gun, its box, and the calibration sheet belonging to it were all with different troopers.Source: Speeders May Have Reason To Beef (Hartford Courant, 6/25/2005)
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