Experts don’t have to back up tech behind laser speed guns in court

Ohio

The results of a laser speed detector can be used to convict you of speeding

The results of a laser speed detector can be used to convict you of speeding, even without an expert testifying about the science and technology behind the devices.

Credit: Court News Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The results of a laser speed detector can be used to convict you of speeding, even without an expert testifying about the science and technology behind the devices.

The Ohio Supreme Court made the ruling this week based on a challenge from a woman who got a speeding ticket in Brookpark, Ohio.

In a 6-1 decision, the court ruled that it can be accepted that the science and technology behind how laser detectors work can be accepted as true and accurate. However, a court still has to determine if there is evidence to prove the accuracy of the device based on whether it was used properly.

In the Brookpark case, police said a woman was driving 15 miles per hour over the limit. The ticket was contested based on the fact that the trial court admitted the evidence from the detector without expert testimony about the reliability of the scientific principles behind it.

It was argued that without expert testimony about the technology, the results were not admissible in court.

The court stated that it is “satisfied” with the scientific principles underlying laser speed detectors and that they are reliable to clock speed, much like radar guns.

While drivers can’t challenge the results of a laser speed detector, other issues can be contested such as angle, calibration and maintenance. The qualifications of the officer operating the device can also be questioned.

The lone judge who did not agree with the ruling was Justice Sharon L. Kennedy. She said the state is “cutting corners” to not allow the rule of evidence which would include the science and technology behind the devices.

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