10/3/2007California: Radar Accuracy Challenged by GPS
GPS device used to show a police radar speed reading was faulty.
A Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring device is being used as evidence to prove to a young motorist was innocent despite a police radar claim to the contrary. Petaluma, California Police Officer Steve Johnson claimed that his radar gun measured Shaun Malone traveling at 62 MPH on a 45 MPH stretch of Lakeville Highway on July 4 at 7:45am. Malone's parents, however, had installed a GPS monitoring device in the 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S Malone had been driving, and they know he was driving at the speed limit. The tracking device was installed over the teen's objections to allow his parents to monitor his every move and ensure that he did not speed.
Sonoma County Court Commissioner Carla Bonilla will consider whether to accept the GPS data log which shows at the approximate time and location given on the ticket that Malone was driving at 45 MPH. Petaluma police had set up a speed trap to ensnare motorists participating in a legal drag racing event at Infineon Raceway. Police Sergeant Tim Lyons defended Officer Johnson's citation.
"He knows how to work traffic and write speeding tickets," Lyons told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper. "I would trust his judgment."