Ohio and the Mk 48 eyeball

The Ohio State Supreme court has ruled that all that is required too determine if you were speeding is just the readout from the cop’s eyeball. No radar, no pacing,no laser, just the cops feeling you were going too fast.

Now I am all for States rights but let this be a lesson,the State will throw you under the bus just as quick as the Fed will.

Source: USA Today, 6-3-2010

Because the cop can claim “usafe driving for conditions”, you don’t even need to be speeding.

Cops are trained. They do this every day and can generally tell if you’re too fast. Maybe not precisely how fast , but you can bet they’ll get it pretty darn close.

Add to that the other traffic around you and before you, the cop uses that for comparison, and you can stand out like a sore thumb from the others.


just by looking.

Maybe this has something to do with Ohio being the Buckeye state.

I think the ol’ eyeball is more motivated by quota and revenue than actual safety in many cases.

Ohio I think was rated 6th worst state to drive in because of speed traps. Living in OH and having made a 300-mile trip over the holiday weekend I can vouch for that.

I would have been surprised had the ruling gone the other way. Officers were writing tickets for speeding and arresting people for intoxication long before radar and intoxilyzers were invented. It’s hard to see a good argument that an officer’s judgment on these matters suddenly became insufficient evidence just because these devices were invented.


I have never bought into the “trained observer” line of thinking, too easily abused. I used to live on a dirt road and people would speed on it tremendously causing a lot of dust, well I complained to a cop about this and was asked "how do you know how fast they were going, have you had your mark 48 eyeballs calibrated lately’? I replied that the dust cloud that lasted 10 min. after they were gone was my clue but it did not fly with him.

all power to big brother. support your local national security state. the opinion of guys who are selected to have IQs below 110 is the baseline for legality. hoooray!

In over 60 years of driving, I have been stopped three times, two in Ohio and once in Maryland. Neither time did I get a ticket.

I am sure there are police who are stopping people who are not speeding and writing them tickets, but get real. Look at the speed people are driving at. It certainly would not be difficult to find someone to ticket who was really speeding if it was all about the ticket.

Gee, and I LIKED Drew Carey!

Listen, you live in a land where the Supreme Court has ruled that a state can take away your land for a private developer to build a big box store to enhance the state’s tax revenues.

You’re living in a land where the feds are taking away 5 acres of a privately owned farm in VT to build a $27 million border station at a point with two guards that sees 2 cars every hour. “Porkbarrel”!

You’re living in a land where you can be thrown in jail (in a few years) for not buying health insurance from a private provider.

Welcome to big brother.

When an officer writes a violation for a red light, stop sign, fail to yield, lane violation, equipment violation or any other host of violations he uses a eye trained to observe the violation.

In order to be a trained and certified radar operator the officer has to pass the “calibrated eye” standard. This standard is met by the qualifying officer sitting on the passenger side with the radar screen shielded from him. The officer has to be correct to a certain +/- (x)mph, calling out the speeds of vehicles on both moving and stationary clocks. When the officer can do X many in a row within the standard he may become certified
in visual enforcement.

This is done to protect the violator (despite what some of the anti-LE crowd here says) in that if the radar unit is producing an erroneous clock, the officer will recognize it as a false speed by using his calibrated eye to confirm or deny a clock. An officers testimony in court should always include “The radar clock matched my visual estimate”.

If an officer who has met the standard of a “Calibrated Eye”, combined with training and experience writes a violation,a court may very well accept his testimony alone as evidence.
More than likely their testimony will be a range, such as 15 to 20 mph over the posted limit. Most of you could even look at a car going 20 over and identify it. The officer has just met the standard to prove it.

This is something that is going to be abused and it’s all going to fall back on revenue generation.

What a crock. If they’re going to adapt this policy then they should make every officer go through a thorough test by having them accurately predict varying speeds of 10 different test vehicles and require them to be within say 3 MPH +/- of what the vehicle is actually traveling.

Jeez. We had a guy bring his Subaru in one time wanting a new, and expensive, expensive instrument cluster because a cop had stopped and wrote him a ticket (using radar) for going 2 MPH over the posted speed of 45. And the factory manual specified the speedo error was 1.5 MPH at 45.
It took me a lot of talking to keep this guy from wasting a lot of money on this needless repair and if a cop will abuse the radar privilege like this one can only imagine what they will do with this idiotic ruling.

I’m sorry, my friend, but I cannot agree. There’s no such thing as getting reliable accurate speed readings from a “calbrated eyeball”. In one setting, under controlled conditions, I can see where it would be possible, but not in the real world…especially with an aging cop.

I don’t know the circumstances under which the case being referred to happened, and in that specific case I might support the cop. I know that people who can afford lawyers contest things in court that they are clearly in the wrong about. But in general I don’t believe any human can reliably estimate speeds under varying conditions from varying angles and at various distances. Allowing that as a blanket rule would force motorists to try to prove themselves innocent. And it’s becoming pretty common in some areas to use traffic tickets to boost ailing revenues.

I grew up in a world that didn’t have radar. The cop’s judgement was all that was available. And in truth there was a lot of unfairness in citing drivers for speeding. Everyone knew it, but nothing more accurate was available. But now every cop car has radar. And, as already pointed out, there are other laws that can be applied in extreme situations.

Judging by the guy’s attitude, maybe writing a speeding ticket for 2 MPH over the posted limit was more of an ‘attitude reaction’ than what the cop originally pulled him over for. I once made an over-correction on a turn while driving home and a passing officer pulled me over for a DUI check. Since I hadn’t had anything to drink, and he quickly realized it, he let me go. I was polite to him. Maybe this guy wasn’t.

I agree.

When a cop pulls someone over they never know what the result will be. They don’t know if the driver is wanted or a violent drunk, the car s stolen, or it’s simply a common man going to work. But an error in judgement could cost them their life. They have to start out on “full alert”, looking for any signs of a serious problem developing. They need to stay in control of the situation. If you treat them with respect and they can see that you pose no danger, they’ll generally relax and be understanding and reasonable. Often when someone gets a seemingly unreasonable citation it’s because of their behavior rather than because of the actual infraction.

I don’t think this guy was overreacting. He was about as docile and quiet mannered a person as could be found. He wasn’t really even mad about the ticket as much as he was concerned about the speedometer not being correct and simply wanted his car problem solved so it wouldn’t happen again.

He didn’t even get mad when I told him the cop was simply running a revenue generation scam to aid the small town that he just happened to be driving through and my advice to him was that the next time he drive through there he go at least 5 MPH under the limit.

Even that is no assurance of a ticket. In a small city near here I got used to get stopped and ticketed almost every time I went through there; even doing 25 in a 35 was sufficient.
In one case I showed up for court and the cop didn’t even appear. The judge even told me flat out in the courtroom the officer “quite likely had no reason to even pull you over and he only stopped you because you’re from out of town”; and he found me guilty anyway.

On a side note, a couple of years later the officer who stopped the Subaru owner faced charges and had to resign when he got caught trying to extort money out of some people amd was sexually harassing a few female drivers.

Gotta make them laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dbzh3U938 (language warning)