Do officers have to prove you were speeding? Knoxville police explain policy

Cop radar

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – When Nic Nicaud was pulled over by a Knoxville Police Department officer, he did not believe he had been speeding.

“When I asked to see the radar, the police officer said no,” said Nicaud. “He said he doesn’t allow people in his car. I asked if I could just view the radar from the exterior of the car, and he said no.”

With no proof of his speeding, Nicaud reluctantly accepted his citation, but didn’t accept the officer’s excuse.

“Through social media I tweeted out the Knoxville Police Department and asked them, Is there any documentation or is there any kind of written explanation as to why I was not able to see the radar?” said Nicaud.

Knoxville police tweeted back saying it was a safety concern.

“It’s not safe for me to take a person out of their car where they have a little more safety and bring them back on the shoulder of an interstate and put them in my car just to
simply see a speed,” said Lt. Brian Evans.

Lt. Evans says it goes beyond a safety issue. When monitoring roadways, officers let the radar keep running after they’ve clocked a driver’s speed.

“With a group of cars, maybe I observe and confirm his speed, the violator’s speed 71 miles an hour and start to pull out and another vehicle passes that vehicle at 76 mile an hour. So if that speed were locked, we can’t get the fastest vehicle at that time.”

Without locking the number, there is no record of the driver’s speed.

“You do not have the legal right to look at the radar results; that is a national protocol that’s utilized here in Knox County,” said WATE 6 On Your Side legal analyst Greg Isaacs.

You do have the right to challenge the citation in court.

“Judges will check to make sure the officer’s been properly trained and that the equipment is in proper working order as well,” said Lt. Evans.

Despite a lack of proof, Isaacs says drivers do have a chance to have the ticket thrown out.

“Computers are not infallible, so you have the right to go to court and testify as to what you say your speed was, etc., and again, you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Isaacs says the best way to handle a traffic stop is to always be courteous and compliant.

 

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