Teen using GPS Data to fight a traffic ticket …

by James

Talk about turning lemons into Lemonade. The parents of 18-year-old Shaun Malone, placed a GPS tracking device into his car to make sure he was obeying traffic laws. The model they installed would email them if he ever went over the speed limit and they could check in real time to make sure he was where he said he was going to be. So, when Shaun was caught by a police radar going 62 in a 45 mph zone last summer, his parents were shocked because they had data to refute the claim by police that their teenager was speeding.

Fighting the ticket by “trial by declaration” (the worst way to fight it as you usually lose), Malone and family provided the GPS data to refute the radar gun data which showed that Malone’s car had gone 17 mph over the speed limit. They insisted that the radar gun wasn’t properly calibrated and was simply wrong in it’s results. But when an expert against them claimed GPS wasn’t all that accurate, the judge ruled Malone guilty and ordered him to pay up.

Not to be dissuaded, Malone appealed and got the expert on the stand in a real trial. That’s when things got interesting as the GPS expert against him suddenly did a 180 and became his number one witness in favor of GPS accuracy, claiming that GPS can show speeds within 1 mile per hour. The appellate judge has yet to decide whether to toss the ticket or uphold it, but one thing is certain, using GPS data to fight traffic tickets may be the best new tool against what can only be considered an unofficial driving tax.

Hat Tip – Ars Technica

3 reviews or comments

JEmlay Says: July 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm

This is a joke right? Those units don’t record every second. The parents have ZERO case in court. They’ll be lucky if they aren’t laughed out of court.

Sure, a GPS will tell you exactly how fast your going but the service they’re subscribed to doesn’t record every second of every minute you are moving. Can you imagine how much data that would be to store for all their customers? Insane!!!!

The only way they’ll win is if the prosecution fails to address what I just said. Which is possible, I guess.

However the services I looked into don’t even record your speed at all. They simply alert you if the driver goes over XX amount. You set the amount. The kid was in a 45, there’s no way they set the alert for that.

Neagle Says: July 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm

In new “Amerika”, car drives you!

knittlebittle Says: August 2, 2008 at 11:29 am

Retraction: The original article says the parents were only informed if the driver went over 70.

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