Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Court victory won’t affect radar gun training

Driver hoped not just to avoid speeding ticket, but to force Lawrence Police Department to change tactics

September 27, 2005


A Lawrence man's court battle against a $45 speeding ticket issued in March 2004 has ended.

The result?

Zamir Bavel won't have to pay the fine.

But his successful Douglas County District Court case won't change how Lawrence Police officers are trained to use radar guns, which was what Bavel had hoped for.

"The judge made no ruling on the training of the officers," city prosecutor Jerry Little said.

"As far as training and education goes, we are still in the opinion that the officers have sufficient training and education. So, I don't anticipate any kind of action with the Lawrence Police Department or any changes in their training."

Bavel, a computer science professor at Kansas University, argued in court that he didn't think Lawrence Police officers had enough training to operate radar guns and shouldn't be allowed to issue speeding tickets - including his.

He also has said that he wasn't speeding when he was ticketed near 19th Street and Ousdahl Drive in March 2004.

Zamir Bavel is fighting a speeding ticket he received in March 2004. He has spent about $1,000 on fighting the $45 ticket. Bavel wants the police department to have mandatory training on radar guns for officers before they are allowed to issue citations. He also claims that there could have been interference with a radar gun resulting in an incorrect reading.

Zamir Bavel is fighting a speeding ticket he received in March 2004. He has spent about $1,000 on fighting the $45 ticket. Bavel wants the police department to have mandatory training on radar guns for officers before they are allowed to issue citations. He also claims that there could have been interference with a radar gun resulting in an incorrect reading.

Bavel said Monday that it would take community pressure for any changes in how police officers are trained to use radar guns. He said a local attorney had asked to meet with him to see his research and that several people had congratulated him on the win.

Little said Bavel won his case because of its age. The officer who issued the ticket couldn't remember some details of the traffic stop, which occurred a year and a half ago.

When the officer testified, Little said he couldn't remember his exact location of where he had parked the patrol car or when the radar gun locked onto Bavel's vehicle to capture the car's rate of speed.

"We believe the defendant was speeding," Little said. "The judge also did say he doesn't think the officer's credibility is at issue - just his memory."

Bavel reiterated that he wasn't speeding and that the court victory made his point.

"This was not about the money for me. It was the principle," he said. "And I feel based on the response I have received from people that my point was made. I think the Lawrence Police need more training."

Lawrence Police Lt. Dan Ward said he couldn't speak about the specifics of Bavel's case. But he said the department's training division regularly reviews training requirements.


trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 8 months ago

saturday i got pulled over for having red light glowing from under my car . they tryed to say you could see the bulb hanging down.not true, oh cant for get that we had a thin plastic trim around the plates, yup it must go, why? its so thin they say ,its in the way of the plate, not so you can read every part of the tag. watch out lawrence police are looking for anything to pull you over for.we know whats funny is we have had several other police, tell us the light were done very good and the car looks nice. why know are some complanning about them?????????

Amandak 12 years, 8 months ago

Here we go again Lawrence. My, how we all like to jump on the bandwagon when any issue involving the police arises. Are we not responsible adults? Every person I know that has ever gotten a speeding ticket adamantly denies it was his/her fault. Well, then who is at fault? Surely, not the police officer who sits running radar. After all, the whole point of running radar and other police traffic enforcement methods is not punitive, but proactive. Proactive in the sense they are doing what needs to be done to protect our community. Yes, believe it or not folks, many fatal accidents have been caused by drivers traveling at high rates of speed. And the personal attacks on Chief Olin or Jerry Little--What a waste of breath. Instead of targeting the police for conducting traffic enforcement and "being there" to protect us, check yourselves next time you drive down Iowa Street, 23rd Street, or anywher else in town. Put your cell phones down and look at your speedometer, so that your not a threat to me and my family. Sound to me like "smitty" needs to get off his soap box and research the facts, or maybe he's just been "enabled" his whole life.

Lowell Holmes 12 years, 8 months ago

smitty - the man did not win against the training program, he won because the ticket was issued over a year ago and the officer could not remember any details. The judge did not even mention the training program in his decision. But now evryone who wants to fight speeding tickets just have to delay the court date for a year or longer so the officer will get amnesia.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 8 months ago

"But now evryone who wants to fight speeding tickets just have to delay the court date for a year or longer so the officer will get amnesia."

Thanks for the suggestion, mightyquin. I'll definitely use it. Heck, if Lawrence wants to waste its money on running radar and going to court to defend the mindless speeding tickets that it's officers write, let me help out. Maybe the taxpayers of this city will eventually get a clue.

cornflakegirl 12 years, 8 months ago

Smitty your ignorance is speaking for itself yet again. Check your facts before you start preaching. LPD IS trained at Hutch, they have been for at least 3 years. Everyone is quick to blame "the man," whether that man is the police, the chief, the district attorney or county administrator. Yet another symptom of America's inability to take personal responsibility for their actions. And laughingatallofu, isn't it the job of the police to enforce laws? Wouldn't that include "mindless speeding tickets"?

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago

Zamir Bavel is my newest Hero!

I have to comment that the LPD is very, very strict. Compared to other places, the police department is very strict on enforcing rules. Yet, the police officers are the biggest hypocrites here in town.

How many times have I seen them doing 45+ in a 40mph zone? How many times have I seen them making a turn without signaling? How many times have I seen them do a "rolling stop" at stop signs? How many times have I seen them pull over my friends who were only above the speed limit by 2-3 miles? When they do it, it's ok? When we do it, why is it called breaking the law? I don't get it...I just don't get it.

Just the other day, I was walking back from work. In 25 minutes of walking, I saw not one, not two, but THREE police cars. And guess how many were talking on their cell phones? All three! No, they were not the same police cars. I know talking on the phone while driving is not illegal, but give me a break! They're paid to enforce laws, and protect us, not talk with their wives on who's turn it is to pick up the kids from practice that day.

Get out of your cars every once in a while, and learn how to walk!

LPD...biggest hypocrites in the state of Kansas.

Amandak 12 years, 8 months ago

I hesistate to speak any further about this issue, as I don't want to be brought down the the level of some of you; those who purport to be speaking factually, when, in reality, you have no idea about what you are espousing. Yes, police officers talk on cell phones--sometimes the job requires it and many cities issue police officers cell phones for official business. Yes, police officers often must drive above the speed limit; unless you want them to drive 30 miles per hour after youv'e called to report a burglar in your home or that you have been battered (another job essential). Yes, police officers must sometimes roll through a stop sign, if the specifics of an emergency require it. Now, for the ridiculous--I don't believe any Lawrence Police Officers have ever written a speeding ticket for 2 or 3 miles over the limit. I challenge whoever made this contention to do the leg work (research) and find evidence of those tickets. Anyone who cyphers through the bull can see that our city has a truly professional police department--its the citizenry that sits back, complains and whines that we need to worry about. If you don't want a ticket, wake up a little earlier and drive the speed limit to work.

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago


Police officers can talk on cell phones, but did all three require to talk within a period of 25 minutes? I don't think all 3 were talking about their jobs....that would take a big coincidence. Think before you speak.

Yes, polic officers often drive above speed limits, but what happens when you follow them from 15th and wakarusa to 15th and iowa going 48-49mph? I doubt that officer was in a hurry, plus judging from the fact that he stopped at a redlight, probably meant he was not in a hurry to "stop a burglary" as you claim. Again, think before you speak.

Rolling stop....don't get me started on this. Why do I see them do this a lot? Is it because everytime I see them, I witness an emergency? If it was an emergency, they'd turn on their flashers to get a REAL emergency, they can do that you know. But, if it's not turned on....please obey the street signs.

You want me to produce the ticket to you now? Let me call my friend up and see if he still has it..... Yes, LPD officers have written speeding tickets for going 33 on a 30. It was on Mass. steet travelling north from 23rd to 19th. When you know the Lawrence cops well enough, you know they'll do that to you. Having lived in Lawrence for almost 20 years, I think I know what I'm talking about.

Next time you want to talk, please know what you're talking about before-hand.

Have a great day!

Sandra Willis 12 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Amandak ... Hey, why not use the bus to get to work and back home? People who live and work in town ought to use the advantages they have. if we do ... Maybe they will find the need to increase the routes, the times they run, and really get in gear with cities like NY, Barcelona, and Paris?


JonJon 12 years, 8 months ago

None of these comments really surprise me from Lawrence residents. I have just returned to Lawrence from traveling abroad. This is the most liberal stinking town in the entire country. I sometimes hate to call it home. The views are so one sided and hateful from the far left.

I don't know what Smitty's past run in with the law is but anything he or she says is totally disregarded by me. Let's face it everyone hates the cops because they discipline us and everyone loves the fire department because they get our cats out of the tree.

This Bavel guy is just one of many Nutty Professors Lawrence is plagued with. I am familiar with him and he is the KNOW-IT-ALL type. I'm sure we all know someone like him.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 12 years, 8 months ago

Well, all you whining liberals out there, I don't claim to be a close friend of Chief Olin, but I do know him. Lawrence is fortunate to have him. Not only is he a professional law enforcement administrator, he is well versed on the subject of terrorism. So much so that he teaches classes about it to other law enforcement agencies and their officers. He is expert on the subject. He should receive a public relations award for putting up with all your complaints all these years, I couldn't do it. His officers are well trained, and among the finest I have known anywhere. Lawrence is fortunate to have such a fine, well run, police department. Thank you, Lynn

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago


"I sometimes hate to call it home." Then please leave. Unlike you, I don't hate Lawrence. Never have, never will. I LOVE this city. It has truly been great to me. But....

Not everyone hates cops like you claim. They are very great at answering my calls whenever the neighboring college students have parties until 4 in the morning. They are very helpful when you have domestic problems. And above all, they are very respectful. They have to put up with a lot.

But traffic is another thing...I guess since I'm originally from a big city, I was used to seeing cops on foot patrol. I just don't see the reason why they drive aimlessly during the day. Where I'm from, the police are not as uptight in the Northeastern part of the country as they are here. I guess that's what you can expect from action-craved midwesterners around here. Here, they are different.

grimpeur 12 years, 8 months ago

Hey, he's driving a white Taurus wagon. I no wrong...

Reminds me of a white Taurus SE wagon (with a "Bring 'em home" sticker on the center of the rear bumper) which parks in the new Hall Center lot or on Sunflower Rd. hill near Sunnyside. The operator is a HORRIBLE driver--one of the worst, stupidest and rudest I've seen in my 25 years on the road--and should be removed from behind the wheel. He knows he's messing up, but doesn't care. He's twice nearly caused accidents that I've seen, most recently at 18th and Louisiana on Friday, and both out of sheer impatience, poor judgment and colossal discourtesy.

Nah, couldn't be him...

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago

Amandak... First, calm down. Second, the personal attacks are way too childish (and now, thanks to you, fair game).

Third, of course I was traveling at the speed of the cop, what, you think I'm the only one that does it? Perhaps if you paid more attention to the roads, you'd notice that type of stuff. So, I suggest you take a drive around and pay attention to the roads, instead of fixing your make-up on the rear-view mirror.

And no, I've never had a bad encounter with a cop actually. Never been stopped (knock-on-wood). So you can see, I don't have a beef with the traffic police. So, if I don't get a ticket from years of driving, does that make me a bad driver? Of course Lawrence, it would take a BIG coincidence to not be stopped if you're a bad driver. I am suggesting Lawrence Police get their act together in traffic. In my opinion, their driving skills are horrible to what they should be, considering they are "traffic cops."

Next time you wanna argue, talk about the facts and the issue at hand. Do not resort to personal attacks. Like I mentioned in my previous posts here, they are childish. If it's going to be like that, I don't want to waste my time with you.

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." 9/2/2005

Amandak 12 years, 8 months ago


You are extremely ignorant. You say you followed police officers traveling at 48 to 49 miles per hour from 15th and Iowa to 15th and Wakarusa. Are you trained at "pacing" other vehicles, while traveling yourself. If you were, you would know that your own method of "pacing" speed is far more controversial and subject to error than speed tracked by a radar gun. Do you ever call your significant other or friends while you are at work? Are police officers not allowed to make personal calls, in the course of their work day? After all, they have spouses, families, etc. Its sounds to me that, as ignorant to the facts as you truly are, you simply have an axe to grind, or maybe your just a wee bit angry because you've been "caught" speeding yourself. And YES, produce the ticket. I challenge that your "friend", will be unable to find it. And, unless you have a law enforcement background, don't preach as fact what you know absolutley nothing about! Sounds like you have had some bad encounters with the police over your 20 years in Lawrence. Maybe your "attitude" played a part in those encounters. I've been stopped for speeding before and harbor no bad judgement toward the police, because I WAS THE ONE BREAKING THE LAW!

doc1 12 years, 7 months ago

Ok here is a fact. There is no possible way anyone has gotten a ticket unless they were going at least 5mph over. Ask any officer to look at their ticketbook. There is no fine schedule for anything less than 5mph. By the way. I enjoy 98% of the officers I've dealt with. Like anywhere you go with human employees there are only a few that make everyone else look bad.

Dayna Lee 12 years, 7 months ago

I love the cops!!! People need to realize that laws are made for everyone. Just because you may be able to drive a little faster on a given street doesn't mean you'd want everyone on our roads to be able to. I've talked to local police about at what speed a ticket is given and I assure you-this guy was speeding. I just wander how much it cost our city so this jerk didn't have to pay his $45 for thinking he was above the law.

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