Should You Get Your Speedometer Calibrated?
If you are charged with speeding or reckless driving in Virginia, you may be thinking about a speedometer calibration. Is it worth the cost?
In case you’d prefer to read this content, I had the video transcribed for you.
Hello, I’m Andrew Flusche. A common question I get is whether or not a person should have their speedometer calibrated. In a lot of cases, a speedometer calibration really does make sense, especially if you’re charged with something like speeding or reckless driving.
Let’s use for example, 85 mph. In Virginia, that speed is considered reckless driving, since it’s over 80 mph. If we could prove that your speedometer at 85 was actually only reading 80 mph, that can almost automatically get us a reduction out of the reckless driving range of penalties and down to just a regular speeding charge. In some jurisdictions, it could even get your charge down to something like defective equipment, which is a non-moving violation.
The way the speedometer calibration works is the mechanic would put your car on what we call a dynanometer. They then run your car at various speeds. They compare the known speed of the dynanometer, which is the speed is actually going, versus the speed the speedometer is reading. They’ll give you a report that shows the comparison of those numbers at various levels of speed. And they notarize it.
We can use that certificate in court to show if your speedometer is reading low or not. The key is that we need to make sure it’s actually helpful to us. If your speedometer is reading higher than the speed you’re charged with, that would mean that if you’re charged with going 85 mph, your speedometer is reading something more than that, like 90 mph. So you had even more reason to know that you were going to fast and should have slowed down.
I don’t know many courts where that’s a helpful speedometer calibration. In fact, none that I practice in. I suggest we keep that to ourselves. But if shows you thought you were going slower than 85, it would be a great calibration for us to bring in. Even if it’s only off by a mile or two.
Anything helps in a case of reckless driving. Anything we can use to help convince the judge to reduce your charge or to beat your charge completely.
Every little piece of evidence is very important.