Pittsburgh police illegally issued hundreds of speeding tickets
By Jeremy Boren
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
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Pittsburgh police said today they have issued hundreds of illegal speeding tickets since October.
Police used the LIDAR -- Light Detection and Ranging -- speed detection system to issue roughly 550 speeding tickets even though state law prohibits police from using the technology to catch speeders, said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
"There were quite a few tickets that were given out with LIDAR where it wasn't used in conjunction with other (permitted) timing devices," Richard said.
She said police used only LIDAR for about 5 percent of 11,000 tickets issued.
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Pittsburgh police are permitted to use VASCAR -- Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder -- to determine drivers' speed. That system uses two white lines painted on the road surface and a stopwatch.
Richard said police Chief Nate Harper will notify area district judges that speeding tickets marked with LIDAR as the sole speed detection system used are invalid.
People who already paid their fines will be reimbursed once they notify the chief's office. Harper's office will work with insurance companies to eliminate points given to drivers who received speeding tickets, Richard said.
Jeremy Boren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-765-2312.
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