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Author Topic: Nabbing speeders through E-ZPass? It's only a myth
snopes
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Recently a friend of mine traveled the Turnpike from Plymouth Meeting to Allentown. He said the traffic was moving quite briskly, and he just kept pace with it. Shortly thereafter he received his credit card bill, which included a large charge for E-ZPass. Upon review, he discovered a photo of his license plate and a speeding citation based upon insufficient elapsed time from point of entry to Allentown, with his speed thereby calculated.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-b1-5warriorsep04,0,632437.story

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lazerus the duck
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
. He said the traffic was moving quite briskly, and he just kept pace with it.

Why is it that motorists seem to think the excuse well everyone else was doing it is adequate explanation for breaking the law.

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GenYus
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Because sometimes, especially in heavy traffic, it is more dangerous to be going the limit than keeping up with traffic because everyone is passing you on both sides?

Or because "everyone else was doing it" is a cherished excuse/reason from our childhood that we never got rid of.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
Because sometimes, especially in heavy traffic, it is more dangerous to be going the limit than keeping up with traffic because everyone is passing you on both sides?


It shouldn't be passing you on both sides, though. It should be passing you on the left, if you're keeping right like you should be.

quote:
Or because "everyone else was doing it" is a cherished excuse/reason from our childhood that we never got rid of.
I think that is far more likely.

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jw
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It looks like its not legal for this state to enforce fines in this manner.
quote:
The trouble is, there's no provision in Pennsylvania law allowing the Turnpike Commission, the state police or anyone else to enforce speed restrictions in this manner, said Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo.
However, On my regular visits to France, all too often "The Gendarmes" are seen at the end of motorway exit toll booths, and pull over anyone who has made too quick a time from one booth to the next. A friend was driving from Narbonne to Toulouse and touched 160 Kph (speed limit 130kph) on occassions and was duly stopped and fined on the spot at the toll booth motorway exit.

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Daniceguy
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I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.

I suppose this would answer the two main objections: first, it is the police giving the ticket and second, the owner of the log book is clearly the driver.

Any truckers or cops out there who can shed some light on this? Does this really happen?

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.


I don't think that is why they look at a trucker's logbook. Truckers have some pretty stringently-written (though largely loosely enforced) laws about how long they can drive in a 24-hour period and how much they are required to rest. The logbook keeps track of that, and would not, I do not think, be used to cite someone for speeding.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Nion
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
Because sometimes, especially in heavy traffic, it is more dangerous to be going the limit than keeping up with traffic because everyone is passing you on both sides?


It shouldn't be passing you on both sides, though. It should be passing you on the left, if you're keeping right like you should be.

quote:
Or because "everyone else was doing it" is a cherished excuse/reason from our childhood that we never got rid of.
I think that is far more likely.

Trust me, it's mandatory sometimes!

Have you ever had to go 80 mph during rush hour on a three-lane highway and been required to stay in the middle lane in order to stay on the correct route?

I have.

If I hadn't maintained that speed, I would have had people coming up on my ass going thirty miles per hour faster than me, and had everyone around me honking furiously.

Big citys suck. [flame]

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I live in a big city, but I still have never found it necessary to speed...

[Edited for clarity: I have, in my past, sped/speeded. I was caught and punished for it, so I stopped doing it. My last ticket was in 1992, and, since then, I don't speed.]

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Nion
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Trust me, I was NOT comfortable going as fast as I was in congested traffic. I clearly remember having to nearly lock my brakes once when a car cut in front of me. The sad truth is that all cars around me were travelling at eighty miles per hour and if I had gone the 50 mph speed limit, I would have been a road hazzard. I had to stay in the middle lane to stay on my route, like I said. Short of turning on my hazzard lights and getting constantly honked at, there was no safe way to follow the speed limit.

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snopes
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quote:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.
But the police can't demonstrate that a trucker's log is necessarily accurate.

- snopes

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jimmy101
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.
But the police can't demonstrate that a trucker's log is necessarily accurate.

- snopes

But an inaccurate truckers log is a crime in itself. I would suspect that that alone would make the truckers log admissable as evidence, and sufficient for a conviction.
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rogue
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Highway Patrolman to trucker at weight station:

Hypo: (small talk)
TKR: (small talk back)
Hypo: May I see your log?
TKR: Sure. (hands log over)
Hypo: Everything in here accurate?

Answer 1: No.
Hypo writes ticket.

Answer 2: Yes, of course.
Hypo: Says here you left Leftburg at 8 am. That right?
TKR: Sure is.
Hypo: Well, Leftburg is 240 miles away and it's now 11:00. That means you had to travel AT LEAST 80 MPH and the highest speed limit on that route is 65 MPH. I'm writing you a ticket for 80 in a 65 zone.

***Would that work? Trucker stipulates accuracy at the start of the interview....

-Rogue

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GenYus
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I don't think so. If it was inaccurate, then asking if it was accurate would be asking the trucker to testify against himself.

But it might work because the trucker would lose more money being in court that he would paying the ticket.

--------------------
IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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You can ask someone to testify against themselves. The Fifth Amendment allows them to refuse to answer.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Neffti Noel
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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:
quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.
But the police can't demonstrate that a trucker's log is necessarily accurate.

- snopes

But an inaccurate truckers log is a crime in itself. I would suspect that that alone would make the truckers log admissable as evidence, and sufficient for a conviction.
Is a trucker's log something that the driver is required to write out themselves, or is it like a tachograph?
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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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quote:
Originally posted by Neffti Neta:
Is a trucker's log something that the driver is required to write out themselves, or is it like a tachograph?

Some truking lines have moved to electronic logs (called "electronic onboard recorders"), but many are still using old-fashioned paper logs.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Troberg
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This would only work in countries where the license plates are unique for each vehicle, otherwise you could get really wierd speeds if several vehicles with the same number passes the same stretch.

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/Troberg

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El Camino
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
I live in a big city, but I still have never found it necessary to speed...

[Edited for clarity: I have, in my past, sped/speeded. I was caught and punished for it, so I stopped doing it. My last ticket was in 1992, and, since then, I don't speed.]

Traffic patterns may vary from city to city. Whenever I'm in a big city, I tend to avoid driving, but there are some places where traffic patterns are much worse than others. I hear horror stories about Boston, and even driving within a few hours of there gets iffy sometimes.

But I have had some experience with city-derived traffic, even if it's not in the city, and I have this to say: I would NOT be at all comfortable driving the Merrit Parkway in Connecticut at the posted limit during heavy traffic. I've seen the craziest drivers in my life there, weaving in and out of traffic at 85 when the speed limit is 50. Taking refuge in the slow lane is not a good solution. Wild stuff. And I've only had to drive it maybe 5 times.

Believe me, in that case it's much safer to go 65-70 than actually to go 50 as posted (or it might be 55).

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kallrynne
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I ran across this video a while back. It is a group of film students (I believe) that took it upon themselves to run a little traffic test. I admit it was a bit dangerous what they did, but definitely an interesting study. And I have to agree, living in Atlanta and having to drive on 285 almost every day, it is rather dangerous to try driving 55 when everyone else around you is going 80.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5366552067462745475&q=speed

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Grand Illusion
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The local news here in Denver ran a story some time back where the cops were interviewed as saying that if everyone else is driving significantly faster than the speed limit and you are driving the speed limit, they may pull you over for being an obstruction. My brother in law was actually pulled over in California and given a citation when he was driving 55 in a 55 when the other cars were going much faster. That steams me because the rules are contradictory.

My strategy is to go as fast as traffic is flowing, but on the slow side, so there are always four or five people going faster than me and four or five people going slower than me, so no matter what, the cops have someone who's around me they can pull over instead of me, and there are plenty of leadfoot turkeys and grandpas around here.

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Dieter Meyer
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They're doing tests with this technology over here, planning to implement it in a few years.
IIrc, they are going to try it for a year or so without actually fining anybody, to make sure it's working correctly.

The roads on which this'll be used will of course be marked as such, just as the regular speed cameras currently are.

Going to the web site of the Directorate of Public Roads, I found some info about it; according to this and this, they're currently testing it at 3 kilometer long route, and it's allegedly the world's first speeding system of its kind.

quote:
This would only work in countries where the license plates are unique for each vehicle, otherwise you could get really wierd speeds if several vehicles with the same number passes the same stretch.
As you can see by the first link, the first camera you pass takes a pic of your car, but in addition sensors register its weight and distance between the axels to avoid the problem of similar cars.

If you, after having passed the second camera have driven the speed limit, the picture is deleted after a couple of minutes.

If you've sped though, both of the pics are sent to a central database which send it on to the cops, after which you'll receive the ticket in the mail.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
The local news here in Denver ran a story some time back where the cops were interviewed as saying that if everyone else is driving significantly faster than the speed limit and you are driving the speed limit, they may pull you over for being an obstruction.
Well, at least those students didn't drive slower than the rest of the traffic. In fact, they made sure the rest of the traffic didn't go faster...

quote:
As you can see by the first link, the first camera you pass takes a pic of your car, but in addition sensors register its weight and distance between the axels to avoid the problem of similar cars.
Now we are on my territory. I work at one of the biggest companies in traffic measuring equipment in the world, and the biggest in Sweden. My work has to a large extent been in exactly that field.

The sensors register axle distances (and through analysis of them also type of vehicle), speed, direction and time of passage. All this of course assuming that there are two tubes. With one tube, all you get is a count. If inductive loops are used (more likely in this scenario), you get speed, direction, overall vehicle length and time of passage. There are no detectors on the market today that measure the weight of a moving vehicle. Actually, the vehicle is more or less "bouncing" along the road, which means that any such measurement would be wildly inaccurate. But, there is a good side to that. If you can invent a working, practical way to measure vehicle weight in motion, there is a great demand for such a sensor.

All in all, though, that makes not difference. The sensors are not that accurate (axle distances within 2-4 cm or so, depending on how worn the road surface is, speed within 1-2 km/h, anyalsis of vehicle type at approx 98-99%). Good enough for statistics, but crap for law enforcement. Also, for countries that don't have unique license plates, it's perfectly possible that two identical cars hav identical plates, which pretty much kills all evidence value.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Morrigan
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quote:
Originally posted by rogue:
Highway Patrolman to trucker at weight station:

Hypo: (small talk)
TKR: (small talk back)
Hypo: May I see your log?
TKR: Sure. (hands log over)
Hypo: Everything in here accurate?

Answer 1: No.
Hypo writes ticket.

Answer 2: Yes, of course.
Hypo: Says here you left Leftburg at 8 am. That right?
TKR: Sure is.
Hypo: Well, Leftburg is 240 miles away and it's now 11:00. That means you had to travel AT LEAST 80 MPH and the highest speed limit on that route is 65 MPH. I'm writing you a ticket for 80 in a 65 zone.

***Would that work? Trucker stipulates accuracy at the start of the interview....

-Rogue

Got an answer. No, it wouldn't work because the cop wouldn't be able to tell what route the trucker took. Different routes=different distances = different speeds.

Logbooks are only to dictate how long the trucker has been on duty and/or driving. Any good lawyer would get that ticket thrown out.

And, GenYus, truckers usually don't show up in court themselves. We hire lawyers to fight for us while we work.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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jimmy101
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quote:
Originally posted by Morrigan:
quote:
Originally posted by rogue:
Highway Patrolman to trucker at weight station:

Hypo: (small talk)
TKR: (small talk back)
Hypo: May I see your log?
TKR: Sure. (hands log over)
Hypo: Everything in here accurate?

Answer 1: No.
Hypo writes ticket.

Answer 2: Yes, of course.
Hypo: Says here you left Leftburg at 8 am. That right?
TKR: Sure is.
Hypo: Well, Leftburg is 240 miles away and it's now 11:00. That means you had to travel AT LEAST 80 MPH and the highest speed limit on that route is 65 MPH. I'm writing you a ticket for 80 in a 65 zone.

***Would that work? Trucker stipulates accuracy at the start of the interview....

-Rogue

Got an answer. No, it wouldn't work because the cop wouldn't be able to tell what route the trucker took. Different routes=different distances = different speeds.

Logbooks are only to dictate how long the trucker has been on duty and/or driving. Any good lawyer would get that ticket thrown out.

And, GenYus, truckers usually don't show up in court themselves. We hire lawyers to fight for us while we work.

Morrigan

I don't see how mutliple possible routes would make much difference. The Officer (and court) only needs to know what the fastest route is. If the truck got from point-A to point-B faster than the speed allowed along the fastest route then the trucker must have been speeding.

Multiple routes only mean a truck could take longer to get from point-A to point-B.

A couple days ago an Indiana State Trooper's car was mashed into scrap, with the officer in it, by a truck. The officer was in the process of giving a speeding ticket to one truck driver and was sitting in his car behind the stopped truck. Another truck came up behind him and smashed his car into the parked truck. Amazingly, the officer got out of his car himself (his car caught fire). He was banged up pretty good but should recover. Photo from Officer.com's "Officer Down" page:


Both truck drivers had inaccurate driving logs and both will be cited for at least that reason.

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Morrigan
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And a few weeks ago, a driver took out a woman and the people in her car in Michigan. She was getting on the freeway and cut him off. He didn't have time to stop. He ran her over-and it would have been her fault if his logs hadn't been inaccurate ie he was, I believe, 9 hours over his 14 hour.

It happens. Because we (truck drivers) are professionals, if there's ever an accident the logs are inaccurate, out of date etc, it's our fault no matter what.

It happens.

And just so you know, I've asked several people that questions. Gotten some yeses and some noes.

Morrigan

--------------------
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Shadowduck
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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
This would only work in countries where the license plates are unique for each vehicle, otherwise you could get really wierd speeds if several vehicles with the same number passes the same stretch.

Okay, that caught my attention. You mean there are countries where the license plates AREN'T unique for each vehicle?

So... If they don't uniquely identify a vehicle, why bother to have them at all?

--------------------
But of course, I could be wrong.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Okay, that caught my attention. You mean there are countries where the license plates AREN'T unique for each vehicle?

So... If they don't uniquely identify a vehicle, why bother to have them at all?

Sometimes they identify the owner instead of the vehicle.

Jordan has a system where the colour of the plate tells about the type of vehicle:

White: Ordinary vehicle
Red: Government
Green: Taxi
Green/white: Diplomatic
Black: Military

The same number occurs in a colours.

Also, important positions (I think this is limited to ministers) carries with it a number. The prime minister has number 1, with increasing numbers for the less important ministers. All their vehicles have the same number, so if the prime minister have three cars, they will all be number 1.

The royal family don't even use numbers, they just have a crown on the license plate.

--------------------
/Troberg

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Shadowduck
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Well, you live and learn. Thanks for the explanation!

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But of course, I could be wrong.

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truck1
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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.


I don't think that is why they look at a trucker's logbook. Truckers have some pretty stringently-written (though largely loosely enforced) laws about how long they can drive in a 24-hour period and how much they are required to rest. The logbook keeps track of that, and would not, I do not think, be used to cite someone for speeding.



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Rush doesn’t understand that MJ Fox’s meds aren’t supposed to make him into a fat blowhard with partial mental incapacity. In other words, Fox’s meds are different from Rush’s. Hogweed on Thing Progress

Posts: 10 | From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
truck1
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.


I don't think that is why they look at a trucker's logbook. Truckers have some pretty stringently-written (though largely loosely enforced) laws about how long they can drive in a 24-hour period and how much they are required to rest. The logbook keeps track of that, and would not, I do not think, be used to cite someone for speeding.

Actually they can and will ticket for speeding by looking at your logbook as it has happened to me. It is i believe a way for them to nail you for fudging your log when they dont have proof that you actually did.

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Rush doesn’t understand that MJ Fox’s meds aren’t supposed to make him into a fat blowhard with partial mental incapacity. In other words, Fox’s meds are different from Rush’s. Hogweed on Thing Progress

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Third time's the charm, truck1. Care to give it another go? [Wink]

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by truck1:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.


I don't think that is why they look at a trucker's logbook. Truckers have some pretty stringently-written (though largely loosely enforced) laws about how long they can drive in a 24-hour period and how much they are required to rest. The logbook keeps track of that, and would not, I do not think, be used to cite someone for speeding.

Actually they can and will ticket for speeding by looking at your logbook as it has happened to me. It is i believe a way for them to nail you for fudging your log when they dont have proof that you actually did.
I would be curious to know the circumstances of your ticket, because it would seem to me that such a ticket would be easily thrown out of court since the officer did not witness you exceeding the speed limit.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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truck1
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by truck1:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
quote:
Originally posted by Daniceguy:
I have heard that police do a similar thing with truckers, who must keep a log book listing their departure points and times. So a cop reviewing a trucker's log would just have to "do the math" to charge him (or her) with speeding.


I don't think that is why they look at a trucker's logbook. Truckers have some pretty stringently-written (though largely loosely enforced) laws about how long they can drive in a 24-hour period and how much they are required to rest. The logbook keeps track of that, and would not, I do not think, be used to cite someone for speeding.

Actually they can and will ticket for speeding by looking at your logbook as it has happened to me. It is i believe a way for them to nail you for fudging your log when they dont have proof that you actually did.
I would be curious to know the circumstances of your ticket, because it would seem to me that such a ticket would be easily thrown out of court since the officer did not witness you exceeding the speed limit.
It was at the scale house in Spokane Washington. The fine was only about $20 so it wasnt worth fighting. He calculated my log and said i would have had to travel 4mph over the speed limit to get there in that amount of time. Being Canadian i does'nt show against my licence so I didnt bother fighting it. edit for spelling

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Rush doesn’t understand that MJ Fox’s meds aren’t supposed to make him into a fat blowhard with partial mental incapacity. In other words, Fox’s meds are different from Rush’s. Hogweed on Thing Progress

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
I would be curious to know the circumstances of your ticket, because it would seem to me that such a ticket would be easily thrown out of court since the officer did not witness you exceeding the speed limit.

An officer does not have to witness an infraction to write a ticket or win the court case. Officers routinely issue traffic tickets after accidents which the officer did not witness. The court requires proof of the infraction not that the officer saw the infraction.
Posts: 629 | From: Greenwood, IN | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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