Speed Defense Myth: The Officer has to Produce his Tuning Fork Logs

False. In Virginia courts where I practice, there are no tuning fork calibration logs.

What the officer has are certificates of accuracy for his tuning fork. These certificates by statute must be dated within six months prior to the offense date. They are pieces of paper. Sometimes they are full sheets; sometimes they are a half sheet.

The officer has to have the certificate to show that his tuning forks were calibrated and found to be accurate within the past six months. He doesn’t have to show all the prior calibrations or any subsequent calibrations. He just has to show one calibration certificate within the past six months for each tuning fork, so there’s no need for them to keep any kind of running log of calibration.

In fact, certificates actually supply greater accuracy and greater reliability than just a log that the officer might create himself. Certificates are prepared by the tuning fork calibration person who is a third party certifying that these tuning forks are resonating at the correct frequency.

photo credit: Claire L. Evans

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