Received a call from
Tom, retired Professor, who moved back to Minot, ND recently. He was going to a funeral north of Minot and was
stopped near Antler, ND for 85 in a 65 zone. The Sheriff's Deputy dropped the speed down to 80
MPH on the citation, but Tom said he knew he was only doing 65 MPH,
regardless of whatever speed the radar said. He had a cousin in the car with him going to the
funeral, no hurry, when they were pulled over an hour ahead of time. He said the road conditions that
day were blustery and had a lot of black ice on the road and he was paying
attention to his speed.. It's the
principal of the ticket! He was not speeding and was aware of conditions
and did not want to slide into the ditch.
Tom said he checked at the library to see where our books were and went to
Minot State College and bought a copy. He said there were power lines
crossing the road in the area where he was stopped. I'm meeting with him at
today to look at the citation, etc. and get some more information from him.
Conversation between Minot, ND and Omaha, NE using MS Messenger.
Dr-Radar: Tom was cited 4 miles
north of Renville Corner, 40 miles north of Minot. "The Radar
Said" 85 in 65 zone, officer reduced it to 80 in 65 zone,
$40 and 4 points vs. $55 and 7 points. Tom said he was only going 65-67 mph, no way that fast.
They were approaching power lines. The officer was on one side of the
lines, his car on the another.
DrRadar2: Twenty over!
Dr-Radar: I'll video tape the area before coming down
Drradar2: Yes, good. Would be nice to get a re-enactment!
Dr-Radar: The officer never asked how fast he was going.
Drradar2: The radar might have been angled to the side, also. But
20 MPH over!
Maybe there were harmonics there.
Dr-Radar: The officer just gave him the ticket, I suspect
it was with an older radar.
Drradar2: Yes, need to subpoena info. Send
him the questionnaire to fill out,
Dr-Radar: Also it could be angle of antennae
wires, hard to tell. There might be radio transmitters in the area, also.
Drradar2: Yes, or reflection of someone behind the officer.
Dr-Radar: He is going to request a hearing.
He wants an expert witness in court with him.
Dr-Radar: So I need to have a video and expert
witness questions. He's going to take pictures also.
Drradar2: But you need to check the area to find out if there are
Dr-Radar: He said it's the principle of the ticket. He wasn't going
that fast. His cousin flew up here and was riding with him going to a funeral.
They were in no hurry, periodic black ice on road, blowing snow, no cruise control on,
paying attention, didn't want to end up in ditch, etc.
Drradar2: Was there ice on the wires causing them to reflect more?
Dr-Radar: Reflection from ice? I don't know. Could be.
Drradar2: Oh, oh! There is a military
installation in the area. Perhaps a
Dr-Radar: Will have to look at the area.
There are many things, that's why he's reading the book. He was on the police
commission in Ann Arbor, Michigan, worked with police chief, etc. Well respected from the University.
Drradar2: Yes. What about the protocol,
questions by the officer?
When I received the ticket in the "Red Car Story" in the book, the officer
didn't even ask me anything. He just wrote the ticket.
Dr-Radar: I don't know much about the officer, only
badge #, etc.
It was moving radar.
Drradar2: Yes. I assumed as much, but still 20
Dr-Radar: That's a lot! NO WAY! Had to be
Drradar2: Got it down to the quarter mile eh? Where was it again?
Dr-Radar: Mile point 4 on highway 256, approx. 4 miles north of Renville
Drradar2: How fast was the officer going?
Dr-Radar: I have no idea about the officer's speed.
Drradar2: I think it reflected back and he got himself. That, or an
aircraft. But few aircraft in the area.
Dr-Radar: If the officer can't testify to his patrol
speed it could have registered low like 40 mph (20 MPH low) from I assume his 60 mph speed, adding
the 20mph to the 65, equaling 85.
Drradar2: Yes, but how to prove it!
Dr-Radar: Low false ground speed is always in
favor of the officer for moving radar, but it's a good question to ask in court.
Dr-Radar: Ok. See you tomorrow.
this area from Mile Point 3 north to MP5. When I turned around at MP5,
heading back south to simulate officer's patrol vehicle, I saw a Military
east of the roadway. This would be about 1/2 mile away. There were two
high-power antennas, plus a Radar Dome at this site. Most transmitters are
300 watts or greater and when transmitting, they create false harmonics for radar. I video
taped the entire area including the Transmitters, made pictures, and got the
Harmonics Chart ready for trial. I'm positive that there was a
transmission from the site, because on the day I was video taping there were three
military vehicles leaving the area during the same time frame, probably a crew
Judge explained that before the trial the Defendant could plead Guilty
to 80 MPH, be fined $40, 4 points on his Driver's License. If we go to trial and he's found
guilty, Judge Ketterling said he'd be charged for the original 85MPH (even though 80
MPH was listed as the official charge on the Citation) and would be fined $55
and 7 Points.
All the questions were asked during the trial, and when I
was called as an expert witness, to explain the harmonics, and show the diagrams
of the locations of the incident, the Judge started excessive questioning, the
States Attorney, remaining quiet. During the recess, Tom felt it was not going well because the Judge obviously was asking his own
questions, not allowing the charts, and stating that we needed to have the
"precise time" of the military transmissions (by their records, which are
impossible to get).
During the recess the Deputy also admitted that he
worked at Surrey, ND and was aware of the false 76MPH caused by the Microwave
relay 1 mile west of Surrey. He also stated that by Bergen, ND there were problems
with the KR10-sp radar unit picking up false signals and harmonics.
we had no chance, so decided to plead guilty to the lesser (erroneous) charge
and receive only $40 fine and 4 points against his license, versus being found
guilty by the Judge and fined $55 and 7 Points against his license. The Judge
(off the record) stated that he felt he'd still be found Guilty even if an
appeal to a higher court with jury was made.
Hire an informed, trained, defense attorney to protect you from the Judge and
properly submit the exhibits. (By the way, the Judge allowed us to retain all
the official exhibits that were introduced). More on this in later books. If you
represent yourself, know what Objections are valid and useable. Protect
UPDATE: Tom had a
inflated ticket of 39/25 zone in April 2002. We went to Municipal Court
and this case was dismissed. Both the Prosecutor and the Officer learned
something more about false secondary harmonics causing false readings. We were
prepared and ready to go all the way to District Court if need be.
Update, June 2003: Another
totally separate case (false 80/65 zone) but the same traveling District Judge (Ketterling),
different city. Defendant read our book, understood how moving radar
worked, explained his case verbally, explained multiple vehicles, plus Cell
Phone tower located at NW corner of intersection where the radar antenna would
have been pointed towards. After recess, Case was
BUT: we learned that the District
Judge is blind, physically blind, since 9 years of age. What a tribute to
his tenacity to become an attorney and yet be elected to the Judicial Bench of
ND. What perseverance!
BUT: had we known in the first
case above (false 85/65 zone), we would have presented an audio description of
events rather than visual presentations of evidence for the Court. When we
found out, both Tom and I now understood what went wrong in the first case.
We were "blinded" or "blind-sided" by the fact that we assumed the Judge to be sighted. True
story! We didn't know until some time later after the trial!