To catch speeding motor vehicles, police officers can pace the vehicle as a way of measuring the speed to enforce the speed limit laws.
Pacing Speed Enforcement
The police can follow a vehicle to measure the speed
How Pacing Works
- The officer follows the speeding vehicle using the police car to measure the speed of the offender.
- The police officer follows behind the other car and matches the speed of the police vehicle with the speeding vehicle.
- Once the speed is matched the police officer uses the speedometer of the police vehicle to determine the speed of the offending vehicle.
- Once the police officer has ascertained the speed of the vehicle the officer matches the speed over a measured distance. The officer would then stop the driver and issue them a speeding ticket.
Pacing in Court
In traffic court if the speed clocked is greatly excessive of the maximum allowed the court would probably convict the driver of speeding even in the absence of tests as to the accuracy of the speed measuring, but it might not if only small differences were involved.
This means that if the police officer gives evidence that over a measured distance his speedometer recorded steadily the speed alleged, this is prima facie (evidence that if undisputed would allow the court to enter a conviction) evidence which is sufficient to establish the fact of speeding unless rebutted, that the defendant was driving at that speed.
In the absence of some evidence, elicited either on cross-examination or by defense witnesses, that would suggest that the police speedometer was inaccurate, this is enough to convict.
The police officer many be required to prove to the court that the speedometer of the police vehicle was accurate for pacing, and that the police officer may have rounded the speed off to the lowest amount.