I received a speeding ticket in a rental car in North Carolina on a highway that had two lanes of traffic in one direction and two lanes of traffic in the the. As I was rounding a corner a highway patrol officer travelling in the opposite direction apparently clocked my speed, turned around and pulled me over. I was wondering how the office would know that I was the one speeding when I was simply keeping pace with traffic. Do modern radar guns capture an image of the car that the speed was detected on or something similar that allows the officer to identity my car was the one clocked? I'm not convinced I am guilty or even the right automobile that should have been stopped.

So my question is, is there a legal requirement that these Radar guns (my ticket indicates RADAR was used) to capture the image of the car detected going at that speed, or is this something that can be determined by the officer in medium-heavy traffic (other cars were around me and passing me). Is a possible defense that the office was unable to accurately identity my car as the speeding vehicle?

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    I'm not sure what this has to do with the law or legal procedure? Are you asking if by law the guns need that feature? Or if they are legally required to somehow identify exactly what car was targeted? – Ron Beyer Aug 29 '20 at 1:21
  • I'm updating the question now. This is exactly my question. Thanks. – StatsStudent Aug 29 '20 at 1:33
  • The entire story about you getting ticketed is unnecessary, and the title has no relevance to the actual question. – Nij Aug 29 '20 at 1:49
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    I wonder about the accuracy of the measure if the measuring device was itself on a moving vehicle. Unless it compensated with the speed of the local car, it would measure the speed relative to both cars (i.e. the sum of your car and their car, since they moved in opposite directions). And interestingly, Wikipedia article states "A limitation of lidar is that it cannot be used while a police car is in motion, because it requires the operator to actively target each vehicle" – Ángel Aug 29 '20 at 2:14
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    How do you know LIDAR was used? All the cop has to do is testify believably that everyone in the group was exceeding the speed limit, the cop's opinion being based on the cop's prior experience in speed enforcement. That everyone else in the group was speeding too is irrelevant. – DavidSupportsMonica Aug 29 '20 at 2:55

Regardless of the technology being used and not restricting this to just one state, it does not appear that there are statutory requirements that the gadgetry take a picture when it's used by a trained officer (automatic cameras on the other hand are a completely different matter). Because speeding is not a criminal offense, the prosecution only has to make a "more likely than not" showing that you were speeding. There have been innumerable technical challenges on the basic technology and therefore it is necessary for the officer to be trained in the use of the technology, and there are calibration standards to be met. I have not found any challenges based on "bad aim", i.e. the premise that the ticket was awarded to the wrong person, but there are billions of speeding tickets issued every year and most of them do not end up in appeals courts. But the applicable legal standard is still the probability standard, which pits officer training and experience against driver conjecture that there might have been a mistake. A "defense" is a more systematic way of getting out of the ticket, where the legislature or the courts have stated a rule e.g. "If you don't calibrate, you cannot ticket". There does not seem to be any systematic defense of that nature in NC, and I found no reports of successful ticket-beating coming from aiming at the wrong car. Calibration and training are the main paths to successful ticket challenging.

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