Texas troopers lying about motorcycle speeds?

Discussion in 'Texas Bikers' started by Tim Kreitz, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Tim Kreitz

    Tim Kreitz Guest

    I'll be mailing this letter first thing Monday morning. This seems to
    be a new trend with troopers in West Texas. I thought you all might
    find it interesting...

    To whom it may concern,

    This letter is to inform you of a situation I encountered with a Texas
    State trooper during the afternoon of January 31, 2004 at
    approximately 4:00 p.m. (CST) on County Road 60, just west of Midland.

    While riding my Kawasaki sportbike, I was contacted by a DPS patrol
    officer who introduced himself as Trooper Gumm. Gumm informed me that
    I had been stopped for a speeding violation and asked to see my
    necessary documentation, which I provided. I had indeed been speeding,
    and at first offered no argument or contention to Trooper Gumm, fully
    expecting to be cited. But when he informed me that I would be cited
    for traveling 91 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone, I quickly
    refuted his claim, certain that I hadn't accelerated to much past 80
    or so. He went on to say that his radar system was fully calibrated
    and correct, but did not offer to show me the readout. As a former
    member of Texas law enforcement myself, I realized that the officer
    was under no obligation to do so, therefore I didn't bother to request
    a viewing.

    However, as a motorcycle safety instructor, amateur racer, and
    otherwise experienced rider, I have a pretty good sense for speed, and
    knew instantly that Trooper Gumm's allegation was false.
    Unfortunately, I hadn't looked at my speedometer since having turned
    onto County Road 60, which I admitted openly to Gumm when he asked.
    However, before I left my house earlier that afternoon, I had placed a
    handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) in the tailpiece of my
    motorcycle, which had been operational throughout the entirety of the
    ride. I didn't mention the presence of the GPS to Trooper Gumm,
    knowing full-well that the speed record it displayed would be
    incriminating. But after arriving at home, I immediately checked the
    GPS's telemetry, which is accurate to within one third of one mile per
    hour (according to its manufacturer).

    The maximum speed the GPS had recorded was 82 miles per hour -- a far
    cry from Trooper Gumm's allegation.

    Next, I looked at the fine schedule provided by Gumm, and found it
    more than a little suspicious that the 91 mile-per-hour citation just
    so happened to have bumped me into a higher cost bracket than an 82
    mile-per-hour citation would have. At that point, I realized that I
    needed to inform you of the matter. There's a good chance you may have
    a dishonest cop on your hands who is falsifying accusations and
    government documents, perceivably for the purposes of discriminating
    against motorcyclists.

    Note: I am making no specific claims herein against the trooper. My
    only hope is that you will choose to investigate the matter for the
    sake of your own affected organizations, and also for the sake of the
    community at large.

    I will not fight the ticket for mainly two reasons:

    1.) I was indeed speeding. And while I do believe that Trooper Gumm
    exercised poor discretion in even issuing such a citation on the
    largely deserted county road, I do realize that I am not above the law
    and accept responsibility for having broken it. That also doesn't mean
    that I agree with such a restrictive speed limit on that particular
    road, either -- only that I recognize being subject to it.

    2.) Since this is my first speeding violation on a motorcycle ever,
    and only my second moving violation overall in 12 years, I will be
    taking a defensive driving course to erase the citation from my record
    -- and also to reduce my fine to the standard 95-dollar charge.
    Therefor, dragging the situation into court would be a hassle the
    dockets never need, and would basically produce the same result in the
    end for me anyway (especially considering my commentary on Trooper
    Gumm's onboard video/audio system).

    While motorcycles accelerate faster than cars, they also brake and
    handle faster than cars as well. Speed alone rarely causes accidents.
    Driver inattention and lack of skill are much more likely to be a
    source of injury than moving a few feet per second faster than the
    speed limit, especially on deserted, high-visibility motorways such as
    County Road 60. I was driving safely and skillfully, and did not
    deserve the ticket.

    Poor discretion and decision-making, such as was practiced by Trooper
    Gumm, contributes immensely to the public's general disdain for cops,
    which is both unneccesary and very, very sad.


    Timothy V. Kreitz

    Tim Kreitz
    2003 ZX7R
    2000 ZX6R
    DoD #2184
    Tim Kreitz, Feb 1, 2004
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  2. Tim Kreitz

    Paul Guest

    There can only be ONE Trooper Gumm. Bet his first name is Alan... Wonder
    why he is stationed in West Texas?? That is sometimes reserved for certain
    folks from what I understand. In Falls County, the Troop by that name was
    dubbed "No Slack Jack" by a number of his fellow LEO's (Nope, don't live
    there..). Slow down, we still have tomorrow ;-)
    Paul, Feb 1, 2004
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  3. Tim Kreitz

    Phyloe Guest

    This seems to support my previous argument in favor of cameras on public
    streets. As I said cameras can be calibrated but officers cannot. Here we
    have a case of exactly what I was referring to. Yes I know this is not a
    camera issue. This is a lying cop issue. A camera cannot lie. Sure would
    have been nice to see the radar screen wouldn't it?
    Phyloe, Feb 1, 2004
  4. Tim Kreitz

    Guest Guest

    Till they use said cameras to bust speeders. Yea lets have big brother
    watching our every move. How productive.

    Cops will lie despite cameras. It is about revenue. The cards are
    stacked against the citizens and the police are dealing tickets like a
    card shark in Vegas. The cop wants to keep the revenue flowing and so
    does the Judge. It is a lose lose situation for the rider or driver.

    Guest, Feb 1, 2004
  5. Tim Kreitz

    Nuts 2 Ya Guest

    I got a chance to tell my side of the story and even got to question
    the officer and prove through his answers that it was physically
    impossible for him to have seen me commit the offense I was ticketed
    for. Then the judge asked him if he saw it, he said he did, the judge
    said "Guilty."

    You can't win. The cops lie and the judges know it and support them.
    Nuts 2 Ya, Feb 1, 2004
  6. Tim Kreitz

    dale Guest

    I am on my third GPS and now have a Garmin 196 which is quite sophisticated,
    but I don't think it records the speeds I have traveled. It does make and
    keep a track of everywhere I go and keeps an odometer until I erase it. This
    GPS is used in an airplane.

    What GPS do you have and will my Garmin record my speeds like yours does and
    I just don't know it.
    dale, Feb 1, 2004
  7. Is that how you signed your letter to the troopers? :)
    Jamin Kortegard, Feb 1, 2004
  8. Tim Kreitz

    Kurt Guest

    Did you have a lawyer?
    A lawyer can be worth the initial cost.

    - Kurt
    Kurt, Feb 1, 2004
  9. Tim Kreitz

    Bownse Guest

    Trust me: District courts hear appeals.

    Jeff Davis County "doesn't extend the courtesy of deferred adjudication
    to the defendants in their court". To appeal, I had to DOUBLE the
    standard cost of the ticket, round it up to the next highest hundred
    dollars, and send it at a MO with an explanation for the appeal. It
    went to district court where they granted it to me (6 months later
    because the local county atorney kept forgetting to file the request). I
    also learned that my 90 days "probation" would start the day to
    verdict DA was granted (not the date of the ticket). I got the judge to
    do it for "time served" because of the delays. I eventually got about
    $60 back from my $400 deposit on my no lo contendre appeal.

    Bottom line was ALL courts extend that deferred adjudication if
    requested when driver safety is also offered. This county judge wanted
    to see how determined I was and knew that it hadn't been 12 months since
    my last safety class. I called his bluff and the money I spent didn't
    stay in his jurisdiction except for their cut for clerical fees.
    Bownse, Feb 1, 2004
  10. Tim Kreitz

    B. Peg Guest

    Your GPS says 82 was your max and he says his radar gun said 91?

    Would he dispute the GPS calibration over that of his gun? Seems a lot of
    planes would be crashing if the GPS system was that much worse than his gun

    Would be interesting matter in court to dispute his claim against your gps
    track log with the judge.

    Fwiw, I had the same stunt pulled by a leo on a residential corner where he
    claims (visibly, no radar) that I was doing 40-45 in the turn in my car. If
    I could make that 90 degree turn at that speed I would have rolled the car.
    Oh, GPS track log in my car said I was doing 12-18 mph in that said turn.
    Real story is that mr. leo wanted his kids to play "safely" in "his" street.

    Oh, sell your house should a leo ever move next door. Laws don't apply to
    them -- or their delinquent kids, relatives, friends (mostly other leos),
    etc. Damhik >:^(

    B. Peg, Feb 1, 2004
  11. Tim Kreitz

    Bownse Guest

    The lawyer sapenad the officers ticket log book and saw the trend.
    Bownse, Feb 1, 2004
  12. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    as an ex trouper you know that the radar can be affected by a lot of things
    such as angle of the shot. and other moving objects or solid objects in the
    vicinity and such radar reads are often beaten in court if you have an
    attorney and that would be especially true with a small target such as a
    bike.... each vehicle has a different radar reflection pattern also....but
    that the officers experienced eye and testimony in court carries even more
    weight in court since he is suposedly unbiased and experienced in judging
    speed and safety for the conditions.

    I spent a little time in Texas and cruizing speed on those wide open roads
    was very commonly over 80. or 85.. the judge knows that. Whats at issue
    these days is state budgets, In some cities speed and light traps are
    deliberately set up to raize revenue... Now the practice is abating some
    as the citizens are making a lot of complaints about yellow lights set so
    short that people slam on the brakes to avoid getting tagged for running a
    short yellow and cause rear end accidents. Phoenix Az got nailed for
    setting the yellows shorter and shorter until the traffic ticket revenue
    picked up enough to make the automatic photo ticketing operation produce

    Complete corruption in govt...not a good thang...especially when it causes
    accidents and runs insurance up a thousand dollars in order to make an extra
    100 dollars for the city (the split the take with Martin Marrietta
    aerospace who makes and operates these traps)

    I brought this range of issues up in my court case as well... I told them
    nicely that citizens loose faith in law enforcement and the courts like
    that.( I got the decision)...I dont think they wanted these arguements
    presented in a court full of other victims...they just want the money, and
    to keep the public in the dark.

    Nice tip on the GPS unit..

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  13. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    In that case one needs to ask for a jury trial before saying a thing so that
    the people rule on the reasonableness issues. I dont think the state wants
    to have the expense of a jury trial every time one of their cops over
    reaches on speed estimates.

    Coleman Howard has gotten a lot of tickets and hires an attorney each time
    and from what i can tell beats almost all of them. That has been my route
    now as well, I presented my case myself with the option to appeal and
    mentioned that it would be with an attorney present..

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  14. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    You can win in many if not most cases if you hire a lawyer or learn the ins
    and outs of handling the case yourself...the courts dont want thier racket
    exposed this way...often lying about posted limits being absolute when in
    many cases they are not...read the ticket then look up the code violation on
    the internet... many times the posted limit is conditional and can be
    exceeded if its safe to do so.

    Also radar is only approximate..many things affect its accuracy. If the
    court knows ahead of time that you will appeal any adverse decision with an
    attorney they will be more likely to think twice before slam dunking your

    On the 'How fast were you going issue'... I dont lie, but then I dont stare
    at the speedo either...I rely on the officers statement.... I never know
    *exactly how fast I am going each milli second...do you? I do make sure Im
    always traveling at a safe rate of speed and put my attention on the road
    and conditions instead.
    then that can be challenged in court.

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  15. Tim Kreitz

    Cam Penner Guest

    I know my experience is from another Country, and I have no
    experience with speeding tickets in court but....

    I HAVE had a parking ticket I took to court. I _was_
    parked illegally, but I had been given inaccurate
    information from a parking meter enforcement officer.

    I plead "guilty" and asked to give an explanation. The
    judge heard my explanation, and agreed to reduce the fine
    on the ticket to zero. So I was guilty - but it cost me
    nothing. I presume in a speeding court they could agree to
    modify both the points and the fine.

    Typically here, they write up the ticket as speeding, and
    the actual speed is "informational". You are ticketed as
    being "in excess of" the posted limit. That way they only
    have to prove that you were in excess of the limit, not the
    speed they wrote down.

    Of course, if you go in firing all cylinders on asking for
    records and such (as is your right), don't be surprised
    when THEY fire back with all of theirs.
    Cam Penner, Feb 1, 2004
  16. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    Thats excellent advice...and workable from my experience... many many
    things affect the judgement.
    I didnt know that...but it rings true.... asking questions of them only, and
    digging into all the factors doesnt admit guilt or open you up to cross
    examination on your 'testimony'...it forces the state to prove its
    case...and if there is room for doubt...such as radar gun shot at an angle
    the judge has to dismiss...or face an appeal where he could loose.

    Thanks for the insight on testimony.

    Wonderful. Thanks.

    Now thats interesting.
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  17. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    In Phoenix Az they shortened the yellow light times in order to trap people
    crossing the line so they could send em a ticket.... then a media expose
    caught them when rear end accidents resulted in people slamming the brakes
    at the first hint of a yellow light.

    These days with tax revenues tanking, civil servants if they want jobs will
    have to aid in pulling in more and more revenue... as they clamp down,
    people will slow to a crawl...so then ticket prices will have to
    increase...then people will avoid the city and drive slowly also.... in SF
    now they have meter maid circling the blocks like vultures...so now I and
    others mind our meters real tight... no revenue for the city...

    Soon parking tickets will be 500 dollars...then more will take the bus... if
    they run bus far up...then more will leave the city....and the city will be
    in worse financial trouble than it currently is... the burocrats will be

    What happens next? Well in SF...the director of the city parking ticket
    division was caught partonizing a crack house. Impressive.

    tahts at over $150,000 a year he gets with all the bogus over time. Even
    the police are starting to rebel..they dont like ripping people off for the
    most part.

    Phil Scott

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  18. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    The cities drive out thier customers and businesses with that crap...thats
    why so many are in decay... then there are welfare people and wino's
    left...and they cant tax them, or fine them and collect since they dont have
    any money...in fact they have to feed them in jail.

    The entire nation is going that way fast...its a natural cycle...govt grows
    like any organism and seeks to perpetuate itself...its now in the cancerous
    stage of taking over the national corpus. Historically the nation then
    collapses as it becomes non competitive in world markets...no exports... no
    jobs... no income ...no investment...no tax base...no military. It

    The US has has lost 80% of its foreign investment (other nations investing
    in US bonds and industry) since 2000'.... its going to china now.

    Between now and the time things get terminally nasty, govt will try to
    survive by taxiing those with money, salaries and property to attach...
    This is not the time to overly exposed in those areas. These time frames
    are pretty short in the final stages...historically its a just a decade or
    so...often turning on a dime.

    Our last 25 years of relative stability in the US has been an anomally...
    historically nations rise and fall in thier late stages much more quickly
    than that.

    Phil Scott

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  19. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    In concord Calif (out of town for me) they set my court date at 7 am.... I
    showed up.
    I forgot the disposition. I think I did traffic school. These and other
    state rip offs will not be flying much longer as jobs get scarcer with
    production moving to china.

    Some will opt to do the 3 days in jail first...that will be impressive.
    that costs the state about $500 a day...they have to let killers go to make
    room for the people they nab for jay walking...it got so bad in calif a
    while back that burglars were given tickets rather than arrested, no room in
    the jails and no funding to feed the prisoners..

    the same will happen with tax payers now...the state wont advertise this,
    but thats how its going and we are just seeing the beginning of the mess.

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
  20. Tim Kreitz

    Phil Scott Guest

    Considering all that...and what it does to your insurance...and the actual
    purpose of the law, to insure safetly, not to raise revenue...one should
    hire a lawyer on all tickets or learn to fight them in court and not make
    any mistakes such as making a statement.that can be sued against you or open
    you to cross examination....just ask questions on all the details ad
    infinitum...make them spend money to prove thier bogus case.

    Phil Scott
    Phil Scott, Feb 1, 2004
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