How to fight a vascar speeding ticket

Written by louise balle
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VASCAR stands for Visual Average Speed Computer & Recorder. It is a traffic radar camera device that is hooked up to a "dummy" police car parked on the side of the road or another structure adjacent to a roadway. Anyone who goes by these VASCAR units going over the speed limit may have her number plate photographed, and subsequently be ticketed through the mail. There is a lot of controversy around these VASCAR devices because some believe that they are creating a "speed trap" that is impossible for motorists to avoid.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Send the VASCAR speeding ticket back with the "Not Guilty" plea box checked. If requested, explain briefly why you believe you are not guilty of the violation. You can also leave the space blank or state "Disagree with this ticket" if you need more time to develop your defence. You will be sent a court hearing date in the mail.

  2. 2

    Decide on a viable defence for your case so that you can prepare your evidence accordingly. The most common defences for a VASCAR speeding ticket are 1) camera image is incorrect (it's not your number plate), or 2) the equipment was faulty (you were not doing that speed).

  3. 3

    Build up your defence. If your claim is that you were not there, gather proof of where you were at that exact moment (such as a restaurant receipt with your signature on it or a GPS history showing that you were getting directions in a completely different area). If you claim that the equipment is incorrect, you have to get permission (most likely a subpoena) to have someone analyse the VASCAR machine.

  4. 4

    Go to court with your proof in hand and verbal defence ready. You will be required to go before the judge and present your case. The county's prosecutor will represent the municipality and try to prove that you should have to pay the VASCAR ticket. Your verbal defence needs to be clear, detailed, and sensible. Your photographs and other visual evidence should be unmistakably tied to your case. For instance, if your defence is that you were at an event at the time of ticketing, don't just bring a program from the event. Bring a copy of the sign-in sheet with your name clearly signed and dated, match it up with your license signature for the judge, and present a notarised letter from the event coordinator. Bring witnesses to your court case if possible.

Tips and warnings

  • There have been cases where VASCAR tickets disputed through the mail are automatically dismissed without the need for a hearing because the photo image was not clear enough to make a final determination of the number plate number. So it is always a good idea to dispute the ticket.
  • Consider hiring a traffic lawyer. Many traffic court lawyers will charge you a flat fee for services and let you know your chances of winning ahead of time.

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