Personal technology can change things we’ve long accepted. The most prevalent instance is in publishing. Previously it was only news outlets and publishing companies that would disseminate information. Now we’re all content producers. Last week Sashas Katta of SkatterTech brought us another way in which technology is changing old ideas. If you’ve ever tried to fight a speeding ticket, you might know the futility in it. But Sashas relates a story wherein he used his Android device’s GPS unit in order to create enough doubt in his case that the judge threw it out. Of course, you’ll need more than just your GPS data in order to sway a judge. It’s not as though they necessarily embrace these technologies and will trust them over an officer. But your GPS can certainly be one tool in your defense. Combined with a few astute questions and you might just be able to get out of the ticket. That is, if you are indeed innocent. If you are guilty of going over the speed limit, there’s not much that your Android device can do to help you out. Sashas was running an app called MyTracks when the alleged infraction incurred. You might be familiar with apps like these. I know runners and bikers use them frequently, but they can provide GPS data from any source, including your car. The data helps you track your speed, your path, your distance traveled, and more. It just so happened that when Sashas was pulled over for doing 40 in a 25 that he was running MyTracks. That came in a bit handy. When he got home he checked the data. It revealed that he hadn’t gone above 26 mph during his trip. That seems like an awfully wide discrepancy, and by itself I doubt the data would have held up in court. But Sashas took additional steps. Perplexed by why his GPS would reveal such a starkly lower speed, he looked up other similar cases and found a recent case involving GPS and radar guns and sought published articles with further information. And then, once in court, he listened to proceedings prior to his and learned a few good questions to ask the officer. Everything together led to his acquittal. This wasn’t solely because of the GPS data. The questions he learned from the lawyers preceding him — specifically regarding radar gun training and calibration — helped create doubt in the judge’s mind. Citing the other court case and published articles helped create a sense of credibility. In fact, the judge didn’t even really understand the GPS data. But with doubt and credibility in place, I’m guessing it was enough to convince the judge. The GPS might not have been the only factor, but it seems as though he wouldn’t have gotten the acquittal without it. It’s easy to overlook how much your Android handset can help out in situations like this. I know plenty of people who don’t use their GPS applications, because they fear for their privacy. That’s one aspect of the argument. The other is that it can provide you with information that can help you in ways you might not realize at the time. Sashas can attest to that. While his general savvy won him his case, his Android GPS played a large role in that acquittal. Also, you can get MyTracks in the Market. Via AOL (which somehow thinks that their story is an original).
Can your Android get you out of a speeding ticket?
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