_____ BEATING THE RADAR RAP _____ / / \ / / \ ( 5/5 ) Part 1 of 2 : "Your Day in Court" ( 5/5 ) \_/___/ \_/___/ by Dispater ______________________________________________________________________________ | | | Introduction | Welcome to the first of two parts in a series designed to |______________| inform you about some of the aspects (both legal and technical) concerning traffic radar. The second part will appear in Phrack 38. I recommend you read both parts before attempting to apply the information you learn from this file. Any hacker will tell you to ALWAYS find out as much as you possibly can about any endeavor and weigh the risks before you act. For most of us driving is something that we must do in order to have a career, get to school, and enjoy ourselves. Therefore it is essential to know the rules of the road and to know what will happen to you when you make a mistake. For the majority of us, this mistake means being given a speeding ticket or some type of moving violation. This file will explain how to handle the situation should you ever need to go to court over a speeding ticket. I intend to provide you with a basic background so that the odds are a little more even. One of the nasty things about traffic court is that for some reason, the burden of proof has flip-flopped from the state having to prove you are guilty (the way it is supposed to be) to the defendant having to prove that he/she is innocent. First of all you are not alone in your quest to seek justice. Most judges are not evil and hateful. If you come into court, neatly dressed (not fancy, just look like a "semi-normal" person.), well informed of the issue, courteous, and acting a little humbled by the experience, the judge may lean a little more to your side. If you go to court, you will see a number of idiots who will stand up in front of the judge and argue or say "I wasn't doin' nothin'. I was just bein' harassed. I'm right and this pig was wrong. Nyah!" Obviously, the judge will not take kindly to this type of behavior. Would you? In order to be informed, I HIGHLY recommend that you get in touch with the: National Motorists Association Membership: $20 student 6678 Pertzborn Rd. per year $35 everyone else Dane, WI 53529 Phone : 1-800-882-2785 The NMA provides a great deal of resources to those of use who drive. They provide (with membership) a legal resource kit for a rental fee of around $20.00 a month. This kit consists of 2 video tapes, 2 books, and a HUGE stack of information. Much of the "HUGE stack of information" consists of precedent cases in which the defense won, ALL radar gun manuals, lots of related news articles, error analysis information on vascar and other useful tidbits of information. It is excellent and I urge anyone who drives to get involved. The NMA, among other things, is the nice name for the "anti-55 people." They claim that it is up to the local governments and states to come up with their own speed limits. It's not Washington's job to tell the rest of us how to live! The last thing I want to mention is that this is NOT a comprehensive file. Reading this will NOT make you a lawyer. If you can afford a lawyer, hire one. It is intended for people like me who can't afford a lawyer but who have some intelligence and guile in their personal make up. There's more than one way to skin a cat (cop) and you should NOT take this as a word for word way to proceed if you get nabbed for speeding. I intend for this to be the basis for building a good foundation for a case and to give you some ideas on how you might want to proceed. Do not go into the court room half-cocked. A good lawyer always knows the outcome of a case before he steps into the court room. ______________________________________________________________________________ | | | You Get Busted! | So the red lights are blinking behind you and your radar |_________________| detector is going wild because you weren't paying attention because you were too busy messing with the radio and jamming to MC 900' Jesus so loudly that it shakes the widows of the car next to you. The first thing you want to do is pull over immediately! Don't try to be an bad ass and out run them. In most cases the cop's car can go faster than yours and besides, he has a radio. After you pull over, just hand him what ever he asks for and play in his desire to be "in control". Always say, "Yes sir" and "No sir" They LOVE that. Be as NICE as you can. Act "humbled". I know this may sound difficult but just TRY. ALL and I mean ALL people that become law enforcement officials have taken that job because they have some personality disorder that they NEED to feel in control of others and a NEED for others to respect them. This is a weakness in their personality, in my opinion. Anyway, If he just had a good round of golf that day, he may only write you a warning. If he still insists on writing you a ticket, he will at least know that you will not be a threat to him. ALL police officers, especially in large urban areas, will always approach your car as though you are going to shoot them. Make the officer thinks you are nice person (for the moment) and that your just weren't paying attention and you made a mistake. Again, as soon as you prove to him you are not a threat, he will relax and things will go much easier for you. I ALWAYS do this and the officer is actually NICE back to me most of the time. Even though his first impression is "long haired kid in a hot rod car wearing a Metallica shirt," the encounter usually ends with a "Have a nice day." or a "Just make sure you be careful now. ok?" NOTE: If you are pulled over by a bull-dyke female cop, you are totally fucked. Social engineering is totally useless. ALL and I mean ALL bitch cops are just looking to prove something. They have a bad attitude because the "old boy" network back at the station doesn't like them and they think that most males will look on them as less of an authority figure merely because they are female, if they do not compensate (overcompensate) for the fact that they are women. They think that they will be challenged more often than not by you. I have yet to ever meet a NICE female cop. Lets face it, if they were NICE they would probably be an attorney or something. If you are women police officer reading this and you are not like what I have just described in the above paragraph then just ignore it and tell your cohorts to adjust the attitude! Continuing on...As you are sitting there with everyone slowing down to take a look at you, make note of EVERYTHING! Write down the following: 1) Location (intersections, curves, condition of the road) 2) Weather (rain, fog, snow : all hinder traffic radar) 3) Traffic and all types of vehicles present (large trucks?) 4) Time (rush hour?) 5) Buildings present (airport? radio station? bank? microwave towers? power lines? hospital? telephone office?) 6) Officer's attitude (if he's angry this will play in your favor later) 7) Etc (anything else I failed to list here) _____________________________________________________________________________ | | | Your Ticket and Pre-Trial Experiences | So. Now in your possession you have |_______________________________________| a little gift from whomever had a bad day at work. The first thing you will want to do is make sure that all the information on the ticket is correct. If it is not, make sure that you take note of this and be sure to mention it as soon as your trial begins! You might be able to get off on a technicality. Another thing to check for is to make sure that the officer didn't write any little messages to the judge on the back of the ticket. If he wrote "radar detector." or some other irrelevant evidence, make sure you point out to the judge that that the speeding ticket is inadmissible as evidence in court due to the fact that it contains information that does not pertain to the case. The idea behind this is that most people that are caught speeding have radar detectors. Therefore, the cop will try to play on this fact in an indirect way. Even though this evidence is irrelevant, he will attempt to submit it. If the judge is cool, you'll get off on a technicality. Other ways to get off on technicalities is to make sure that EVERY tidbit of information is CORRECT. Incorrect information is a great way to get off. This is a "procedural error" and might get the case dismissed. Continuing on.... Ok, so the ticket says you have to appear in court December 21st at 4:00. All this means is that if you wish to pay the ticket you must do so by this time and date. This does not usually mean you will actually go to court on this date. What you do next is go to the clerk's office and hand the lady behind the counter the ticket and say that you wish to contest it. They will set up a date (usually much later in the year sometimes a YEAR LATER if things are really backed up) and give you a piece of paper that you must bring to court with you. I highly suggest to everyone to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS contest a ticket. Hell, you have to pay court fees whether you show up or not so you might as well go, right? The point is to make them work for your money! One good plan of action is to go to court a few weeks ahead of time and observe how proceedings work in your local court room. Just tell the bailiff that you are a criminal justice major and want to see how traffic court works and observe what REALLY goes on instead of reading it in a text book. If you are really clever, you might just want to ask one of the cops if you can go out and watch how police officers bust people speeding. Use the oldest, most classic social engineering maneuver ever invented, "It's for a paper for class." Let them think you are interested in becoming a cop. I don't care what they do or who they are, if someone comes up to them and appears to take interest in their profession, they will always be flattered. Always flatter the hell out of anyone you want to engineer! The first thing you want to do before actually going to court yourself, is to not go to court. About a week before the trial or less, call the clerk's office and ask for a "continuance." Tell them that your boss told you that you have to go out of town the day of the trial and they will schedule you a new trail date. This is important because most police officers are less willing to show up. Thus if he's not there to prosecute you, you get off! _____________________________________________________________________________ | | | Here come de Judge! Here come de Judge! | Ok, so you're now sitting there |__________________________________________| in the presence of the other poor idiots that are in a similar predicament as you are. As you are sitting there sweating your ass off (being this is your first time in court, hopefully) Make sure you make note of other people's cases. What do the officers say when someone mentions traffic radar? See above above paragraph about testing the water a little. I have obtained a ton of information on how departments REALLY operate when they know I'm not there to pressure them. Use the lame statements the officers make against other officers and the rest of the department, when it's your turn. One time, before it was my turn I watched this one cop say, "The radar units are calibrated by the manufacturer and sent to us." Needless to say, I won that case! Now the bailiff calls out, STATE OF TEXAS v. MR. OFFENDER! By this time you should know the routine. As soon as the judge opens things up to you ask him/her if you can examine the witness. They will say, "yes." Here is where you begin to make your case. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS : "What?!?!?!" This is what the cop has going on inside his head right now. You are no longer the innocent fool you appeared to be in your car? He immediately raises his guard and you must lower it my placing a few questions to him and wearing him down. This part of the questioning is done to see if he can remember the exact circumstances under which he pulled you over and to get him used to you taking control of the interrogation. A. What type of radar were you using on the date the citation was issued? - Make sure he gives you the model name and number. Answers like "traffic radar or Doppler radar" should not be permitted. B. Please relate the facts concerning the citation as you remember them. - Make note if anything differs from what you remember to be true. C. Was your audio doppler engaged at the time the citation was issued? - If he says he doesn't know what that is, he hasn't been trained! The hand held units. (Speedgun series don't have audio doppler!) This is a good question to trip him up on! If he says he had it engaged, merely whip out the manual and ask him if to point out where the heck it is. OR you can ask to subpoena the unit to court and ask him to find it! D. What speed was your audio alarm set for? - If he says he doesn't know what that is, he hasn't been trained! E. Was your automatic speed lock engaged? - If yes, you have already started to build your case that they made an error. If not then keep going. F. Were you stationary or moving at the time your radar unit's alarm went off? - Who cares unless you want to go off and provide some kind of "cosine-error" evidence later. G. Was I coming toward you or away from you? - Again, this doesn't matter H. Did you see me prior to the time your radar's audio alarm went off? - This is important, you are in effect asking him if he took a traffic history before he set up camp behind the bushes waiting to pop people. I. Could you estimate my speed? Irrelevant J. What was the apparent speed? Irrelevant K. How many seconds did it take you to react between the time you first saw my vehicle and the time your audio alarm sounded? - This doesn't matter, unless it was a case of you coming around a curve or over a hill and old Smokey is there waiting to bust the first thing that makes his little machine go beep. He must have tracked you long enough to get a good reading. This should be about 5-8 seconds to take into account spurious readings. If he didn't wait that long he is ignoring his training. L. Using this paper could you make a map of the area? - Most of the time to police officer will be unable to remember details of the surroundings since he hands out many tickets a day. This is a good place to establish doubt. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ESTABLISH THE OFFICER'S LEVEL OF QUALIFICATIONS: This is done in an attempt to make the police officer appear as unqualified as possible. Make the officer appear to have as little training as possible and be as unfamiliar with the radar unit as possible. The bigger a fool you can make the cop out to be the more points you'll score with the judge. A. How long have you been a police officer? Irrelevant unless he's just come straight from the academy B. How long have you been operating radar? Irrelevant unless it's a year or less. C. Have you received formal training on the operation of radar? - If NO then you've hit pay-dirt. D. Under what circumstances did you receive this training? Irrelevant unless he says, "in the locker room." In this case he may be on your side. E. How many hours of classroom training did you receive? - This is an important answer. If he says four or less, he's probably not qualified. Make note. F. How long ago did you receive this training? Irrelevant unless the answer is five or six years ago. He may be out of practice and probably wasn't trained on the model he used to bust you. G. Who taught the class? - If it was his sergeant, you have a case of the blind leading the blind. If it was the radar manufacturer you have a potentially biased source since the manufacturer will do anything to sell it's merchandise! If he was SENT to the manufacturer's school he's better than most. H. Since initial training, have you had any brush-up courses? - If he says yes, he's full of more shit than you are. Ask who taught them and when they were. I. Do you believe yourself to be a competent radar operator? - Sure he does J. Do you hold a certification? - In some states he MUST be trained at the manufacturer's school. If he says his sergeant certified him. You may be able to walk out of court right there. It's a case of the blind leading the blind. K. Did you receive your initial training with the model (the one he popped you with)? - If his formal training was with another unit, you've hit pay-dirt again! L. How many one-on-one sessions of field training did he receive? - Answers like, "I rode with another officer while he wrote tickets." are not good. Keep pressing him on this issue. Most likely he did not have this type of training unless it was done by a factory representative and then there were three other officers in the car at the time. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ESTABLISH THE LEVEL OF TRUST THE OFFICER PLACES IN HIS RADAR: These questions are used in an attempt to make it appear as though the police officer himself questions the reliability of traffic radar. This is where things get fun and he could even purger himself if he's not careful. In which case you win again! A. Do you believe the (radar unit he popped you with) to be a good unit? - Of course he does. If he doesn't he may be on your side. B. Have you ever encountered problems with the (model) radar? - If he says yes, make sure he tells you details, and not simply, "It quit working one day." C. Are you permanently assigned to one specific radar unit? - They will always switch around. He will most likely say that he uses the same brand name but different models. D. Do you believe there to be differences between brands of radar units or models? Will one have idiosyncrasies that others may not have? - He will most likely say that they all work alike. If he says he has differences make sure he tells you exactly what they are and how he noticed them. E. Do you believe that the (model radar) ever gives spurious or false readings? - If he says "no." Make sure you have documented evidence of this. (see above information on the NSA) This is a real good way to make him look like an idiot. Make sure that you repeat the question and emphasis the word "NEVER." After he says no again, hand the document to the judge and say something to the effect that, "I have written evidence right here that was written by an independent engineering firm that proves that (model radar) does have the capability to give false readings. Now, in a court of law you are not permitted to defend yourself while examining the witness, however, since you are not an attorney. The judge may permit you do submit your testimony. If the officer says "yes" he has seen false readings, ask him what percentage of the time it does give spurious readings. In the case STATE OF WISCONSIN vs HANSEN, in which HANSEN prevailed. It was proven that radar can give false readings up to 20% of the time. F. Do you believe you can always tell the radar unit is giving a spurious reading? - He will always say he can. If he says, "no" then you've already established reasonable doubt. When he says "yes," then proceed with the next two questions and then come back to this one again. G. Is there is a special number that appears on the screen that indicates a false reading. - Not! H. Does the unit give some visual indication that the reading is suspected to be false? - Not! (Believe it or not! The very first case I went to defend myself, the idiot cop said that there was an "indicator light that noted when there is radar disturbance in the area." HAHAHAHA!!! What a joke. I asked him to point it out to me and of course he couldn't. Therefore he just lied under oath. He fucked himself hard! Needless to say the judge wasn't too pleased, to see a police officer lying either! ;-) I. How then can you tell that the reading you are getting is spurious? - He will answer that there is no target or that the car is obviously not speeding. J. You said that there isn't some special speed or number that appears on the screen. All 86 mph speed readings are not spurious for example? - Of course not. K. So the spurious reading could be either 20mph or 70mph? - Of course. If he says not, he is out of his league and attempting to evade answers. L. The radar could give a speed of 20mph or 70mph, but you could see clearly, for example, that the car was going only 30mph? - He should agree with that. M. What if a car was going 55mph and you got a reading of 70mph? Is this possible? - He should agree with that. N. Assuming a car was approaching you at 55mph. You could recognize that? - He'll probably say he could. If he does, keep going. If he says he could not then you've already established doubt. O. If a car was approaching at 55mph and you get a reading of 56mph. Could you tell that it was a spurious reading? - Of course not. At this point keep the pressure on by rapidly asking the question over and over again and increasing the false reading by one mph until he gives. If you've led the cop into this trap you are doing great! He is totally fucked if he answers either "yes" or "no." This is because you are establishing more doubt each time he says "no" and if he does say "yes" too soon he will appear to have some super-human quality! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - USE OF AUDIO DOPPLER, AUDIO ALARM, AND AUTOMATIC SPEED LOCK: All radar units include features designed to make the officer's job easier. The AUDIO DOPPLER can be turned down or off, as is usually done, therefore it contributes nothing to reliability. The AUDIO ALARM is a warning tone that tells the officer the radar unit has "got one", and it is built into all radar units. The officer must dial in a speed above which he wants the alarm to sound. The only way to disengage the alarm is to dial the speed to 99 mph or 199 mph on some models. The AUTOMATIC SPEED LOCK is the worst thing ever put in a radar unit. It automatically locks up a speed reading when one comes above the preset level. If the reading is spurious, the officer never knows it. Your goal here is to establish his normal operating habits. Later, you'll find out how he was using radar on the day he busted you. A. Does your radar unit have an audio Doppler? That is a continuous audio single tone which converts the radar unit's Doppler shift into an audible signal? - He will say his unit does, unless it's a Speedgun, in which case it does not. If it was a Speedgun jump to question "M". B. Does the audio doppler have a volume control? - Yes it does. C. Do you ever use your audio doppler? - If he says "yes" continue. If he says no skip to question `M`. D. About what percent of the time will you listen to the audio doppler? - note percent E. When you operate your radar unit with audio doppler on do you operate it at full volume? Heh, yea right! F. At what volume do you operate it? - The question can only be helpful if he says he operates it at a low volume. Try to ask him a few similar questions that will make him answer "low volume." IE: "I know that that tone get's awfully annoying doesn't it?" G. Do you ever turn it off? - Sure he does. H. Why do you turn it off? - Because it is irritating as hell! I. Does the use of audio doppler ever interfere with your use of the police radio or your conversations with other officers? - He should say it does. J. So you operate with the audio doppler off about ___ percent of the time? - Fill in the number that he gave you earlier. K. Of the rest of the time, how often do you operate it with the volume on soft. - (Note the percentage) L. Do you consider the audio doppler an important tool to prevent operator error? - Only important if he says "no". M. Is your radar unit equipped with a dial that lets you select a speed above which an audio tone will sound if a violation speed is picked up? - Yes, all radar units have this feature. N. We'll call that feature the AUDIO ALARM. Do you commonly use that feature? - He has to. O. What percentage of the time do you use this? - If he answers anything less than 100%, ask him how he disengages it. He would have to disassemble the whole radar unit. P. If the speed limit on a highway is 55, what speed do you normally dial in as your pre-set violator speed? - Note speed. The answer isn't critical. Q. Do you find that feature to be a useful one for you? - He'll probably say it's sometimes useful. R. If a violation speed causes the alarm to sound, you need only reach over to lock in that speed, is that correct? - That's how it works. S. Does your radar unit also have a button or switch which permits the radar unit to automatically lock up the violation speed? - Yes, it does. T. Do you ever use that automatic speed lock function? - If he says "no", repeat the question with an emphasis on the "ever" and look skeptical. If he still says no, skip to the next question section. U. About what percent of the time do you use the automatic speed lock? - Note percent. V. Do you find that automatic speed lock convenient? - Sure he does. That way he can read a magazine or take a nap while the radar unit does the for him! W. Do you use the automatic speed lock for any other reason? - Note reasons, if any. X. Was the use of the automatic speed lock included in your training? - Answer isn't important. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ESTABLISHING WHETHER THE OFFICER USES A VISUAL BACK UP: When cops go to court, they have a "model testimony" used to establish their reasoning for giving out a ticket. One part of this testimony usually centers on the radar unit used only as a backup to their visual perception that you, the defendant, were traveling at a "high rate of speed" or at "X mph." Put in it simplest form, this is total hogwash. A trained officer can make a visual identification of speed at a distance of perhaps 500 feet. The radar can theoretically make that same speed determination at 5000 feet. The radar's alarm will sound many seconds before the policeman can make a visual speed determination. As it is, the cop will observation of a car will verify what the radar has already told him. THIS IS WRONG! The law states that "radar readings can ONLY be used as corroborative evidence." If the cop sees that the car is traveling slower than what the radar says, he will merely assume that the driver saw him and slowed down. The following questions are used to establish whether or not the cop did use visual back up, and trap him onto making a statement which can later be used against him! A. I'm going to start this question by defining a term I call a "traffic history". A traffic history is the continuous observation of traffic by a police officer. If an officer takes a traffic history, it means he is CONTINUALLY WATCHING TRAFFIC; looking for speeders, drunken drivers, or any other offenders. Do you understand what I mean by a traffic history? - If the officer doesn't understand, keep explaining until he does. B. With regard to speeding tickets, an officer who says he normally takes a traffic history can say that he observes traffic patterns for a period of several seconds -- usually three to five seconds -- before he sees what he believes to be a speeding incident. That is, three to five seconds before his radar unit sounds its alarm. He then continues to observe traffic fora period of several seconds while he determines that a citation should be issued. Do you understand that definition of a traffic history as it applies to speeding tickets? - The officer should understand. C. Using that definition, have you EVER taken a traffic history prior to issuing a speeding citation? - He will probably answer that he has. If he says no, see answer E. D. About what percent of the time can you say you have taken a traffic history when you issue a speeding ticket? - Note percent. It will probably be very high. E. Do you believe it is important to take a traffic history in speeding cases? - He'll probably say "yes." If he says no, you have a strong argument in court, namely that he had no visual backup; that he was relying solely on his radar unit. His "yes" answer, in conjunction with the fact that he didn't take one in your case, can be used against him in court. F. At about what distance can you make a determination that a car is doing a certain number of miles per hour? - Most policemen answer about 500. If he hedges or says it depends, set up a specific situation, for example, he is in the median strip of a level, straight, uncrowded highway. At what distance can he make a visual determination of the speed of an approaching car? If he says he still can't say, throw the 500 feet figure at him and see if he agrees. Shorten and lengthen the figure to get an estimate he can live with. G. When you take this traffic history and make a visual assumption about speed, you do so BEFORE your radar unit has sounded its audio alarm? - THIS IS A TRICK QUESTION. If he says "yes", he's in trouble because his radar unit's range is doubtlessly longer than his visual acuity. If he says "no", then he hasn't really taken a traffic history. If he says "yes", ask questions H and I. If he says "no", ask questions J, K, L, M, N, and O, P, Q, R. H. Approximately what is the range of your radar unit? - He'll probably say he doesn't know. Throw figures between 3,000 and 5,000 feet at him and see if he agrees with any of them. If he still doesn't know, ask if he'd be surprised to find out that his radar unit had a range of at least 3,000 feet. If he says yes to that question, you have just nailed him on a vital technical question. I. But you still stick to your statement that the radar unit does not sound an alarm prior to your being able to recognize the true velocity of a car? - Regardless of his answer, you've made your point. J. Then you don't really take a traffic history. - The neatest answer is "no", which he probably won't say. Instead, he'll say that sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. For the "sometimes it doesn't" answers, go back to questions H and I. For the "sometimes it does" answer, continue. K. If the radar unit sounds an alarm before you've had a chance to ascertain that a car is speeding, how can you say you've taken a traffic history? - He'll probably say it alerts him to look for a speeder. L. Do you look down to see how fast the radar unit says a car is going? - He'll probably he looks. If he says he doesn't look, tell him, "but you know a car is definitely going at least X mph over the speed limit?" To that, he has to answer yes. M. Does the knowledge that the radar unit has already "got one" influence your judgement in making a visual determination of a car's speed? That is, will you be more likely to agree that a car is going a certain number of miles per hour after the radar has already said that it was going that speed? - He should agree. If he doesn't, ask him why he doesn't just run his alarm setting up to 99 mph to make certain it never influences his judgement? His answer won't matter. N. Would you be more inclined to believe that a car in the left lane of a four- lane highway was a speeder if you heard your audio alarm go off? - If he's honest, he'll say yes. If he isn't, he'll say, "if it was passing another vehicle". Counter with "what if there wasn't a reference vehicle present, but the car was still in the left lane? If he still says "no", ask him again why he doesn't just run his alarm counter up to 99 mph. O. If there was a car going slower than the speed limit in the right lane, and a car driving at the speed limit in the left lane apparently passing it, and your radar unit either malfunctioned or misread the target, might you mistakenly conclude that the car in the left lane was speeding and issue the driver a citation? - If he's honest, he'll answer "yes", building your case for operator error. If he says "no", he could tell the car in the left lane wasn't speeding, you're back to question F. P. If your radar unit said it had picked up a car going, say, 70 mph, and when you were able to make out its speed, it was clearly going the speed limit, would you be inclined to believe the motorist had seen you and quickly slowed down? - The honest officer will say yes. Q. Would you still issue the citation based on the radar reading? - Again, he should say "yes". R. Why do you set your alarm counter for a certain number of miles per hour over the speed limit? - His answer may be that he was trained to do so (unusable), or that he needs it for special circumstances (worth following up). Any excuse will be lame. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ESTABLISHING THE LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT BEAM WIDTH AND RANGE: Under HONEYCUTT, a police officer does not need to know the inner workings of his radar unit in order to have his testimony accepted by the court. The mistake is made by many persons challenging radar-backed speeding citations is to try and demonstrate to the court that they know more about radar than the cop that issued them a ticket. It really doesn't matter how much you know about radar. All the court wants to know is how much the officer knows. Few judges have ever questioned the qualifications of the citing officer. Your job as a defendant is to make the judge do just exactly that! You will have to plant a seed of doubt in his/her mind by showing that in several key areas, the officer doesn't know fundamental aspects of radar. A. With respect to everyday operation of your radar unit, do you know what its approximate range is? - Depending on the model, the answer can range from 3,000 to 7,000 feet. Refer to second article in this series that will appear in the next exciting issue of Phrack! B. At a distance of 1000 feet how wide is the radar beam? C. About how far from the radar antenna will the beam be when it is width of one lane of traffic, or about 11 feet? D. With what degree of certainty can you point your radar's antenna at, say, the left lane of oncoming traffic and at a distance of, say, 500 feet be focusing on just that lane of traffic? - The answer is zero. Anything else and he is wrong. E. In the stationary mode, you can lock the speed of traffic in either direction, that is, you can flip the antenna to record traffic going away from you or traffic coming toward you. Is that correct? - Yes it is. F. Can your radar differentiate between traffic direction? For example, if you're setting along a expressway, and you have your radar unit pointed toward you oncoming traffic, will your radar unit pick up only oncoming traffic, or might it also pick up traffic on the other side of the median strip moving away from you? - It will pick up traffic in either direction. Any other statement (e.g. "sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't" is ignorance.) G. In moving mode, can your radar pick up traffic both coming toward you and traffic moving away from you? - The Speedgun 8 is the ONLY radar that can do this. It can only clock cars coming toward it. No other radar unit can do this! H. [In the next two questions you will have to draw a picture. Draw a vertical roadway with a car (#) going up toward the top and the cops car | . | oriented perpendicular to the road (<:=). Next draw a line that is | . | perpendicular to the roadway (<---). This is the radar beam. You | . | should have a slightly larger drawing :) that looks similar to <-------<:= the one to the left. Hold this up so that the judge and the cop | . | can see it and ask the following question.] | .^| | .#| In this diagram, the radar is held at right angles to the roadway. A north bound car driving at 55mph enters into the radar beam. Will the radar unit pick up the car? - It cannot. There is NO doppler shift because there is no closing speed between the vehicle and the radar unit. If he answers correctly, skip to question "J". I. [Again you need to draw a picture similar to the one above, but this time add a car going in the opposite direction, in the other lane of course! It should look something like the picture below. Now present this to the cop and the judges and ask the following: (Refer to this as |#. | fig. `2`)] |~ | | . | <-------<:= | . | | .^| | .#| In this diagram, two cars are approaching from opposite directions, with the radar unit sill pointed at right angles on the highway. The north bound car (right) is going 55mph. The southbound car (left) is going 65mph. Which car will the radar unit pick up and how will you be able to distinguish between the two? - If he even thinks about answering this question he is an idiot. Neither car will register. (see question `H`) J. What kind of things will stop the beam? Will underbrush stop the beam or can you get a reading through tall grass, weeds, and bushes? - Radar will go through these things. K. Are there circumstances under which you can obtain the speed of a vehicle you cannot see? For example, can you obtain the speed of a vehicle around a corner or over a hill? - Not in this world. L. Will your radar beam bounce off a metal surface such as a sign, a car, a ,metal building, or a steal or concrete overpass? - Sure will. M. What happens to the beam when it bounces off a metal object? Could it pick up the speed of a car at an angle to the direction you have the radar pointed? - Yes it will. N. Could a high power utility transmission line interfere with the radar unit? - Yup. O. Could airport radar or military radar interfere with the radar? - Sure can. P. Have you ever noticed interference from things like neon signs or street lights? - Such things do produce interference - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - FINAL QUESTIONS: By now you have either made a enemy of the officer (most likely outcome) or started him thinking about the incident (if he is a good police officer). The officer, of course, doesn't know what answers he got right and what ones he got wrong. Watch for variations between answers, or especially, any weakening in his determination that yours was the car which registered on the radar unit. Questions `N`-`Q` taken together represent critical procedural questions. It is important to differentiate between an internal calibration check (pushing a button) and an external check (holding a tuning fork to the antenna). A. Officer (such and such), let's go back over your recollection of the incident one last time. Can you relate the facts concerning the citation as you remember them? B. Was your audio Doppler engaged at the time of the incident? How loud or soft was it? C. What speed was your audio alarm set for? Had you moved it up or down during your shift? D. Was your automatic speed lock engaged? E. Were you using a manual on-off switch? F. Were you in a stationary or moving mode at the time? G. Was the defendant coming or going away from you? H. Did you see other vehicles either in front of or behind the defendant? Were they varied in size? Were they varied in direction of travel? I. Was there traffic moving in the same direction as you? (if moving) J. Did you see the defendant prior to the time your audio alarm sounded? K. Were you able to obtain an approximate speed reading based on your visual identification? What was your point of reference? L. How many seconds elapsed between the time you first observed the defendant and the time your audio alarm sounded? M. Were there any power lines in the area? Cars or homes with CB antennas? Buildings with two-way radio antennas? Had you been talking on your radio? N. Regarding calibration of the radar unit, using the INTERNAL calibration function, at what times before and after the citation did you check the radar? O. Using an "external tuning fork", at what times before and after the citation did you check your radar? P. In your estimation, what is the difference between the internal and external calibration function? Q. Do you consider one of the calibration checks to be a more accurate indicator of accuracy? Which one? ______________________________________________________________________________ | | | Closing Arguments | If you have done well you will have established a great |____________________| deal of doubt in the judges mind as to the capability of the officer in question to operate a radar unit. You have have set him/her thinking about the "big picture." That is, "Just how accurate is traffic radars?" This is what you want to achieve but it must be done in subtle way. You aren't out of the hole yet! Now that you have established doubt in the judge's mind you MUST provide testimony that will TIE all the testimony the officer gave in with YOURS. This is where you have to do the thinking on your own. It should be very obvious how to do this. Your job is to break down the testimony. You are looking for 1) Procedural errors, 2) Lack of knowledge on the part of the officer, 3) Possible radars errors. If you can get him on two of the three, you are set! Procedural errors include things like the previously mentioned incorrect citation. Other procedural errors that are easy to play on is this. The officer must use an external tuning that is certified as to it's accuracy in testing the radar unit immediately before he gives a citation. Two court cases that are examples of this are WISCONSIN v. HANSEN and MINNESOTA v. GERDES. Simply put, if you are in need of throwing around some weight in court, just cite these two cases. They are great! Ignorance on the part of the officer is pretty obvious. If he messes up the questions, he is ignorant. They are all pretty simple, I think. If a cop does things like, uses his automatic speed lock or doesn't use his audio doppler, he is blatantly ignoring his training. Most of the time they will bring a copy of their training manual to court. Just point it out to them! There are too many potential radar errors to mention here. You must try to locate them in the vicinity of where you encounter your ticket. Anything that transmits on uncommon frequencies is great to note. (e.g. burglar alarms, garage doors, CB's, Ham Radio, rain, fog, police radio, hospitals, etc, etc.) In closing, I hope you found this information useful and look forward to the second part in my series, "Beating the Radar Rap: The Technical Side." This will be a file where I go into picking apart the actual flaws that specific radar guns have.