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There is an interesting case going on in California. Parents of a 17-year-old boy cited for speeding are challenging the citation. It is the battle of GPS vs. Radar – who will win? Radar in legal halls has long been the “unbeatable” benchmark for proving speeding violations. The criteria, the calibration of the radar device and the qualification and certification of the officer using the device are really the only two ways in which it can be possibly challenged successfully. The parents of this boy however are going in a different direction. They are claiming that the boy’s vehicle was equipped with a satellite global positioning system tracking device which in addition to determining where the child was located at any point in time, also tracks the speed of the vehicle. The parents maintained that their teenager was traveling at 45 miles per hour, the posted speed limit when his vehicle was pulled over by the police officer. The officer, who was using radar on the vehicle, maintained that the boy was traveling at 62 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.
Each side has employed expert testimony in support of their positions. The town has reportedly incurred over $15,000 in preparation for the trial. The case is scheduled to go to trial in next few weeks in California. While the outcome will not be earth-shaking from a legal perspective, it certainly will be interesting.
There is a film, Crude, premiering this fall which tells the legal battle surrounding the claims of an Ecuadorian tribal community of approximately 30,000 people that have alleged that Big Oil contaminated their land, destroyed the environment and have caused these people to suffer numerous cancers, illnesses and disease. Big Oil has refuted the allegations with contentions that the miseries of the people stem from their lack of sanitation. The legal battle has lasted six years in the Ecuadorian and is still underway. The plaintiffs’ attorney has commented that merely reaching the stage of trial is a huge victory. The matter was originally filed in the United States District Court in New York. It was determined that the matter should proceed in court in Ecuador and the matter was re-filed in court in Ecuador. It is anticipated that a verdict in the matter could come forth by the end of this year.
Sting’s wife appears in the film as well since she is a noted activist. Sensationalism or documentary? You decide.
Thanks to eco-chick.com for the heads-up on this film.