Casual Friday presents: Driving through Ohio? Good luck!

[A very brief version this time around.]

The gun just makes him look cool.

As if a road trip through Ohio didn’t have Michigan drivers paranoid enough, there’s this from Tom Greenwood of The Detroit News:

In a 5-1 ruling, the court said “a police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient” as long as the officer is sufficiently trained and experienced in estimating speeds.

The ruling came about after an officer on radar duty stopped a motorist near Akron about two years ago for ripping along at 81 in a 60 mph zone.

The judge dismissed the citation when the officer couldn’t produce his radar certification, but did allow the experienced officer to estimate the driver’s speed at 79 mph.

The driver lost and then appealed to the Supreme Court where he lost again.

OK, first thing: Who on earth would appeal a speeding ticket to the Supreme Court?

And two: If you plan on attending this year’s Michigan-Ohio State game in Columbus, you may want to just rent a car in Toledo. No matter what it costs, it will be less than fighting an “estimated” speed assessment. It’s bad enough that I think the Ohio Highway Patrol gets their radar guns from the same place as Comerica Park (definitely a ‘hot gun.’) But now they don’t even need the evidence.

No bargains in Livingston County

From comes the tale of an Oakland County lawyer’s encounter with 53rd District Court in Howell, the county seat of Livingston County.

According to Arthur R. Kainz, it can’t be said that the prosecutor and the sheriff drive a hard bargain on speeding tickets.

They don’t bargain at all. Says Kainz:

After my experience in 53rd District Court, I’ll not set foot in Livingston County anytime soon.

You see, I went to the 53rd to represent one of our employees with a speeding ticket, on a pro bono basis; the employees pay me nothing (nor does our company), but make a donation in an amount of their choice to Feeding America, which feeds hungry fellow Americans.

My client is a wonderful 25-year-old wife and mother who lives in Livingston County. She has never had a ticket in her years of driving. She was willing to pay the traffic fine and plead guilty, albeit to a charge that would avoid “points,” those nasty things that make your car insurance premiums increase. This is a commonplace legal disposition in all the area counties, except in Livingston County.

Apparently, payment of a fine and plea of guilty are not enough punishment for the authorities in Livingston. No alternate plea would be accepted by your prosecutor’s office or Sheriff’s Department.

So, instead of this young woman making a donation to feed people, she will be spending that money and more, to enrich her insurance company.

Full post here.