GPS data shows ticketed teenager wasn't speeding

RMTRoverGPS.jpg

An 18 year old kid is contesting a speeding ticket in court with the aid of his GPS unit.

The unit in question was an RMT Rover, one of those vehicle tracking dealies (as opposed to the turn-by-turn dashboard models), which looks like it may have been surreptitiously installed in Shaun Malone's car by his parents to keep an eye on him. When he got pulled over by radar-gun touting police officers for supposedly going 62 MPH, 17 MPH over the speed limit, Malone and his parents fought back, citing data from the RMT Rover system that he had been exactly following the 45 MPH speed limit all the way way home. That's not terribly exciting, but the court room drama was: an expert witness called by the police changed his testimony on the stand, claiming that the RMT Rover was "accurate to within a couple of meters and within 1mph." Case dismissed. The case continues, with further expert testimony to come.

I love it. This is the way it shouldwork: police claim you're speeding, and you have verifiable, third-party proof at your finger tips that they are wrong (or you are). Cops have incentives to bust you unjustly: they have ticketing quotas to meet. Likewise, you have reasons to lie: a couple hundred bucks out of pocket. But a GPS unit has no incentive to twist data one way or another.

Update: Received from a Mark Haas:

It appears that Rocky Mountain Trackers posted an uninformed press release claiming victory in the Shaun Malone case in Sonoma County, but independent press reports (I cited one in my comment to the post) clearly note that the next phase of the trial has really just begun and the judge is currently awaiting evidence from another GPS expert in October And so the case can’t have been decided yet. ! RMT has also removed the press release from their web site.

Update (8/1/08): "GPS Tracking," apparently from the company itself, adds the following:

Rocky Mountain Tracking appreciates your interest in this story. However, you have posted a statement at the bottom of the article that is false.

1) Rocky Mountain Tracking has not changed its press release in any way.

2) Rocky Mountain Tracking has not claimed victory in the case.

3) Rocky Mountain Tracking has not posted an uninformed press release.

4) Rocky Mountain Tracking has not removed the press release. The press release remains here where it has always been since the release date:
http://www.rmtracking.com/press.html

5) Rocky Mountain Tracking would like you to correct the false information in the following statement:

"It appears that Rocky Mountain Trackers posted an uninformed press release claiming victory in the Shaun Malone case in Sonoma County, but independent press reports (I cited one in my comment to the post) clearly note that the next phase of the trial has really just begun and the judge is currently awaiting evidence from another GPS expert in October And so the case can’t have been decided yet. ! RMT has also removed the press release from their web site."

Speeding Radar Gun vs. GPS [Hot Hardware]

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