Ohioans are outraged over last week’s Ohio Supreme Court decision that said a police officer could write speeding tickets just by looking at a vehicle and estimating how fast it is moving.
And state lawmakers plan to do something about it.
The justices’ ruling said that no radar detector is needed for a speeding citation to stick, just a certificate showing the officer has been trained to make educated guesses on what a speedometer is reading.
“Opening this Pandora’s box will create an environment where there will be substantial abuse by law enforcement officials, not just over speeding, but from illegal searches, racial profiling and just police officers wanting to stop people for reasons legal and illegal,” said ACLU Ohio legal director James Hardiman.
“We think it is a giant step backwards,” he said.
Two of the most outspoken state lawmakers — one a Democrat, the other Republican — plan to introduce bills this fall aimed at overruling the court.
“The first thing we thought was to address the inability of an individual to ascertain how fast someone is going simply by looking,” said state Rep. Robert Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat. “And the second concern — it is just another way to stop someone for no particular reason.”
Hagan’s bill in the Ohio House will be similar to one state Sen. Tim Grendell, a Chester Township Republican, said he plans to introduce. The bills would require officers to use radar detectors or other technology to verify a vehicle’s speed before issuing a ticket.
Such is already the policy of the Ohio Highway Patrol, whose primary duty is traffic enforcement.
It’s a matter of assuring “better public confidence in this area of law enforcement,” Grendell said.
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Article courtesy cleveland.com