Pacing is when a law enforcement officer measures the speed of another vehicle based on an officer trying to maintain that vehicle’s pace. That means the law enforcement officer will be traveling behind the vehicle and trying to maintain the same speed as the vehicle it is observing. Pacing works by the officer observing and measuring the speed on their speedometer.
A seasoned lawyer who is knowledgeable about pacing in Mecklenburg County speeding cases could assist you if you have received a ticket. Reach out to an accomplished speeding ticket lawyer today and set up a consultation.
Pacing in Mecklenburg County speeding cases is proven by the officer’s testimony as to the speed the defendant was traveling at. There is no official measurement, printout, or physical evidence of pacing, and it completely relies on the officer’s testimony of their own observations.
The best officers can do to ensure the consistency of their speed is to while pacing the vehicle they are observing, also be watching their speedometer. Due to the necessity of having to observe the vehicle in front of them, their speedometer, and trying to maintain the other vehicle’s speed without gaining on that vehicle, pacing is seen as inherently less reliable than other measures of speeding such as radar. This is due to the fact that pacing evidence relies on human observation and the officer having to observe multiple things at the same time.
Generally, courts will accept evidence that the officer was pacing the vehicle if they are able to maintain their pace for at least one mile. The longer distance they are pacing a vehicle, the more weight that testimony will be given.
An officer may pace a vehicle based on their assumption that a driver was traveling at a higher rate of speed than is allowed by the speed limit. That type of assumption is based on the officer’s training and experience and what amounts to a gut feeling on the officer based on past observations of vehicles. The officer then must assume that their speedometer is in working order and use their speedometer to measure the other vehicle’s speed while pacing that vehicle.
If the officer does not maintain a consistent speed or distance to the vehicle they are pacing, it is a severe issue in a speeding case. It is challenging for the officer to observe the vehicle they are is pacing, observe their own speedometer, and maintain a specific distance from the car they are observing to make sure that they are traveling at the same speed as that car.
The police are going to be using other landmarks on the road to try to determine how far back they are traveling from that car. Having to do all of this at once makes pacing somewhat unreliable evidence of speeding. If the officer is not able to maintain a consistent speed or distance then, often, that will be sufficient grounds for a dismissal of a speeding case if the pacing is the only evidence of speeding.
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