Can a police officer give you a speeding ticket based on the car in front of you?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a police officer give you a speeding ticket based on the car in front of you?

I was driving on the interstate behind a long line of cars, when I saw a police car on the side of the road. Everyone in front of me continued going their same speed but since I could not move over to the next lane because of so much traffic, I slowed down like I thought you were suppose to when you saw a car on the side of the road and the police officer stepped out and stopped me. He said I was speeding, but he based it on the cars in front of me. Can he do this?

Asked on September 13, 2017 under General Practice, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can. The law does not specify any given or particular means that must be used to "clock" your speed. It can be done by radar/lidar; by pacing you in a police car; by police aircraft looking at how fast you pass certain markings or landmarks; or by comparing your speed to that of another car, whose speed they know--so if they clocked a car in front of you with, say, radar, and saw that you were going the same speed as the other car, they would know your speed, too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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