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Does a Police officer have to prove your speed?

It depends… let’s go over the details

Speeding Ticket Experts

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When you get pulled over for a speeding citation, you’re often under the impression that you were not going over the posted speed limit at any point, right? 

Even so, the officer wrote a ticket. 

In this particular instance, you might have requested the law enforcement officer to show their radar/lidar device in efforts of verifying your alleged speed. 

Nevertheless, the officer did not comply and instead issued you a ticket for speeding. You might be asking if California police officers are required to show you the radar/lidar gun before a citation is issued.

We are going to dive into the specifics of how police officers in California are required to prove that you were traveling above the posted speed limit.

But, How Does a Police Officer Prove You Were Speeding?

If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket for speeding, you may be wondering whether or not it is possible to contest the citation. What evidence does a police officer need to conclude that you were driving too fast?

Before we can answer the question of how a police officer can prove that you were speeding, we need to first establish how police officers measure speed:


Three main types of radar are stationary, moving, and lidar. Police personnel use lidar a lot when conducting traffic stops. Let’s examine how these three radar guns differ from one another:

  • Stationary Radar

The radar gun’s beam is broad. The stationary radar gun displays the fastest signal, not the fastest object. Police officers determine signal intensity using the “Doppler Tone.” Doppler tone pitch affects signal strength.

  • Moving Radar

Moving radar cannon has the same qualities as the stationary one, but it’s more advanced because it has two radar antennas showing separate frequencies. This gadget must be monitored to guarantee proper operation. When in motion, match the device’s speed to a cruiser speedometer.

  • Lidar Radar

Lidar radar gun’s light is narrow. When aimed at the front license plate, the trigger is pushed. Laser beams are narrow. It uses a three-light system aimed at the vehicle’s front and the radar gun. Lidar “should” be accurate to 1 mph. Even so, inaccurate speed measurements are possible.


For speed detection, the laser uses pulses of light. To calculate the speed of moving cars, the laser emits these pulses of light, which are reflected back to it by moving vehicles.

Speed Cameras

License plate number of the speeding vehicle is captured by these cameras. However, because it cannot identify the driver, this does not count as a penalty. For payment of the fine, a ticket is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Even so, in California, it is not a requirement for a police officer to prove you were speeding at the moment they write you a ticket. Next, we explain why:

Why Is It Not a Requirement?

Speed readings are not always required because it can pose a safety risk to the officer and motorists alike. Police cars frequently have radar devices mounted on the vehicle. To observe the officer’s radar gun, the driver would have to get close to the device with a clear line of sight or be shown the device by an officer. Most police officers do not show the radar gun because they fear that a driver will remove or touch the device.

A police officer does not have to provide you with evidence that you were speeding right then and there. They’d have to demonstrate this in court.

Even so, police officers in California aren’t always required to show the radar gun they use to determine a vehicle’s speed. As a result, it is normal for drivers to want to see the radar unit as soon as possible once they are pulled over.

Please contact us at Ticket Snipers if you have any questions about a police officer proving you were speeding and how to defend yourself against any type of traffic ticket. We are available free of charge if you’d like to chat with one of our traffic ticket experts about possible defense methods to beat your speeding ticket.