Saved From a Speeding Ticket by 'Andy'

dgstorm

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google-tracks-data.jpg

Sometimes I wonder if there is anything that the Android cannot eventually do, and I am reminded that the answer is definitively, "No". In fact, 'Andy' can even 'sometimes' get you out of a speeding ticket. Sahas Katta, a writer for Skattertech.com, shared in a recent article, his experience where his Android did exactly that.

Mr. Katta happened to be utilizing the free app 'My Tracks' by Google, that records and visualizes your GPS data on a map, at a moment when he was stopped and ticketed by a traffic police officer. The officer supposedly clocked him with radar doing 40MPH in a 25MPH zone. Mr. Katta knew he wasn't going that fast, but because this was the first time he had ever been stopped for a traffic violation, he panicked and didn't negotiate with the officer at all. When he got home, he realized that he was running his 'My Tracks' app and decided to check it. Here's a quote from his article,
I pulled up my history for the previous session which displays information such as distance, average speed, average moving speed, and max speed. It even stores maximum and minimum elevation levels for those that need it. More importantly, I found that my phone only recorded a top speed of just 26 miles per hour, significantly lower than the cited speed. I now knew I was not speeding.
Eventually, Mr. Katta went to traffic court to fight the ticket. With his digital evidence in tow, some advanced prep-work, including an article he found about an ongoing Sonoma County Superior Court case regarding the accuracy of GPS devices and radar guns, and a few savvy questions to the traffic cop, the judge ultimately ruled that there was not enough evidence to find Mr. Katta guilty.

It's important to note, as did Mr. Katta in his article, that...
To avoid any misinterpretations about his ruling, he chose to clarify his decision by citing the lack of evidence on the officer’s part. He mentioned that he was not familiar enough with GPS technology to make a decision based on my evidence, but I can’t help but imagine that it was an important factor.

An improbable outcome to an improbable story, yet it makes for an interesting 'victory' for 'Andy'. Mr. Katta also points out in his article that he is not intending it to be an attack on the police, rather to point out the potential inaccuracies in radar gun technology, and the cool use of Android technology in assisting his defense.

Source: Android.net via Skattertech.com
 

hookbill

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I love it. It is a cool app, but I don't like having it on all the time. I should use it more.
 

kodiak799

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I'm shocked this worked. Then, on further reading, the judge cites a lack of evidence from the cop, which makes me wonder if he didn't just think he was picking out a sucker to make his quota. I thought the radar gun printed out the speed for a record.

Even then, I thought you always lose when it's your word against the cop, but I suppose he actually has to be able to prove he clocked you speeding. I'm surprised the app data was admissible, if not because it could possibly be faked/edited then for the fact that it probably doesn't clock you every second of the way.

I realize that's all not really the point of the story, just an interesting sidebar.
 

NeoPhoenixTE

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Good for Katta. Smart use of evidence. Also he was fortunate to be in California. Something like that wouldn't work in Colorado. They don't even have the prove the radar gun is in proper working order here. If the officer says they recorded you at a speed, that's pretty much all the evidence a judge needs.

But still, awesome use of good ol Andy! May have to grab that app now.
 

czerdrill

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Hmm. I think it's more due to a sloppy cop then the app though. It seems odd that a judge would allow a client's own digital readout to trump what the cop says. That leads me to believe that the cop just didn't follow protocol and the case was simply dismissed because of that (lack of evidence) and not because he whipped out his My Tracks data haha.

Allowing something like this could set a dangerous precedent, and as mentioned people could fake this data to get out of tickets easily if they knew how.

The quote says it all:

To avoid any misinterpretations about his ruling, he chose to clarify his decision by citing the lack of evidence on the officer’s part. He mentioned that he was not familiar enough with GPS technology to make a decision based on my evidence, but I can’t help but imagine that it was an important factor.

Sounds more like Mr. Katta believes it was his evidence that got the ticket dismissed, and not just standard judicial protocol.
 

TwoBuells

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if not because it could possibly be faked/edited then for the fact that it probably doesn't clock you every second of the way.

.

my garmin gps drops a info cookie every 500 feet. date, time, lat & long, speed, elevation, etc.
 

Laur3nNewm4n

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I 100% believe that the case was dismissed on the grounds that the cop didn't have evidence. That and the defendant states he was well dressed and polite, which goes a long way. It would be too easy to alter the exported Tracks data to suit his purposes. It was probably a petty fine, and not worth it to the city to pursue the GPS evidence vs. the cop.
 

bhughesiii

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IF My Tracks isn't enough, you can always go with the old stand by of asking to see the officers certification to use the radar gun, the departments certification to use one, and the calibration log of that day to make sure the gun was properly calibrated. Guaranteed one of those will be out of date and therefore invalidates the cops claim.
 

nmos

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IF My Tracks isn't enough, you can always go with the old stand by of asking to see the officers certification to use the radar gun, the departments certification to use one, and the calibration log of that day to make sure the gun was properly calibrated. Guaranteed one of those will be out of date and therefore invalidates the cops claim.

For all we know the "a few savvy questions to the traffic cop" may have been exactly that sort of thing.
 

streetkid

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This is interesting. I got a speeding ticket recently, cop said I was doing 77 in a 55. I know my truck very well and its a manual transmission.. I was definitly speeding but I was NOT going 77, maybe 65.. still speeding though.

And theres where I find this interesting. If the speed limit was 25, and he was doing 26.. he was speeding.
 
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