Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

How a Motorola Droid Got a Guy Out of a Speeding Ticket

Print comment Post Comments
Smartphones can do many things. They can locate the nearest movie theater, transcribe your voicemails, even put you face-to-face with a caller via video conferencing. But rarely, very rarely, can they dispute the claim of a police officer.

For most folks, once we're nabbed by the long arm of the law and issued a traffic ticket, we swallow our pride and mail in a check. And even when we're in the right, county courts don't give us much of a choice by forcing us to miss work in order to defend ourselves. By design, it's a real boon to local coffers.

But one resident of Yolo County in California chose to fight a traffic ticket and keep his record clean. And the guy was crazy enough to hedge his bets on the testimony of a Motorola Droid.

Then again, with a plan so crazy, it just had to work.

Skatter Tech relates Sahas Katta's story:

As a brand new Motorola Droid owner, I was in the rush of trying just about every app that appeared in the Android Marketplace. One that particularly stood out and had me excited was My Tracks by Google. This free app records and visualizes your GPS data on a map, which is something I always wanted to try. I began using app while jogging, biking to class, and even when driving.

I fortunately happened to have Google Tracks running when an officer cited me for speeding while heading back home from a friend's place. The speed limit in the area was a mere 25 miles per hour and the cop's radar gun shockingly clocked me driving over 40 miles per hour. In a panicked mental state, I simply handed over my driver's license, insurance, and registration information without asking any questions. I was confident that I was within the posted speed limit in the back of my mind, but I just apologized and went my way instead of speaking up.

Once I parked my car in the apartment lot, I immediately realized that I had Google Tracks running as a background process as I reached to grab my phone from the dashboard mount. As I walked in, I pulled up my history for the previous session which displays information such as distance, average speed, average moving speed, and max speed. It even stores maximum and minimum elevation levels for those that need it. More importantly, I found that my phone only recorded a top speed of just 26 miles per hour, significantly lower than the cited speed. I now knew I was not speeding.

Faced with either attending traffic school or standing before a judge, Katta chose to attend court. But not only was he brazen enough to act as his own attorney, he questioned the officer based off information on his Droid.

Taking hints from a lawyer that spoke on behalf of a defendant shortly before me, I decided to ask the officer a few questions about the day he cited me. It turned out that the officer did not recall the last time he attended radar gun training, when the device was last calibrated, or the unit's model number. I then presented my time stamped GPS data with details about my average moving speed and maximum speed during my short drive home. Both numbers were well within the posted speed limits.

Flying in the face of logic and Katta's police brutality hearing in the presumable future, the judge ruled in favor of Katta. Of course, he made sure to clarify that the ruling was based on the officer's lack of evidence rather than the Droid's GPS technology -- something he admitted he knew little about.

Oh, fine. Not only did Katta win a case with the help of his smartphone, but he made the policeman look foolish and unprepared in the process.

Keep an eye out for his face on a milk carton soon.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.