No Radar Love in Ohio
The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled Wednesday that a “police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding in violation.”
In 2008, Mark Jenney was issued a ticket for traveling 79 mph in a 60 mph zone. At his municipal trial, the charge was revised to 70 in a 60 mph zone. Radar results were deemed inadmissible at all trial levels.
Traffic violation cases are increasingly becoming the locus of a fundamental reinterpretation of the rights of the accused, in ways that already begin to set a wider precedent for shift the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused.
Take, for example, the 2009 case of Gant Bloom in St. Louis, who fought — and won — his red-light camera ticket appeal. Representing himself, Bloom successfully argued that he could not be charged with running a red light, because the city could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he, rather than his girlfriend, was the driver of his BMW at the time of the incident.
The recent ruling in Ohio provides yet another reason why Missourians ought to be concerned about how traffic cases are handled, lest this nascent precedent that abrogates the rights of the accused for traffic violations be spread to other states and other areas of law.