Speedometer Calibration in Richmond Traffic Cases

If you are facing a traffic charge in Richmond such as speeding or reckless driving, having your speedometer calibrated can be of benefit to you in certain cases. Below a Richmond traffic lawyer discusses where you can get your speedometer calibrated and what it can do to benefit your case.

What is Speedometer Calibration?

Speedometer calibration is used to determine if there’s a technical issue with your speedometer that causes it to incorrectly report how fast your vehicle was going. If you are facing a traffic offense and your attorney can show that there was an issue with your speedometer then it can be used as a technical defense for speeding.

When a client has an older vehicle it is often a good idea for them to get a speedometer calibration as it can reveal an issue and then be used as a technical defense or a mitigating factor for a speeding or reckless driving charge.

Where Can You Get Your Speedometer Calibrated? Is It Very Expensive?

You can get your speedometer calibrated at some dealerships or auto repair shops, however you will likely need to contact them in advance to inquire if they do speed calibrations. They will test your vehicle’s speedometer to determine if the reading is off and by how much. Typically this only takes 20 minutes to a half-hour and usually is only about $50-$80.

How Can a Speedometer Calibration Help With a Traffic Charge?

For a traffic charge, such as reckless driving, a speedometer calibration can have a drastic impact. If your attorney can prove that the speedometer was off and you were unaware of it, a court may consider a reduction, or potentially even dismissal of your case. It can play a major factor in getting the charge reduced and can mean the difference between a significant penalty versus a lighter penalty that doesn’t involve a license suspension or a jail sentence.

If Your Speedometer is Off is it Still Your Fault?

In Richmond, it is not a law that if your speedometer is off then it’s not your fault. Instead, it is essentially at the discretion of a judge of whether to accept a calibration as a defense or not. However there are many factors that play into this including:

  • Whether you’ve used calibration as a defense before
  • How fast you were going
  • Your Driving Record

If your driving record is littered with speeding tickets and defective equipment issues, a judge likely won’t accept a calibration defense.

Is There Anything Else Someone Should Know About Speedometer Calibration?

An attorney will typically recommend getting a speedometer calibration if the vehicle is several years old, has had transmission work, or has over-sized tires. Typically when the vehicle gets over four or five years old, calibration issues are very common and in many cases drivers are unaware of it.