I received a speeding ticket while traveling north on I-90 in Massachusetts. The officer said I was doing 85mph in a 65mph zone. According to the ticket, the officer used LIDAR. Iím guessing now, but the last time I received a ticket of any sort was 25 years Ė Iím not the habitual offender. After reading events surrounding my ticket, I hope someone has a suggesting as to how to defend myself.
I was travelling in the left hand lane going the speed of traffic. Having never been to the Boston area (Marlborough), I was using a GPS for navigation (I live in New Jersey). As I went over an overpass (route 135, Wood Street), the GPS alerted me I was 1 mile away from my exit (11A). The 11A exit sign was at the bottom of the overpass. At this time, I was attempting to move into the far most right hand lane, which is when I first saw the officer. He was just pulling onto I-90 and we were both competing for the middle lane. When the officer pulled me over, I was 100 yards from the exit.
The officer notified me I was doing 85mph in a 65mph zone and asked for my license, registration, and insurance. When he went back to his car, I looked at the maximum speed my GPS recorded for the entire trip (over 5 hours of driving), which was 77.8mph. He then returned and handed me a ticket which stated my speed was recorded at a distance of 856.3ft by LIDAR. I never showed the officer the GPS and just said ďthank you.Ē When the officer and I pulled away, we were so close to the exit, we could not reach high speed before the exit itself, where the officer turned around just in front of the toll booth.
I know GPS units are inherently inaccurate, but only to a point. The day was clear and I was on an open highway; no overhead trees or tunnels were in the area. In doing some reading, my GPS (Garmin NUVI 350) samples my speed every second and is accurate to 0.5meters per second RMS. That being said, it would be impossible for me to accelerate from and possible 77mph to 85mph and then decelerate back to 77mph without my GPS recording a higher speed.
I normally travel at 74 to 75mph and almost always use cruise. I can easily understand how 77mph would be recorded as my maximum speed. Almost always, I come across someone who is driving the same speed as I am, and I would tap the accelerator to speed up and get past the person (e.g. increase speed 2 to 3 mph for a brief period of time, then remove my foot from the accelerator so the car returns to its set speed.
Aside from the large speed disparity between the maximum speed recorded by my GPS as compared to the LIDARís reading, I was easily within a mile of the exit. I could not have been targeted any farther than a mile as there is an overpass. I saw the officer pulling onto the road after the overpass, but before the exit. Being within a mile, or more likely a 1/2 mile from my exit, it is hard for me to accept I was doing 85mph on a highway in which I have never travelled, while trying to get off. As I said before, we were both jockeying for the middle lane just before I was pulled over.
If I was written up for 75mph in a 65mph zone, I would have never thought twice. In fact, I believe that is the speed I was traveling at, exactly 10mph under what the ticket was written for. Because I was going with the speed of traffic does not exonerate me from exceeding the posted speed limit; however, Iím out of state 1/2 mile from my exit, traveling at a speed that is contradictory to the maximum speed recorded by my GPS. Something sounds fishy. Anyone have any suggestions? Massachusetts refuses to accept an affidavit stating that I was travelling at 75mph Ė yes, Iím admitting I was breaking law. Yet, what I was ticketed for is just flat out wrong.