12/19/2006Iowa: Trial Court Tosses Speed Camera Ticket
Full text of a ruling that found Davenport, Iowa could not prove the accuracy of its speed cameras.
A Scott County, Iowa District Court dismissed on November 27 a speed camera citation mailed to a Colorado man because the city of Davenport was unable to prove its devices were accurate. On Friday, Davenport faced another court challenge to its photo ticketing which has so far generated $234,000 in profit.
The November ruling was heard as a civil matter which lowered the burden of proof for Davenport. city only had to provide "satisfactory and convincing evidence" that William Wayne Greenfield had driven his 1993 Ford van 49 MPH in a 35 zone on May 18. A Davenport Police "community service officer" -- not a sworn policeman -- testified that he issued the citation in question without reviewing the ticket generated by private vendor Nestor.
Officer Christopher Anderson testified regarding the alleged violation in the photograph and how the device worked. When asked how the number "49" appears on the citation, Anderson replied:
"That's more of a technical question in what I would be able to answer, I believe. -- It is integrated into -- the camera and the laser system are integrated, and that's where the information comes from. How exactly it gets there I don't know how."
Under further questioning, Anderson admitted he relied on Nestor to tell him the 49 MPH speed displayed on the ticket was accurate. The court concluded that absent any evidence that the speed camera produced an accurate reading, he could not find Greenfield guilty and ordered Davenport to pay the court costs.
The full text of the ruling is available in a 2.4mb PDF file at the source link below.