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Man uses GPS on Droid to refute speeding ticket

He explains to the judge at traffic court that his Google MyTracks software indicated that his speed was actually below the limit. The judge lets him off the ticket.

2 min read

Sometimes, all of Google's wonderfully intrusive inventions can come in useful.

I am moved, you see, more than usual by a story in SkatterTech of a man who got a speeding ticket.

The police accused Sahas Katta of going more than 40 mph in a 25 mph limit, according to the story, which was authored by Katta himself. Katta was a little taken aback. He said he felt sure he wasn't going quite that fast. Fortunately, his Motorola Droid cell phone enjoyed Google MyTracks, according to his account.

This charming software records your GPS tracks and even lets you watch live stats--which might not be such a good idea when you're driving.

Still, even though Katta had been meek with the traffic policeman in question, when he looked at his MyTracks afterward, he said he discovered something that was more akin to his own inner senses. The maximum speed recorded had only been 26 mph, according to the story.

Getting a ticket is never an easy experience. CC WoodleyWonderworks/Flickr

He decided to fight his case in traffic court in Yolo County, Calif., and was nervous giving evidence, he said. Who wouldn't be? Traffic officers are always firm with their facts. But he presented his GPS data. He also, rather cleverly, took the advice of a lawyer and asked the traffic cop whether he had experienced radar gun training recently and when the gun was last calibrated.

Katta said the judge didn't seem too au fait with GPS technology, but he didn't seem too impressed with the traffic cop's evidence either.

So, in a victory for common technology, he decided the ticket should not be paid.

Katta told SkatterTech: "The officer in question was doing his job and did not do anything wrong."

However, this is not the only case of its kind that seems to be entering the courts. A man in Ohio also attempted to show that his GPS records proved he had not exceeded the 65 mph speed limit, when he was accused of driving at 84 mph.

In this case, however, an Ohio appeals court ruled that it didn't have enough evidence about how Verizon Wireless' GPS alerts worked in order to throw out the ticket.

Could it be that California is more welcoming to technology than is Ohio?