Can GPS Data Be Used As Evidence In Court?


You know the classic scene-a driver gets dropped over for speeding. They sigh, slow down, and pull over. A police officer exits a squad car, taps on the driver's side window, and asked that famous question, "Do you have any idea how fast you were going back there?" Answers may vary from "I do not know, officer" to giving an excuse for why the speed is so necessary to making up a number.

But what if you did not have to make up a number? What if you could give an accurate answer? That may help some drivers and hurt others, depending on their actual speed.

One father is trying to prove that his son was not speeding by using evidence collected from the GPS tracking device he placed in his son's car. The main purpose of the device was for the parents to stay informed about their son's places and to monitor his speed, but now it may be put to another use.

As new technology enters our lives, we have to find ways to deal with how we apply it and how we govern ourselves in relation to new machines and gadgets. Cases like this set new precedents for how speeding tickets are contested.

There are any number of reasons that could account for why the GPS recorded a legal speed, while the officer's radar gun recorded something above the speed limit. In one possible scenario, the calibration for the radar gun that the officer used was not exact.

The case has not been decided so it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

In the meantime, the father involved stressed that he and his wife did not put the GPS device in their son's car to avoid traffic tickets. Their goal was to encourage their teen to be a careful driver. He actually hopes that the attention that this case has received will get other parents thinking about using GPS technology to keep teen drivers safe and on the right side of the law.

Source by Nancy McCord