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GPS Used As Defence In Radar Speeding Case

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the could-be-onto-something dept.

Privacy 464

James Thigpen writes "There is an article over at Ars Technica about an accused speeder contesting his speeding ticket based on his car's built-in GPS system's records. According to the article his car says he was going slower than the radar gun clocked him at. Contesting a ticket based on GPS data has never before been tested in court."

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DEFENSE!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141617)

My first contact with fisting was, of course, in San Francisco.
I was out on the coast for a round of job interviews in the Bar
area. My fluffy-sweater acquaintances in Cincinnati had scoped out
the territory the previous summer and were full of dire warnings
about South of Market in general and The Hothouse in particular,
so of course that was the first place I headed. Now, fisting
wasn't exactly a deep, dark mystery to me...somewhere along the
line I had acquired the book from the movie classic "Erotic Hands"
and I'd been jerking off to that for quite a while. You might say
I was into the concept if not the reality.

Well, The Hothouse was everything I had been warned it was...humpy
dudes wandering around in body harnesses leading their slaves on
leashes, the whole trip. I nearly came when I walked into the
shower room hunkered down on a plastic hose while he sucked his
buddy's oversize cock. I checked out the sling rooms, but I spent
most of the night doing conventional if rougher-than-usual sex.

I fell asleep with my door cracked. The next morning I woke up
with this warm, wet feeling on my arm. I looked up and there was
this hairy, muscular little dude impaled on my arm to the elbow!
Holy shit! He looked down at me and grinned "Good morning" "Good
morning yourself fucker." " Can you dig it!" "For sure, but I've
never done it before" Well, that turned his motor on, and soon
became oblivious that he wasn't gonna dismount my arm until he had
showed me all the right moves. We ended up with me punch-fucking
him doggy--style with a cheering audience of six or seven
leathermen. Well, my arm was busy most of the morning, but my
asshole stayed virgin.

I sorta filed the experience away and chewed on it until my next
trip to the coast. I only knew one dude in Cincinnati that was
into handball, and we were friends, not fuck-buddies, so I didn't
get a chance to practice again until another job interview took me
to San Diego. The job panned out. and I moved to California.

Now, you have to understand where I was coming from. Cincinnati
is one of the most tight-assed Republican cities in the Midwest.
There was one gay bar and no baths. If you wanted steam you had
to drive to Cleveland, Toledo or Chicago. So the first couple of
years in San Diego I was like a kid in a candy shop...baths, bars,
and Balboa Park!

I fisted if I was asked, and if I was in a "top" mood I got off on
it to a certain extent, but something was missing. What that
"something" was I found out one night at the old Fourth Avenue
Baths in Hillcrest. I was cruising the "open" rooms and came
across this hot little blond surfer-type. We started getting it
on, and our hands both started to go for the ass about the same
time, so he called a halt to go fetch the Crisco and poppers. Now,
fisting wasn't particularly on my mind...I figured we'd trade fucks
and that would be that. How was I to know that gay surfers in San
Diego get into handball?

Well. pretty soon we were pretty busy finger-fucking each other
while we sixty-nined. Then he called a halt and sat up and looked
at me. "Wanna go further?" "As in what?" "Fisting, man." "You
or me?" "Whatever," he muttered. "Well, I've never had it, but
I'm up for trying." Bingo! The idea of a virgin really pushed his
button, so pretty soon I'm on my back with my ass propped up on a
pillow and him sitting cross-legged below me.

"Your head's gonna get it done for you" he told me. "You gotta
want me inside you. It's just like takin' a big cock. It'll hurt
like hell goin' over the widest part of my knuckles, but then once
it's inside you're gonna lose your mind!" Well, we had smoked a
couple of joints and I was pretty mellowed out and the dude wasn't
tryin' to hurry me. We rapped about all kinds of shit, but all the
time there was this gentle but insistent pressure at my asshole.
"How much you got in?" I'd ask him from time to time but he
wouldn't tell me. "Don't worry about it...just relax and enjoy."

I kept playin' with my cock and that made my ass tighten up, so he
pulled the laces from his boot and tied my hands behind my head so
I couldn't jack off. Now I don't usually do bondage with a
stranger, but we were really into each other's heads by now, and
I figured what the shit, my legs were still free to kick if he got

We kept on like this for about an hour...then he looked me in the
eye and said, "Pull your knees back to your tits." "is this it,
man? I'm not sure I'm ready." "You're ready...your fuckin' ass
is just beggin' for my hand. Cummon, pull 'em back." He got up
on his knees and started pushing my legs down with his chest until
his face was right over mine. "Common, man, take my fuckin' fist.
You can do it!" He shoved a popper under my nose and my ass caught
fire! One fiery bolt of pain and he was in! The fucker had his
goddamned fist up my butt. "Slow deep breaths, man...take slow,
deep breaths. Get used to it, then we'll play." Now I was leakin'
gum like a firehose by this point. I couldn't imagine it getting
any more intense/painful/better, but it did. He gave me a few
minutes to calm down, then he shoved the popper under my nose again
and started to make a fist inside me. "AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH! Take
it easy man!" "Just makin' the fist, dude. Now I'm gonna do a
little twistin'." "Well, he did a little twistin' and I did a lot
of twistin' and yellin', but he just kept at it, slow and steady.
I drifted into a semi-trance impaled on this hot little dude's
hand. Experienced bottoms say that there's a good deal of yoga and
meditation I understood what they meant.

He looked down at me and grinned. "REady for a little depth?"
"You're running this trip, man. You got me fuckin' tied up and
held down so I can't move anything but my eyelashes. Guess if you
wanna go for dept I'm gonna have to go along! "Fuckin'-A-right!
You just slide down on my arm fucker. We're gonna go for the
elbow!" Now, that might sound a little bit radical for the first
time, but once he'd gotten in past the knuckles it was a matter of
degree. Actually, his outstretched hand and forearm was easier to
take than the clenched rotating fist. "Can you sit up?" he asked
me after awhile. "If you help me" "I want you to see, man.
You've got my fuckin' arm up to the elbow!" I didn't believe him,
but he pulled me up until I was bent like a pretzel and I could see
my red, tautly-stretched asshole around the beginning of his
muscular bicep. "I gotta cum, man," I moaned. "I gotta cum so
fuckin' gad!" "Oh, yeah, shoot your fuckin' load! Cummon,
motherfucker, shoot it!!" He was givin' me long, slow strokes with
his arm...all the was out to the wrist and then all the way back
to the elbow! He grabbed my cock and it was all over. I must have
shot for five minutes! The first load landed on the wall over my
head. "YYYYEEEOOWWW! OK. OK, ease out, man,ease out! He slowly
withdrew his arm and we collapsed.

"Like it?" he grinned. "Like it! Jesus, I loved it! You have
great hands man." "You might be sore for a day or two." "That's
cool." "Wanna do me?" "As soon as I catch my breath." We
stretched out and dozed for awhile then I started to get itchy to
get into his ass. It only took him about half and hour...he was
experienced, but I have fairly big hands. He started to get a
little worried, though, when I started sneakin' a couple of extra
fingers up along side my hand. "Hey, uh, I don't think I can take
much more." "First time for everything, dude." I chuckled. "Yeah,
well, I guess, only go easy, man, OK?" "No problem...just relax
and enjoy." Well, about another fifteen minutes I was shakin'
hands with myself inside this dude's steaming hole, and it was his
turn to beg. "Oh Christ, let me cum, please! Jack me off, man.
I gotta cum!" Well, that presented a problem since both my hands
were busy, so I took his aching cock in my mouth. He arched his
back and his asshole tightened around my wrists until I thought
they were gonna break. He shot so hard I thought I was gonna
drown! "JJJJJEEEEESSSSSUUUUUSSS! Take it out...please take it
out!" I slowly pulled one hand after the other out of his
exhausted hole. We staggered to the showers and soaped each other
down, and then we crashed. We exchanged phone numbers and played
a couple of times after that, either at the baths or at the FFA
parties. I lost track of him, and the Fourth Avenue Baths closed
down, but I'll never forget him.

Re:DEFENSE!!!!! (0, Offtopic)

BugAttack (624234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142165)

i know this is offtopic, it's ok my karma is bad already... but can someone filter posts that contain the word fisting from now on? i hate seeing this, i'd rather visit goatse.

Re:DEFENSE!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142181)

Damn, you fags are sick! Go have sex with cows or something.... Fags are just nasty. How can a dude want to touch another dude's "stuff"? Sick, sick, sick I tell you. Seriously, fags should all go to some island and just fondle each other. Fags are sick!

First Post? (1, Offtopic)

Graviteh (907587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141619)

I don't get why this is tagged as privacy.

Re:First Post? (3, Funny)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141657)

This time, it is the lack of privacy that helps the little guy. Oh, the irony.

Re:First Post? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142101)

Well, it's also filed under "Your Rights Online", however that works.

Video Evidence (5, Interesting)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141623)

I've often thought it would be a good idea to have a constant video recording your driving, like the police camera setups. This could help clear up who to beleive at the scene of accidents, because of the video.

Plus it would be cool to have onboard footage of your driving for analysis and review.

Re:Video Evidence (0, Redundant)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141669)

And it would also be really nice to have if you get in a wreck, for insurance purposes (i.e. "See, he really did merge into my car!")

Re:Video Evidence (4, Insightful)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141699)

If you dragrace with yourself and yourself alone one a lone road in the middle of nowhere, does it really matter? I would not like to have the authorities to have a closer look at my driving. I hate the speed cameras they tend to set up everywhere on the road, but in front of schools for instance (where they'd really matter), I'm yet to spot one.

Re:Video Evidence (5, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141897)

Yep, police work is only performed where it matter$, aka speed traps and deliberately low limits. Saving lives is not a profitable business, which is why no matter what you do (or don't do), if a cop shows up, you get a fine.

In my opinion, if they're not enforcing speed limits in the few areas where they are actually beneficial, then we should abolish that system entirely as it is working for no one. I pay taxes like (most) everyone else, if that money isn't enough to afford proper police without the need for profiteering practices, then raise my goddamned taxes and destroy those stupid radar guns. Maybe then people will start respecting these so-called peace keepers again.

Something is very very wrong with the world when honest law-abiding citizens live in fear and/or contempt of the law.

Re:Video Evidence (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142313)

Problem is, in an age where insurance is a requirement people think that lowering insurance rates is an appropriate goal for public policy. Drag racing, even by yourself on a deserted road, is risky behavior, which raises risk for insurance companies and therefore their rates as well. They're not just going to absorb that loss.

Re:Video Evidence (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141705)

It would have to be hidden. A lot of cops will make you turn off any recording equipment they see as soon as they start talking to you - and if you don't comply many of them will just arrest you for BS charges. Not saying ALL cops, but I've read articles where already asshole cops went berserk over recording equipment and the person not dropping their pants and bending over to their demands.

Re:Video Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142115)

So? You turn off the obvious-looking 'video camera' on your dashboard and let the other one roll - making sure that the "these premises are equipped with non-disablable(sp?) recording devices" sticker is on the OTHER side of the car. [] has some reasonably-priced toys.

Re:Video Evidence (1)

Kpt Kill (649374) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142321)

Are you required to have such a sticker when recording inside your own car?

Re:Video Evidence (0)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141717)

And wouldn't it be totally awesome if it sent this data to the government in real-time so they could totally figure out where we were at the time of crimes and terrorist attacks?

Count me out.

Re:Video Evidence (5, Insightful)

ls -la (937805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141815)

I'm pretty sure that's not what the OP is advocating. If you set up a camera in your car, YOU control it and all the tapes. If you do something illegal or that you don't want taped, you can either turn the camera off beforehand or destroy the tape after. The only place the government comes into this is if you turn the tapes over to the government/court to prove your innocence.

Re:Video Evidence (2, Informative)

praksys (246544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142015)

If you destroy evidence of a crime you can be busted for obstruction of justice. IIRC the prosecution doesn't even need to prove that a crime was committed - just that you destroyed stuff that you thought might be used as evidence.

Re:Video Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142017)

The only place the government comes into this is if you turn the tapes over to the government/court to prove your innocence.

Wrong. A search warrant can get those tapes and destroying the tapes might be considered destroying evidence, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, a search warrant might not even be necessary (e.g. if the officer has good reason to believe there may be drugs in the car).

Re:Video Evidence (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142397)

If you do something illegal or that you don't want taped, you can ... destroy the tape after.
Sounds like destruction of evidence, perverting the course of justice, or many other charges.

Re:Video Evidence (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141803)

It might go both ways. If a prosecutor knows that you are recording, they might be able to subpoena it and use it against you.

The video and data can be used against you as well, they might demand more data than is actually pertinent to the case and nail you for something else instead.

Re:Video Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142173)

An obvious solution to that problem would be to store the video in encrypted form, so that you can only decrypt it yourself with a smartcard and a passphrase.

Re:Video Evidence (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142089)

I agree. I have put thought into such a device for a long time. Storage and cameras are small enough now that the entire thing could fit in a 6" hemisphere in the center of the roof of the car (inside). I would want 4 cameras, one facing each direction, with peripheral overlap so that a panorama could be made (with no gaps), plus one camera pointing straight down with a fisheye that covers the areas inside of the car that the other 4 cameras miss. As I envision the device, it would record in a short loop, say 5-60 minutes long, with new footage overlapping the oldest, and then you could press a button* to save the last 5-60 minutes and start recording in realtime until another button* is pressed. This eliminates the possibility of it recording things that you don't want, and saves on storage to boot.

* - here "press a button" is defined as some process trivial to a user who has been instructed in its use, but non-trivial for someone naively inspecting the device. We want to be able to start recording under duress, and avoid someone else stopping the recording without our consent. Perhaps the first button is hidden under the seat, and the second "button" is actually a password or physical key.

PS: Feel free to steal this idea, I would rather see someone else make money from it being on the market than wait til I have the time to build it. Ubiquitous non-govt-controlled cameras are the answer to a lot of our current governmental problems.

Re:Video Evidence (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142187)

The recorder should simply record always.
At the push of the "memorise this" button, the current 1 hour buffer plus the recorder will save the subsequent hour as well.
This button should also be linked to the air bag triggering mechanism for the same effect.

Re:Video Evidence (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142381)

Yeah, lets help the Homeland Security and give up our privecy without them stealing it. Good plan. After all if you don't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to wory about. Right?[/sarcasm]

Oh and it can be very cool to analyze how you can NOT kill one of your mates the next time while still driving as fast as possible like in this German movie [] . Understand this is NOT happening on the german Autobahn, but rather on a 'normal' street.

This could only be the first step (3, Interesting)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141651)

If this ends up being a valid way to argue against getting a speeding ticket, the next step I see will be people speeding like hell, and then hacking their car's GPS records to show they were going at the speed limit.

Re:This could only be the first step (1)

asg1 (1180423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141713)

If this ends up being a valid way to argue against getting a speeding ticket, the next step I see will be people speeding like hell, and then hacking their car's GPS records to show they were going at the speed limit.

While I see your concern, I think that this would have the more profound effect of being able to consider data other than the police officer's radar gun in determining if a driver broke the law. I doubt it would open the door for GPS to be used as a defense in all cases, especially considering your concerns... However adding another route of defense against possibly overzealous cops is fine by me.

Re:This could only be the first step (4, Insightful)

kc5goi (772773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141755)

I have heard stories of people trying to submit GPS data logs in the past to prove they were not speeding. The judges would not accept the data because it could be considered suspect, particularly if you presented it on a USB dongle since the data is beyond easy to modify. Radar does have its issues, specifically if you are in a group of cars (have you ever been blamed for speeding when the car beside you was passing you). Unless you can provide data in a method that is deemed "un-crackable", I doubt it would be allowed. I could easily re-run the route that I was on when I got stopped, take the track log and modify the time stamps (if they are present and that depends on the GPS data stream you selected). You would want the time stamps to be there to compare against the time the police officer stated on the ticket. I have to take this jab at the judicial system though, despite the fact the the citations say you are not pleading guilt or innocence at the time of the infraction, you are pretty much labelled guilty, the police never lie in the courts point of view and if you claim you are innocent, you get treated as if you were guilty anyway. The only way I can see to defend yourself is to have the same set up in your car as the police do and have it display speed on the recording. Then again we saw recently what happened someone who tried that in Missouri.

Re:This could only be the first step (3, Informative)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142005)

It reminded me of this case [] from earlier this month. The inventor in the story was testing his new device when he was clocked by a speed camera. In the court case his GPS logs were used as evidence that he was 12mph slower than the speed gun recorded. He may have had a motive for pursuing it through to a court case as he is starting a company to comercialise the device.

GPS with PGP (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142023)

I have heard stories of people trying to submit GPS data logs in the past to prove they were not speeding. The judges would not accept the data because it could be considered suspect...
A GPS unit could be built that fingerprints with a private key, and sealed so that you would just about have to destroy it to hack it.

Re:This could only be the first step (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142037)

This case is special though because this is a kid that had a monitoring system so that his parents could track him. It was designed to not be able to be hacked by someone driving the car. His dad is an ex-sheriff too and has the same story.

This is an old story by the way. I can't remember when I first read it but it must have been months ago.

Re:This could only be the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142039)

If GPS logging is good enough for the World Air Sports Federation [] then it ought to be good enough to contest a speeding ticket.

The catch is that FAI-approved secure data loggers aren't cheap and don't have much in the way of fancy special features.

Re:This could only be the first step (2, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141771)

That's exactly why this should not be allowed. Or I could hack my speedometer to always read 25 and keep a video camera in the car. "See, I was only going 25!" People are asshats and will do anything to get out of speeding tickets.

What I don't understand is how this kid is explaining the discrepancy between his GPS and the radar gun? The radar says he was going 62, but he claims he was going 45? How would that happen? That's a big difference when you consider the accuracy of radar guns. I'm not saying they're infallible but they definitely have a proven track record compared to GPS.

Re:This could only be the first step (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141921)

A lot of things can mess up a radar gun's reading. For example, if the gun was not calibrated recently or calibrated incorrectly. Another issue is the amount of traffic. If the traffic was heavy, then the radar could have easily hit another car that was traveling faster. This is why most tickets have a "Traffic: Light, Medium, Heavy" checkbox section on them. Most officers will default to the light checkbox to help them in court. That's why you bring a camera with you and take pictures of the traffic (assuming it's heavy and helps your case).

Re:This could only be the first step (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142013)

Handheld radar guns have a proven track record of reading 2 consecutive pulses reflecting off two different objects as a completely random speed. If that random within about 20% of what speed you're doing, the cop won't question it, and assume it was an accurate reading.

Re:This could only be the first step (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142045)

Simple math has a better track record than Radar Guns.

He was at point A at time A', point B at time B'. Using that, you can figure the average speed between those intervals. If these intervals are updated every 5 seconds or so, and all neighboring intervals show about 45 mph...

Re:This could only be the first step (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141893)

This guys system was so his parents could moniter his speed. Even if you hacked it to report the wrong speed, you still have to deal with how you got between points it reported in the such short between the updates. This isn't your average Garman or Tomtom, this is a system designed for other people to track and monitor the driver.

Re:This could only be the first step (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141905)

If this ends up being a valid way to argue against getting a speeding ticket

There are two big problems with this case:

1 Malone's parents had the GPS system installed in order to track the whereabouts and speed of their son, whom they readily admit has a lead foot. In fact, he has already been grounded for having gone over 70 MPH after the GPS was installed.

2 The debate is likely to come down to how often the GPS device calculated and reported ground speed. Petaluma police lieutenant John Edwards told the AP that since GPS is satellite-based, there's a delay involved, and that Malone may have sped up and slowed down in the window between measurements, which could be as long as 60 seconds. My GPS Proves Your Radar Gun Is Wrong []

I don't know Petaluma but I do know roads which have been posted at 45 for damn good reasons.

Open source GPS? (4, Interesting)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141687)

But will he be able to produce the source code for the GPS when the police request it to check its accuracy?

Breathalyzer Source Code Revealed []
Closed Source -> Charges Dismissed? []

Re:Open source GPS? (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141989)

I've often wondered if you could demand the source for the radar gun. If it's as bad as the breathalyzer, I'm sure you could easily show there was a good chance it was actually the car passing you at the time.

Re:Open source GPS? (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142007)

How about the source code of the software on the radar gun? How do we know that works correctly?

Re:Open source GPS? (1)

Danielsen (1180609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142069)

In gliding contests we use IGC GPS loggers. The IGC logger logs a position and pressure altitude fix every second, and when the fligth has been completed a IGC file is generated and signed with the loggers private key. The file can then be validated on a PC at any time. In order to get the logger approved by IGC it has to be tamper proof, typical the private key is stored in battery backed SRAM and opening the sealed box makes it loose it's electronic seal. See []

admissible? (1)

nozzo (851371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141697)

How is the 'chain of custody' maintained here? Can the data be admissible due to the opportunity for tampering?
You could show any speed in the data.

Re:admissible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141747)

spoken like a true defense lawyer...

Re:admissible? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141801)

chain of custody is important for proving guilt (beyond a reasonable doubt). Exculpatory evidence doesn't need such high standards (it just needs to give a judge or jury doubt).

At least in theory. Traffic court judges exist mainly to uphold a cop's decision.

Re:admissible? (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142261)

Though I doubt it was done in this case, there is a privacy-maintaining way to prevent tampering after the fact. The GPS could send secure hashes of its data to the GPS vendor, who stores them unmodified and can provide them upon request. Then the car owner can submit the GPS data to the court along with a request for the hash from the GPS vendor. While you cannot recover records from the hash alone, you can verify that they haven't been changed. This does not prevent hacking the GPS beforehand of course, but that is a little bit easier to prove compared to tweaking data.

used in Taiwan (5, Informative)

xldyniac (1180595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141715)

GPS data was actually used recently in taiwan to prove a man's innocence. A truck driver A went into an accident with a motorcyclist B. A stayed and helped B up, and even paid cash. B said he's fine, so A drove off, only later to recevie a notice that B has filed a hit and run case against him. The court found A not guilty since the gps data showed that A stayed at the site for more than 15 mins.

mod up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141759)

if true, very relevant.

Re:mod up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142219)

Not really relevant to this as one is going based on time at a position (a case in which polling interval does not really matter unless one wanted to say that the driver kept moving back to the site every so often) and this one in which the speed is being questioned (where the speed is completely dependent on time as it is average). Even if the Korean guy's position was recorded every minute it would have little affect as he is only trying to prove he did not leave. If the other guy was being logged every minute it can prove little.

Brings accuracy into question (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141733)

The pretty large difference between his 'radar' speed, and his 'gps'(actual) speed was pretty large. IMHO this sets brings into question just about every speeding ticket ever given by radar gun.....

lets say that the gun is wrong 1% of the time, which in the case of a cop handing out tickets by hand is okay (imho) because there is human intervention, he (or she) can look at the thing, bang it on his hand a little, and shake the error off as a fluke.
The speed cameras on the 101 in scottsdale, arizona issue about 250 tickets daily. Thats 2.5 tickets daily that the gun gets wrong (the 1% figure was pulled from my ass, but I'm using it as an example). With THIS there is no human intervention at all (other than a pissed off commuter)..

grr...not sure where i'm going with this, I just REALLY hate it that humans are being taken out of (at least that little part) of the legal system. I don't want my fate decided by a computer!

Re:Brings accuracy into question (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142171)

I don't want my fate decided by a computer!


Certainly does (1)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142423)

Round here there's a lot of those radars which show your speed, and a smiley or frowny face. They all read 5 to 10% high, compared to GPS.

I've been photographed several times by automatic speed traps, and each time my GPS log has shown that I've been driving under the speed limit. I trust the GPS, because I can see that it reads the time and position correctly. Thus I can work out my speed by hand, and compare it to the speed shown by the GPS.

So far no speeding tickets have arrived in the post. Maybe in the speed-camera pictures they can see me with my GPS, pocket calculator, pencil and notepad. And maybe they think, "there goes a safe driver".

Radar and GPS were in check in California (3, Informative)

CaptainAx (606247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141761)

When we were on vacation in CA, we were stopped for speeding on highway 299 and had the GPS running. I told it to stop tracking the rest of the trip so I can get the data later. When I looked at it, it was dead on what the officer clocked us at so I think this person has a good case.

Re:Radar and GPS were in check in California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141829)

It largely depends what kind of driving he was doing when pulled. GPS calculates speed purely by doing deltas on measured positions, its not actually telling you your current speed, its telling you your average over the last X secs which will be dependant on the rate of signals from the satellite which I cant remember off hand. (also dependant on the hardware, may not even be using every one to do the calc with.) Theres tracking errors to take into account too. End result is it'll be pretty accurate if your doing a constant speed on the highway, but fairly useless if its stop start, with lots of acceleration/deceleration. The fact he was in a 45 implies that it was reasonably urban, probably with stop lights etc, which means if he stopped for a light, then put his foot down you could concievably be doing 60 whilst recording an average of a lot less. So both readings can be right, its just one is an instantanous speed, the other an average.

Testing in UK court case and GPS won (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141765)

This was tested in a uk court case and the ticket was cancelled []

Re:Testing in UK court case and GPS won (1)

ricklow (124377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142191)

C'mon now, was it really cancelled because of the GPS? FTA:

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "The officer who operated the camera has since retired.

"Without his verbal evidence, we could not prove the case to the required standard."

Are you serious? (3, Informative)

HouseArrest420 (1105077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141791)

Contesting a ticket based on GPS data has never before been tested in court."
Yes it up. The success rate, though, is the same as the rest of the cases. The majority of whom only get off because the cop that pulled them over never show up in court.

Speed = Distance / Time (4, Informative)

imstanny (722685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141795)

From my understanding, and the contention of the officer, the GPS logs average speed. Which means that during a short period of time, the defendant could have greatly exceeded the speed limit (and was clocked by the officer at that time), while the average speed was far lower than that. In which case, both the cop and the defendant are correct, and the cop is till valid in giving the ticket...

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141825)

Exactly, you get a ticket based on instantaneous speed - not average velocity.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142265)

But the speed is posted in Miles per Hour, not Feet per Second.

Hey lawyers have used more ridiculous premises and won...

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (4, Informative)

ls -la (937805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141857)

Two things:

1. What is the time the GPS device averages over? On the devices I've seen it updates about every second. Unless you have a REALLY nice car you're not going to go from 65 to 90 and back down for long enough to average 65 over that kind of time.

2. At least one state (MA) and perhaps others have laws that require your AVERAGE speed over some distance (I believe MA is 1/4 mi) to be over the limit for a speeding ticket.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (2, Funny)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142217)

***At least one state (MA) and perhaps others have laws that require your AVERAGE speed over some distance (I believe MA is 1/4 mi) to be over the limit for a speeding ticket.***

They have traffic laws in Massachusetts? When did that happen?

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142441)

1. What is the time the GPS device averages over? On the devices I've seen it updates about every second. Unless you have a REALLY nice car you're not going to go from 65 to 90 and back down for long enough to average 65 over that kind of time.

Minor point, but you'd have to go from 40 to 90 in one second then back to 40 the next second to average 65, so you'd need an even nicer car.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21141877)

This depends on how your GPS is configured and the accuracy of the measurements.

We would need an exact definition of "speeding" as per the law. For example - Does the law define any 'moment' whether 1 second, 5 seconds, or 1 minute with velocity over the posted limit enough to constitute an infraction? If the law finds that even 1 second of time with velocity of speed over the posted limit constitutes a speeding infraction and your GPS is logging track data at 5 second intervals the defense will probably fail.

GPS's usually log track data in 1-5 second intervals, taking a measurement from various satellites and then throwing away the readings that are way out of proportion to the majority of the readings. They will then average the rest of the readings and come up with fairly accurate positional data.

many units clock max speed (2, Insightful)

jpellino (202698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141883)

Many clock max speed. On long hiway trips in unknown areas I keep my eTrex Legend on trip computer with max as a field just in case. I figure a couple dozen DoD satellites might hold sway over a lone radar gun.

Re:many units clock max speed (1)

ben kohler (1109391) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142141)

this is still just the highest "average" speed recorded. it records a series of points, and each "speed" reading is just the average speed between any 2 points. but, as someone else stated, you'd have to have an incredible car for your true "max" to be that much higher than the 1-second (or whatever-second) average at that time.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141919)

I have a Garmin GPS mounted on my bike that I use mostly as a speedometer. It has a response time similar to any digital car speedometer I've seen with an accuracy of 0.1 mph. I pass by those stupid "SPEED LIMIT 25 YOUR SPEED: X" signs all the time and the GPS and the sign always agree.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1, Informative)

DJGreg (28663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141953)

First, when the GPS unit itself calculates the speed, it records your instantaneous velocity, not an average. It calculates this using the doppler shift present in the GPS signals picked up by the unit, not from how far the unit has travelled.

Second, even the cheapest GPS units I've seen update at least once per second.

Third, the delay, or time offsets of the arrivals of signals from the GPS sattelites are exactly how a GPS unit calculates it's velocity and position. Once a GPS reciever has got a "lock" on its location (usually within first minute or five from startup), the position and velocity calculations it records are for the exact moment they are reported, not for some time in the past.

This link [] discusses alot of the theory behind how GPS works.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1)

epine (68316) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141959)

Given the psychology of the driver (young, reckless, and probably resenting his GPS nanny) it is equally plausible that he had figured out exactly how much he could game the system. For every small delay, he would then apply a burst of speed to make up the lost seconds, while maintaining his "average". Given that you have a short sampling window, you need to make up the lost seconds as fast as possible, because you can't necessarily carry them over to the next sampling window.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1)

iksbob (947407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141973)

That is of course possible, but the plausibility of the argument is highly dependent on how often the unit records a data point. If it's once a second (a common GPS display update period), no f'n way. If it's every 10-15 seconds, maybe if you're driving a 'vette. Every minute is probably within the grasp of of the average car.
Keep in mind that to maintain an average speed value, you would have to accelerate up to a given speed for a period of time, and then brake to a speed equally below the desired average value for an equal period of time. In this case, that would mean spending around half of a given minute driving at the radar-claimed 62 mph followed by another half minute driving at 28 mph - 17 mph under the posted speed limit.
Again, it's possible, but seems rather unlikely to me.

It depends on too much (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142097)

We do not know the sample rate of either the GPS or the radar gun involved. Ooes the GPS data show speed or just distance, and the speed is calculated? If the GPS indicates speed, how is it calculated, based on how many samples? If there is a hill involved, does the GPS show actual ground speed, or projected map speed? If you are going up or down a steep hill, there could be a significant difference between ground speed and projected speed. Clearly the radar gun is measuring ground speed. Without answers to these questions, it's all just speculation.

Re:Speed = Distance / Time (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142103)

When you get down into the shorts of the traffic laws, a lot of states actually define speed limits the same way. In MA, for example, the law states you have to be traveling over the speed limit for a quarter mile -- and a radar reading can't prove that, only pacing can.

It makes it trivial to get out of speeding tickets in MA, but for some reason people don't seem to know that.

Punk kid disputes ticket, news at 11! (0, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141833)

He has somewhere between 0 and no chance to win this. Who gives a shit what his GPS says. If the radar gun was properly calibrated and can be documented as such, it makes 0 difference - he's screwed.

What's to prevent me from doctoring the GPS log? (4, Insightful)

jordan314 (1052648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141859)

On my system the GPS application stores its logs in a textfile which I can easily edit. It would be trivial for me to doctor the text file to contest any speeding ticket. I'm not sure that this is a good form of evidence.

Re:What's to prevent me from doctoring the GPS log (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142349)

print it, everyone believes a hard copy

GPS more accurate than radar? (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141873)

I've been sitting in my car PARKED waiting for people and seen my GPS speed go up to 5 mph... I don't see how this can possibly more accurate than a radar gun. a margin error of +/-5 mph seems pretty crappy. (it's a newer Garmin, less than 4 months old.)

Re:GPS more accurate than radar? (2, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142117)

There was a CNN report a while back, they tried out these police radar guns. Clocked a tree right in front of them going 17 MPH. So sounds like your GPS is way more accurate than the infallible radar gun used to convict ;)

Re:GPS more accurate than radar? (2, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142407)

Obviously a mistake, though it could have been an Ent.

Ive seen them run that fast when their hair is on fire.

Re:GPS more accurate than radar? (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142359)

Ah yes that would be one of the newer more advanced models.
They obviously measure brownian motion now, too.

Re:GPS more accurate than radar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142377)

If I recall correctly, car speedometers have to be calibrated (at the factory) to +7/-0. So, in theory, you could be sitting still and have your speedometer show you moving at 7 mph.

Just something to think about.

I have used this (4, Interesting) (142825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141879)

I used the GPS defense when pulled over.

In San Antonio, TX I was pulled over for doing 76 in a 75 zone. I successfully argued that the GPS was more accurate than the RADAR, when I said that it used "government satellite signals."

In fact, most police radar units are +/- 3mph. A consumer GPS speed indicator is typically accurate to within .75 mph.

When working in ship navigation systems (Laser Plot), I was involved in dumping track information from a ship to show that it was not in an area when a boating accident occurred.

The hacking issue is correct, one can always hack the data. The Cop can lie about the reading on the radar unit too. If it gets to 'real court' you have the standard issues of scientific reliability (Daubert test) and the authenticity of the data. In the late 90s, there was a case (in Georgia, I think) where a speeding conviction was thrown out because there was no reliability of the laser speed testing introduced.

Re:I have used this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142063)

>In San Antonio, TX I was pulled over for doing 76 in a 75 zone.


In Texas you aren't pulled over for going 1 mph over in a "75 zone" unless you're doing something stupid.

Then there's the fact that "75 zones" in San Antonio are rare. 75mph is reserved for some rural Texas highways, not in San Antonio.

Please excuse me while I silence my BS detector.

Re:I have used this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142093)

>In San Antonio, TX I was pulled over for doing 76 in a 75 zone.

For what, Driving While Black?

Re:I have used this (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142121)

In San Antonio, TX I was pulled over for doing 76 in a 75 zone.

Assuming that this is not a typo, I am tempted to call BS on this for several reasons.

Until the repeal of the 55/65 national speed limit, all freeways in the San Antonio area were 55 mph or less, and I-35 was 55 mph all the way to north of New Braunfels. Most freeways inside of Loop 410 have now gone to 60 mph. Outside of 410, speed limits are generally 65 on the Northside and 70 on the Southside. Speed limits jump up to 70 outside of Loop 1604 on the Northside. Loop 410 is 60 mph north of US 90, and 70 mph to the south. Loop 1604 is generally 70 mph on its freeway segments with some 65 and 55 stretches in Live Oak and Universal City. San Antonio Area Freeway System []

This is Texas. Even a freeway can have a fan site.

You are right. (1) (142825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142189)

I meant El Paso. I don't know why I typed San Antonio.

Re:I have used this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142337)

I would disagree with your precision estimate for speed via GPS. Almost certainly the precision is going to be a function of speed, and not independent of speed as you have indicated. The naive way of calculating speed is actually the average speed over the last time interval (estimated position at time i - estimated position at time i-1) / delta_time. With no source of corrections, your position estimate is good to maybe 5m (optimistic). Adding 2 errors of 5m in quadrature gets an error of about 7m in distance (not necessarily a good thing, the 2 errors could be correlated). If the speed is in the neighbourhood of 75 mph (33 meters per second), this is an error of 21% at 1 h Hz sampling rate. It is possible the speed is coming out of something like a Kalman transform, where it is one of the parameters of the model. This would improve precisions, but a 20 fold improvement? I don't think so.

Re:I have used this (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142431)

My home-brew GPS tracker [] (that runs on my Nokia 95) is very inaccurate. I have to calculate the speed by working out the distance between the lat/lon now, and the lat/lon last time. Bearing in mind I sometimes only get readings +/- 300 metres, it can show me doing 300 mph. And in a wanked old Peugeot diesel, that's not right.
I'm sure that a dedicated GPS device can devote a lot more chip-space to getting accurate signals though than a phone that does everything.

speaking of privacy.... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141901)

The related link tells me that this story was submitted by foxxer [] . But looking at the story and firehose submission (done under a presumably real name and web address), I would never otherwise associate them. But now, anyone that disagrees with one of foxxer's comments knows his name and website.

Strange definition of privacy.

Speeding cases are easy to win (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141907)

It's actually supposed to be pretty easy for the defense to win a speeding ticket case. This is true regardless of whether you were actually speeding, GPS data, or any other evidence you present.

The cops have to prove their case. This means showing up to court with the proper evidence. The evidence has to be maintained and presented in a condition where it is admissible. Very often, one or more of these things do not happen and the defense wins by default.

Everyone should always take their speeding tickets to court. Speed limit laws need to be made unprofitable for the government and then maybe we can get our freedom back on the roads.

Re:Speeding cases are easy to win (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142263)

That's why cops are so eager to ticket people from out of town. Want to contest it? Sure, just show up for your court date here in 3 weeks (chuckle chuckle).

Re:Speeding cases are easy to win (2, Interesting)

AgentPaper (968688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142367)

Not where I live. Around here, all the cop has to do is show up to win a ticket - ANY ticket, be it for speeding, running a stop sign/light, illegal turn or whatever. Furthermore, regardless of what time the cop is supposed to be in court, the judge/magistrate will usually make you wait till he/she gets there, thereby depriving you of a possible default dismissal.

I've also been convicted on obviously inadequate or downright forged evidence, as when a cop pulled me over for running a red light and illegal left turn. (I started my left when the light was still yellow, but the cop claimed it turned red before I got through the intersection.) When I challenged the ticket, he produced a DVD-RW from his car's camera that purported to show me running the light, except he had to do the playback on a Windows machine, not a standalone DVD player. The video file he opened was dated "last edited" the day before the court date, not the day I got the ticket, and the video didn't start till I was already pulled over. When I pointed those discrepancies out to the judge, he said "Well, Officer Smith said you ran the light, and I see no reason to doubt him" and handed me a $250 fine.

If I were the judge. . . (1)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21141937)

Whether or not the child was speeding, his parents seem to take an active role in policing him. A monetary punishment probably just punishes the parents and the parents have already taken punishment steps in the past. One of the reasons that punishments are as strong as they are is because you're unlikely to be caught every time. This child is more likely to be caught (by his parents) than most and the parents are already grounding the child (which is probably worse than the ticket for a teenager). So, if the judge lets him off this time, it's not as if he's free to do whatever he wants. His parents are punishing him for infractions harsher than the ticket already and likely catching him more often than any speed trap would. This family is a libertarian's dream. I'm not a libertarian, but in this case I think it's easy enough to say "just don't do it again" and trust that this isn't a habitual reckless driver (at least until the next time, if there is one).

Contested speeding ticket (1)

telman8 (1152173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142081)

With respect, the issue of the GPS is academic. As a fact, the police officer who recorded the car had retired by the time the case came to court and did not attend as a witness. The prosecution ditched the case as they could not call evidence to say that all correct procedures were followed. The GPS "evidence" may have been the basis of the defence, but the court never had to consider that evidence.

Re:Contested speeding ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142205)

WTF did you even RTFA. OMFG these NOOBS.

GPS and such. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142163)

I use a GPS reciever. Depending the software package I am using I will get various speeds. Normally it is pretty good, but as it has to calculate speed and approximate position based on the data it is recieving. When the unit has road informations it will try to map the data (which is close, but not really close, depending on conditions) to the road. Depending on polling interval changes in direction can have a huge affect (set your interval to 30 seconds or a minute and make a turn or anything that is not linear).

I have a portable unit and software that tracks and logs speed. I do not recall offhand what the polling interval is though. I think at best I can get every few seconds (it may be less--it is average speed and delayed, so it will be how fast I was just going.) If you have a car that can accelerate very quickly try going from a dead stop to high speed as fast as possible. It will not mirror your speedometer. It will follow it. It is taking average speeds after you have begun moving. So when your speed is 30mph it is still calculating using 0+30/time. Fluctuations in speed cause pretty big changes. Again with the vehicle with a transmission designed for quick acceleration: accelerate as quickly as possible to 100mph and then bring the vehicle to a complete stop (disengage ABS if present). The numbers will not be anywhere near the actual speeds. Decrease your polling by 5 seconds and repeat. Do that a few times (it probably is not good for the car.) Better still compare these number with those from RADAR and LIDAR systems.

The gun is only calculating based on really one thing (doppler effect.) Angles and shit can affect numbers, but really it is measuring the speed. The polling interval is still much, much smaller. If it is lidar it could be 1/1000 of a second.

Either way we are looking at an average speed, but the interval during which it is calculated would vary and have a huge effect on the numbers.

This is all before we take into account the security of the data. So, yeah, maybe he did and maybe he did not. But GPS is not as amazing as people think. I guess RADAR is not either. But do not just be hating because you is worried about the man putting you down.

VORAD units have been used this way (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142281)

Eaton VORAD units, which are a phased-array anti-collision radar for trucks, have been used to provide evidence in favor of the truck driver. [] The VORAD units track individual car-sized targets, and provide range, range rate, and azimuth. Range and range rate are quite good; azimuth isn't that accurate. The control unit keeps track of recent events ten minutes before a collision, and also has speed info available. The latest versions can interface with GPS and other vehicle systems. This allows detailed accident reconstruction.

It's most useful where an accident resulted when someone drove in front of a truck. [] The VORAD record shows not just what the VORAD-equipped vehicle was doing, but what the other vehicles were doing.

Actually, I know 2 ppl who have contested; lost (2, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142295)

They had GPS and contested. In Wyoming in one case, and Utah in the other. In both cases, the judge sided with the law. What is needed to prove this is something that is IRREFUTABLE. Right now, the judge assumes that radar is always correct (even when it shows a dead corpse beside a road doing 100 MPH). Want to prove it? Then have a motion camera.

radar guns are only as reliable as the cop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21142373)

I had a friend who was stopped for speeding recently, doing 42 in a 35. He knew he was not sppeding, after looking at the ticket decided to contest in court, the cop make 3 mistakes on the ticket (wrong color of car, street name incorrect, whether driver was owner or just operator) plus the cop said that there was a posted 35mph sign and that a judge lived nearby so he is on the street a lot.

He went to court for a preliminary hearing, and the judge said that he knows the fore-mentioned judge who lived on the street and there is indeed a posted 35mph sign. He made another court appointment for a few weeks later.

My friend went and recorded the street in the direction he had travelled with a digital camera to prove there was no sign, which there was not.

When in court my friend put forward the reasonable doubt that how in all good faith could he believe the cop's reading of the radar when the cop was incapable of copying down the car's color (clearly printed on the reg) and writing the other incorrect details on the ticket. When the cop argued that it is indeed a posted 35mph zone, my friend produced the video footage, the judge viewed and threw the case out saying that he had presented more than enough reasonable doubt.

Magically the next day, a new 35mph sign was installed on the street, which my friend saw being installed by two city workers.

And this begs a bigger question... How do we know as citizens that when we are stopped for speeding the cop isn't showing a speed from a previous stop or from a car passing along etc... Perhaps speed guns should print receipts (like voting machine should!!!) which tell you offier id, radar gun id, certification number (don't radar guns have to be calibrated from time to time), date/time, speed etc...

Heck here's one idea, put a digital camera inside the radar gun which takes a picture at the same time the speed is detected and print on the receipt, would prove if any other cars were in the vacinity.

Ah the memories (1)

jschimpf (628722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21142389)

This brings back memories, in the late 80's our company was experimenting with GPS. Since at that time there were so few satellites in orbit you had to calculate when you could have 4 in view. This always turned out to be about 3 AM. So there we were cruising down the highways in Western PA at 3AM in a tricked out van full of computers and other things that go beep in the night... Anyway we dreamed of being pulled over by the state cops. "Ok officer let me play that back for you...."
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