Some Wake Co. drivers might get speeding tickets tossed

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Some drivers may be off the hook.

Some Wake County drivers who recently received a speeding ticket could see that ticket tossed.

Lorrin Freeman, Wake County District Attorney, told ABC11 she's reviewing cases after finding out the Raleigh Police Department missed a deadline for re-certifying a handful of its radar guns.

Under state general statute, law enforcement agencies must re-certify their speed enforcement equipment every 12 months. Jim Sughrue, Raleigh Police Department spokesperson, said two months ago an officer self-reported he had written citations without realizing his LIDAR was overdue for certification.

Sughrue said the department conducted an internal audit and found 10 other radar guns were also expired. RPD self-reported to the DA as well as the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission which oversees officer training and equipment standards.

Freeman said about 300 speeding tickets were issued while those radar guns were out of compliance with state law. Of those cases, 60-70 are still pending.

Sughrue said the 11 radar units in question have since been re-certified and were not found to be inaccurate. Still, Freeman said they needed to be up-to-date in order for the readings to be permissible in court.

"The fact that there's not a certification does not necessarily mean the machines are not accurate," said Freeman. "But you know, it's important to us to maintain the public trust in the system. So we're going to do what's right in these cases, look at them individually and make a decision as to whether it's something we can go forward in. And if not, we'll be dismissing."

Sughrue said the department is already taking steps to ensure this type of oversight doesn't happen again. Until now, officers and supervisors were required to check equipment monthly. But seeing how radar units were still neglected under that system, Sughrue said the units will now be centrally managed. The department will notify officers well in advance of deadlines that their radars need to be re-certified.

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