New way to dispute speeding tickets?
Monitor intended to lower insurance rates
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Thousands upon thousands of people are ticketed for speeding in Broward County every year. In traffic court, there has been little drivers can bring in to defend themselves in the way of evidence. Now, that all may be changing because of a Pompano Beach case.
Mike Skversky said a Broward sheriff's deputy pulled him over in early October and accused him of speeding.
"How fast did he say you were going?" Local 10 News investigative reporter Ross Palombo asked.
"He said I was going 58," Skversky said.
He was cited for traveling 58 mph in a 50 mph zone. Skversky said he is positive he wasn't going that fast.
"I was not going 58, I knew that," he said. "I knew I had back-up."
"What do you mean when you say you have back-up?" Palombo asked.
"I have a device in my motor vehicle," he said.
The device is an insurance monitor from Allstate called "Drivewise." It's designed to record a driver's speed to lower insurance rates. But Skversky downloaded that data to verify his speed of 47.8 mph at precisely the same time his speeding ticket was written.
"What did you think when you found out?" Palombo asked.
"There's a problem here, a very serious problem," Skversky said.
"You feel wrongly ticketed?"
"100 percent wrong."
"It could be a real big deal," his attorney, Ted Hollander, from the Ticket Clinic, said.
He said this may be one of the first times a driver himself has any sort of real proof of speed.
"I think it's a great defense," Hollander said. "Ordinarily, a person doesn't have any real evidence to say they weren't speeding, but now they have something."
In court, however, it may not be that simple.
"There is one fly in the ointment," said Chief Judge Peter Weinstein.
He believes other judges will most likely want the device makers themselves to appear in court to prove that these things aren't just driving in bad data.
"I don't know how accurate that equipment is," Weinstein said. "Someone would have to testify to that."
Allstate itself would not comment directly, except to say that its devices are accurate enough to set its rates and, in turn, set its profits.
Skversky said he believes they are at least as accurate as the sheriff's own radars.
"This is pretty much bulletproof evidence," he said. "How can you disagree with the computer?"
"(Do you) think you'll win?" Palombo asked.
"How could you lose?" Skversky said.
Local 10 asked the Broward Sheriff's Office to speak about the incident but they declined to comment.
Public records reveal that the deputy's radar detector was properly calibrated at the time. Skversky is still waiting for the case to go to traffic court to present his evidence.
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