I got a ticket on the 1st of December, a trumped up charge for “reckless driving” through the Virginia countryside. My wife and I both looked at the speedometer when the trooper started flashing his lights behind us, and we were doing 72-73 tops. We’ve got a MINI, and it’s really hard to miss the speeds. That speedo is stuck right in the middle of the dashboard and it’s big. The trooper said he clocked us at over 80, then came back with a nicely rounded figure on the ticket: 85 in a 65 mph zone. Isn’t it so nice of them to round up our speeds? I know that gives me a really warm and fuzzy feeling about cops… Anyway, I tried telling him about our real speed, but his desire to give a big, fat ticket was much stronger than his sense of justice.
Later in the evening, as I mulled over it, I got this idea. Why shouldn’t speedometers in our cars store the speeds we’ve been driving at for the past 10-15 minutes? The computer could sample our speed every 5 or 10 seconds, then graph it nicely and be able to spit back some figures at us: maximum speed, average speed, instant speed at certain time intervals, etc. We should be able to review that data, and confront these ticket-happy cops on the spot with real data from our cars. Of course, this sort of a system should be tamper-proof in one way or another, so it can’t be tweaked by hackers.
I really think this would solve a lot of the problems with false speeding tickets. One could go to court with a printout from our cars listing the speeds we drove at the time of the ticket, and we could also obtain a certification from our dealer or mechanic stating that our speedometer is accurate and hasn’t been tampered with, and then we’d have some real ammunition against all these cops out to make quotas.