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GPS Tracking System Used to Fight Speeding Ticket

September 24, 2009

A California speeding ticket case to be decided in coming weeks is based on a battle between radar and GPS, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

A Petaluma, Calif., police officer clocked a 17-year-old boy at over 62 miles per hour in a 45 miles-per-hour zone. The boy, Shaun Malone, was found guilty and fined $194, but his parents contested the ticket, claiming that data from the satellite tracking device they had installed in their son's car showed him traveling 45 miles per hour.

In court, the attorney for the police argued that the satellite tracking device could have been derailed by human error or interference from road signs and passing trucks.

Petaluma police have spent a reported $15,000 on the trial, with one Petaluma sergeant saying he didn't want the radar technology to be discredited. "We think it helps save teenagers' lives," he said.

According to Rocky Mountain Tracking, which sells the GPS device software, the system registers when the car begins to accelerate and registers the car's speed, direction, and location every 30 seconds after. The boy's parents ensured that they would receive an e-mail if his car ever hit 70 miles per hour.

The boy's stepfather appeared in court to defend the GPS tracking device, but police attorney's questioned Rude's motivation because of his appearance promoting the GPS tracking device on the company Web site.


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