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Confusion over radar certification could affect speeding tickets

READ MORE: Confusion over radar certification could affect speeding tickets

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you're driving over the speed limit, a cop with a radar gun is the last thing you want to see. But thousands of tickets written by New Hanover County Sheriff's deputies are being called into question, because the officers were not certified on the radar guns they were using.

When the Sheriff's Office bought new radar equipment, it thought it was good to go, but apparently that was not the case. Kustom Signals sent the Sheriff's Office an upgraded version of the radars it already had. When the Sheriff's Office asked if deputies would have to be recertified for the new equipment, the company said not to worry.

"They told us that we wouldn't have to be recertified on the unit," Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Jerry Brewer. "But subsequently after that we find out from the state of North Carolina that they do in fact have to be recertified."

When it comes to catching speeders, law enforcement has a number of tools. Radar is just one.

"Officers use a multitude of techniques and experience to determine if someone is speeding or other influences on traffic patterns," Brewer said.

But can the tickets issued by an uncertified deputy using a radar stand up in a court of law?

"They can't necessarily have the ticket thrown out, but they have the possibility of having the radar reading thrown out; that the actual device would be admissible," attorney Ben Deaver said.

In order to get recertified, deputies had to take a four-hour course. The Sheriff's Office says the deputies have done that and are now certified to use the new radar.

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McMahon did what???

The official excuse was, we asked the manufacturer if it was okay to use it and they said yeah sure go ahead.

So when I get a ticket I can go into court and say I asked my passenger what the speed limit was and he said 100? Think that will fly?

You would think a law enforcement agency would know better than to not check with the State's Trainings and Standards FIRST!

This cat's gotta go, this is crazy.

They didn't know? WTF?

So wait, let me make sure I understand this. The Sheriff's office asked the company if their deputies would have to be certified to use the newly purchased equipment? Does that make sense to anyone??

What happened to the 40-hour radar certification course these deputies initially attended where I'm sure it was clearly explained that you MUST be certified on each radar unit you wish to operate. It's so obvious they list all approved radar's on the certificate and select ONLY the ones you are certified to operate.

But fortunately the State of North Carolina set the record straight by re-educating not only the radar certified deputies but the Sheriff's Office as well. Personally I'm glad this has been resolved and everyone is once again clear on the requirements of properly utilizing speed measurement equipment.

I'm sure this was just another mistake that Ed prayed about ... perhaps God told him not to worry about the potential outcome - maybe the voting citizens won't find out about it.