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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. GUY J. DEPASQUALE (04/19/84)

filed: April 19, 1984.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
GUY J. DEPASQUALE, APPELLANT



No. 2576 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Cumberland County, No. 310 Criminal 1981.

COUNSEL

Linus E. Fenicle, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Theodore B. Smith, III, Assistant District Attorney, Carlisle, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Wieand and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 327 Pa. Super. Page 580]

Guy J. DePasquale was cited for speeding after he had been clocked at 36 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. speed zone on Brentwater Road in East Pennsboro, Cumberland County. On appeal, after having been found guilty by the Court of Common Pleas, DePasquale contends that the Commonwealth's evidence of speed should have been excluded because it was obtained by use of a Model TK 100 Excessive Speed Preventor (TK 100). This device, he argues, was an electronic device whose use, by statute, has been limited to members of the Pennsylvania State Police. The trial court found that the TK 100 was an electrical device which could properly be used by municipal police and that a computation of DePasquale's speed obtained by use thereof was admissible. Finding this computation of speed credible, the trial

[ 327 Pa. Super. Page 581]

    court determined that DePasquale was guilty of speeding and imposed an appropriate fine. We affirm.

It is provided by the Vehicle Code, at 75 Pa.C.S. ยง 3368(c), that:

(1) The rate of speed of any vehicle may be timed on any highway by a police officer using a mechanical or electrical speed timing device.

(2) Electronic devices such as radio-microwave devices (commonly referred to as electronic speed meters or radar) may be used only by members of the Pennsylvania State Police. No person may be convicted upon evidence obtained through the use of such devices unless the speed recorded is six or more miles per hour in excess of the legal speed limit.

We must decide, therefore, whether the TK 100 is an electronic device or an electrical device. If the former, it can be used only by members of the Pennsylvania State Police. If it is an electrical speed timing device, however, it can be used by any police officer.

The science of electronics pertains to the emission, behavior and effects of electrons in vacuums and gases. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1980). Radar has been characterized as an electronic device because it depends upon the emission of electrons as radio-microwaves. It gathers input data electronically by making use of the scientific principle known as the "Doppler effect." This principle describes the resulting change in frequency of radio-microwaves caused by the interference of a moving object. See: Annot., 47 A.L.R.3d 822, 830 (1973). A radio-microwave is transmitted by a radar unit and is received again by the unit after it has been reflected by or bounced from an interfering object. See: Commonwealth v. Bartley, 411 Pa. 286, 288, 191 A.2d 673, 674 (1963). Speed is determined by measuring the change in frequency caused by the ...


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