Any way to prove the speed of a Subaru in traffic court?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by lolajoker, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. lolajoker

    lolajoker Guest

    I recently got a speeding ticket in my 2000 Subaru Outback 2.5 Auto.
    I got the ticket on a very steep incline and was supposedly clocked at
    77 mph in a 65 zone. I did not think I was going that fast and have
    since tried to duplicate the 77 mph the officer said I was going on
    the same road. The fastest I can get my Outback to go on this steep
    grade is 67 mph. Is there anyway to prove in court that my car can't
    go the speed I was ticketed at?
     
    lolajoker, Dec 3, 2007
    #1
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  2. lolajoker

    VanguardLH Guest


    Where you testing when going uphill but got ticketed when going
    downhill?

    Do you have tires of larger diameter than the stock tires (for which
    the speedometer is gauged)?

    Tried putting in high octane fuel instead of the normal grade?

    Wind against or with you during the test?

    Did you turn *off* the A/C during your test?

    Was the cop's radar in a moving car at the time he took the
    measurement?
    Was there heavy winds at the time?
    What were the weather conditions at the time?
    Any other cars around you, especially driving in the opposite
    direction (and big vehicles, like a semi)?

    If you decide to show up in court, be sure to notify the court or the
    officer that you want to see the calibration record for the serial
    number of the unit that he clocked you with (so you can tell when it
    last got calibrated). Hell, just showing up in court often means you
    win simply because the cop won't show up.
     
    VanguardLH, Dec 3, 2007
    #2
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  3. lolajoker

    coaster Guest

    you would not think of driving without a rear view mirror, yet some people
    still drive without a fuzz buster :)
     
    coaster, Dec 3, 2007
    #3
  4. lolajoker

    lolajoker Guest

    No I got ticketed going up hill.


    No, standard tires.
    No. just ran the normal regular 85 octane I always run.
    No. It was a clear mild day when I was ticketed and when I've tested.

    No air conditioner used at either time.
    Cop was stationary using LIDAR.
    clear and mild.

    Very light traffic both ways. Only 2 cars going in my direction and
    very few going opposite.

    What I am trying to find out is if there is a way a Subaru tech or
    other Subaru expert could somehow calculate what the top speed a 2000
    Outback could go with a non modified 2.5 engine could go on a mile
    long steep grade of a certain percentage? I just can't think of a way
    to prove my car couldn't have been going that fast barring having the
    cop or judge drive my car and try to dupicate my speed (which I know
    will never happen). I know there are many ways I can try and defend my
    self in court but I know that if the officer shows up, it is very hard
    to beat a speeding ticket especially when LIDAR is used.
     
    lolajoker, Dec 3, 2007
    #4
  5. lolajoker

    Dano58 Guest

    If it were me (and I have done this) I would simply show up at court
    and offer to plead guilty to a non-moving violation (you' d have to
    look up your state's statutes and find one). That wil probably work,
    save you the points but you'd still have to pay the fine.

    Dan D
    '99 Impreza 2.5 RS (son's)
    Central NJ USA
     
    Dano58, Dec 3, 2007
    #5
  6. Which is illegal EVERYWHERE I drive.
     
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Dec 3, 2007
    #6
  7. Too bad you didn't have the circumstances I had about 28 years ago.

    I was rallying a 1973 Renault R12 (1300cc) up around Peterborough
    Ontario.
    NAVEX rally- unprepared car - perscribed average speed 43MPH IIRC,
    through loose sand on forest roads. (The Renault was the lowest
    powered car in the series but managed a 4-3-2 finish for the 3 years
    we campaigned it)
    I came sliding into the checkpoint, timed to the second, with no
    penalties after something like 40 miles since the last checkpoint.
    About a minute later, just before I was ready to pull out for the next
    stage, a Police cruiser pulled up behind me and the officer jumped out
    madder than a wet hen. He claimed he was going to charge me for 85MPH
    in a 50 zone.
    I looked at him and just about cracked up. He asked what was so funny.
    I said the car wouldn't do 85 wide open downhill with a tail wind, and
    I could prove to him EXACTLY what my average speed had been for the
    last 40 (or whatever) miles. I told him I had averaged 43 MPH, and
    would admit to possibly having hit 50-55 MPH once or twice for a very
    short stretch, but more importantly to cornering at close to 40MPH. If
    he was doing 85 trying to CATCH up to me, and cornering with his LTD
    at about 2MPH, I could see that, but no way was he doing that to KEEP
    up with me. I referred him to the check-point marshall and told him
    We'd see him in court if he wanted to lay the charge.

    At the end of the rally the checkpoint crews were having a good laugh.
    The poor copper had NO IDEA where he was - whether he was even still
    in Ontario or not. They had to give him detailed directions (they gave
    him the rally instructions) to get him back to the highway, where he
    was WELL out of his local jurisdiction.
     
    clare at snyder.on.ca, Dec 3, 2007
    #7
  8. lolajoker

    duncanmcrae Guest

    High-school maths...

    gravitational potential energy = mass.g.height

    So on a theta-degree grade at velocity v...

    power (P) = m.g.v.sin(theta)

    for 1250kg car, 77mph (34.4m/s), 5 degree grade (~1:11), g ~ 10m/s^2,
    you'll need

    P = 1250 x 10 x 34.4 x sin(5)
    ~ 37kW


    Not sure what revs you do at 77mph, maybe 3500rpm?

    What power does the 2.5 generate at those revs.. approx 70kW? Take
    about 20% off that for drivetrain losses, so say 56kW atw.

    Subtract the amount of power required to push the car through the air,
    no idea what that is. From this site, http://phors.locost7.info/phors06.htm,
    we can guess at about 15kW.

    So our theoretical car (with 41kW excess at the wheels at 77mph),
    could probably do up a 5.5degree grade (1:10.5) at 77mph. (asin(41e3/
    (1250 x 10 x 34.4) ~ 5.5deg)

    Adjust for more sane numbers as you acquire them.
     
    duncanmcrae, Dec 4, 2007
    #8
  9. lolajoker

    Bugalugs Guest

    Similar thing happened to me. Had just left a town and had about 20/30
    miles of steep winding hill (Rimutakas) before next town. Average speed
    was doable. Dipped my lights for an oncomming car which was this copper.
    He swung around & pulled me over claiming that my headlights were
    moving/shaky/illegal. Had to show him that 6v headlights on a 55 VW
    couldn't move (or do anything) and then get a lecture on road safety.
    All the time my navigator is calling out the minutes we were falling
    behind. And following competitors were tooting and waving as they went
    past.

    This was about hour 3 of a 30 trial/rally.

    When he finally let me go it was the fastest I have ever been over that
    hill. :>) Motor was stock but heaps of negative camber on the rear
    wheels and running Michelin Xs all round. (this was a while ago and
    radials were very very rare)
     
    Bugalugs, Dec 4, 2007
    #9
  10. lolajoker

    lolajoker Guest

    <<<High-school maths...
    gravitational potential energy = mass.g.height
    So on a theta-degree grade at velocity v...
    power (P) = m.g.v.sin(theta)
    for 1250kg car, 77mph (34.4m/s), 5 degree grade (~1:11), g ~ 10m/s^2,
    you'll need
    P = 1250 x 10 x 34.4 x sin(5)
          ~ 37kW
    Not sure what revs you do at 77mph, maybe 3500rpm?
    What power does the 2.5 generate at those revs.. approx 70kW? Take about
    20% off that for drivetrain losses, so say 56kW atw.
    Subtract the amount of power required to push the car through the air,
    no idea what that is. From this site,
    http://phors.locost7.info/phors06.htm, we can guess at about 15kW.
    So our theoretical car (with 41kW excess at the wheels at 77mph), could
    probably do up a 5.5degree grade (1:10.5) at 77mph. (asin(41e3/ (1250 x
    10 x 34.4) ~ 5.5deg)
    Adjust for more sane numbers as you acquire them.>>>

    Also have to take into account that I am in Colorado. This occured
    between Denver and Boulder so factor in an altitude on between 5000 and
    6000 ft.
     
    lolajoker, Dec 4, 2007
    #10
  11. lolajoker

    Lyle Chase Guest

    Buy, bum, borrow, beg or steal a GPS unit.
    Lyle.
     
    Lyle Chase, Dec 4, 2007
    #11
  12. lolajoker

    VanguardLH Guest


    Did you ask the officer to see the reading on the device used to
    measure your speed and upon which that officer made the decision that
    you were speeding? If so, did he refuse to show you the reading? Was
    the device already reset? Was the device in his car or was he a 2nd
    unit that merely got radioed the speed? Let the cop understand that
    you will demand the evidence in court, but only mention that and never
    afterward indicate whether or not you will show up in court. You'd be
    surprised at how many times the officer never gets informed or elects
    not to show up.

    If you believe that you cannot attain the speed that the officer
    claims (and you are willing to risk another ticket), take a friend
    along who is willing to show up in court and testify as to what
    maximum speed you able to attain on that section of road. However,
    did you ever ask the cop as to just exactly WHERE he made his
    measurement? Maybe you weren't even on the hill when he snapped the
    trigger. The ticket should stipulate the location. Is it on the
    hill? Is it at a reasonable distance up the hill so that any higher
    speed before the hill would have been trimmed off by that point noted
    on the ticket? Does the ticket actually have a specific location (as
    a distance marker or intersection) or does it just list the road you
    were on?
     
    VanguardLH, Dec 4, 2007
    #12
  13. lolajoker

    duncanmcrae Guest

    "left an as exercise for the reader"
     
    duncanmcrae, Dec 5, 2007
    #13
  14. I usually travel with a GPS unit that records my speed every 20 seconds
    or so. This would be good evidence to show the traffic court, except I
    am usually speeding by at least a few miles and hour. It would allow
    you to make sure your speedometer is accurate (mine is right on, but a
    Ford Fairmont I once had was over by about 10%).

    The "my car doesn't go that fast uphill" defense would have worked for
    my 1986 Subaru GL wagon and a 1966 VW bug I once had.

    If I were you, I would show up in court and, if the officer appeared
    with accurate data, ask for a reduced speed. Because anything under 10
    MPH is not reported to the insurance company, you might try "70 in a
    65." A charge of 77 in a 65 is going to prompt your insurance carrier
    to raise your rates.

    Hope this helps,

    Bill
     
    William Martin, Dec 5, 2007
    #14
  15. lolajoker

    D D Guest

    You could have someone video tape you driving up the hill. Show the
    road, show your foot to the floor, show your speedometer.
     
    D D, Dec 5, 2007
    #15
  16. lolajoker

    Zeppo Guest

    However, if the speed you do attain on tape is over the speed limit (even by
    a few miles an hour), be prepared to accept another ticket based on the
    video evidence you are going to submit.

    Jon
     
    Zeppo, Dec 5, 2007
    #16
  17. lolajoker

    Sheldon Guest

    We had a local high school kid here get a ticket for speeding. He claimed
    that he was accelerating from a red light, and the car wouldn't get to that
    speed in that short a stretch. A little physics got him off, using the
    distance the cop stopped him at from the light and the specs on the car.
    So, you can get off, but it takes some doing. You'd have to work out the
    formulas and the cars specs and do the math.

    Try the same experiment with a friend in the car, and bring them as a
    witness. Offer to let anyone in the court drive your car up the same hill.
    If anyone can reproduce the speed the cop clocked offer to pay double the
    fine and take double the points. Only an idiot, or someone who is
    absolutely right will do that. Problem is, they can say you rigged the car
    for the test.

    Were there any other cars around? It's easy to lock radar onto the wrong
    car, and radar will tend to pick up the larger vehicle or the faster
    vehicle.

    BTW, if the cop doesn't show you automatically win, and it happens all the
    time.
     
    Sheldon, Dec 6, 2007
    #17
  18. lolajoker

    lolajoker Guest

    <<<Offer to let anyone in the court drive your car up the same hill. If
    anyone can reproduce the speed the cop clocked offer to pay double the
    fine and take double the points. Only an idiot, or someone who is
    absolutely right will do that. Problem is, they can say you rigged the
    car for the test.>>>

    At the time of the stop I aked the officer to do that and he declined
    saying that he wasn't allowed to do that. Then he added, I know you wre
    speeding, LIDAR doesn't lie.

    One solution I've been thinking about is taking my car in for service at
    this Subaru mechanic near there and have him test the car up the hill.
    Then get a letter from him confirming the top speed of the car.
     
    lolajoker, Dec 6, 2007
    #18
  19. lolajoker

    Sheldon Guest

    Might help. Remember the statement the cop made (they write down everything
    you said), and do some research on that particular gun. None of them are
    perfect, and the manufacturers explain that in their literature. What you
    need to do is put some doubt into the officer's statement. Right now it's
    you against a number on a radar gun. Generally that's not a very strong
    case unless you said something to the cop to nail it down. "I don't know
    how fast I was going," is not a good thing to say. If you didn't know it
    gives a lot of credence to the officer's statement.

    Good luck.
     
    Sheldon, Dec 7, 2007
    #19
  20. Hi,

    Reminds me of a story told by a friend's wife. She was in college (~40
    yrs ago?) and had a "tired" Renault Dauphine (some of you guys will
    remember those!) Got a ticket for going too fast UPHILL.

    She went to court, handed her keys to the bailiff, and told the judge
    "Your Honor, I was ticketed going uphill. Here are the keys to my car.
    If you can get it to go as fast DOWNHILL as the officer claims I was
    going, I'll be glad to pay the fine. Otherwise, I'm not guilty."

    It was a small town, and the judge knew the hill well. He asked what
    kind of car she was driving. When she told him, he started laughing and
    dismissed the case right then and there!

    Rick
     
    Rick Courtright, Dec 8, 2007
    #20
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