Feeds

Software engineer demands source of his speeding collar

Code slip?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Updated A US software engineer hopes to beat a speeding ticket by challenging the accuracy of the computerized radar gun used to snare him.

Michael Felch has been granted a request by a Florida court hearing his case for the source code on the LTI 20/20 radar gun that was used in his collar to be turned over for his examination.

Felch, due in court on April 8, told The Reg that he wants to examine the code in order to find out whether changes have been made to fix a problem in the code (reported here and here) that has been claimed to miscalculate a car's speed.

The reported "slip" effect happens when the laser beam used to calculate speed moves along the car while taking its reading, giving a higher, false reading. The device's maker has in the past denied problems with false readings.

Felch was cited for driving at 64mph in a 40mph zone. The engineer, though, claimed that speed would have been impossible as he was taking a right-hand corner from a standing stop on a red light. Felch has one prior speeding conviction.

Felch was stopped for speeding on January 7 and the court granted Felch his request on February 22. On March 29 he filed a motion to compel the State of Florida to provide the code, which has not yet been delivered.

The radar gun itself is supplied in the US by Laser Technology, who was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

"I don't believe they handled the slip effect correctly," Felch said of the device. "I believe there can be a miscalculation that can lead to plus or minus 30 miles per hour."

It's unclear what will happen should the source code not be delivered in time for Felch's hearing. An employee of the Polk County Court handling the case contacted by The Reg said Thursday: "We don't discuss what's going to happen in court because we don't know."

Felch said what happens next will be down to the discretion of the court. If the code is delivered he will file for a continuance in order to examine the bits and bytes. If there's no code, then the case could be dismissed or the judge could simply go to a ruling.

History is not on his side. In November 2005, another Florida court, in Sarasota County, hearing a drunk-driving case, ordered that the code for the breathalyzer used in that collar to be handed over for examination by the defendant.

Despite the court order, all research suggests that the code was not handed over by the breathalyzer's manufacturer. The defendant, meanwhile, was convicted anyway and the case closed a year later in November 2006.

You can read more on Felch's blog here. ®

This article has been updated to clarify the motion to compel was filed against the State of Florida, not Laser Technology.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.