Michigan Speed Measurement Standards

Police officer radar gun image  Michigan's Speed Measurement Standards   PDF icon 

In 2007, Michigan participated in a national speed measurement workshop in Chicago, Illinois, hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  At the workshop, excessive speed was identified as a continuous problem for law enforcement across the nation.  Speeding increases the number and severity of traffic crashes and is the single most common hazardous action in fatal crashes.  NHTSA continues to work with states to establish comprehensive and effective speed measurement programs across the country.

As part of this national shift to a more formalized system for maintaining the integrity of speed measurement enforcement, and to support the strategic initiatives of NHTSA, Michigan's Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) created a partnership with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to establish formal standards for speed measurement operators and instructors in Michigan.

As this project progressed, MCOLES worked in conjunction with the Prosecuting Attorney's Association of Michigan (PAAM), the Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI), the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Division, and the Michigan Association of District Court Magistrates to develop and implement official speed measurement standards. 

In People v. Ferency, 133 Mich App 526 (1984), the judges articulated guidelines for "moving" radar readings when offered as evidence at a hearing or in court.  The Ferency decision addressed the due process rights of defendants in speeding cases involving speed measurement devices.  MCOLES used this ruling, and the original recommendations of the OHSP Speed Measurement Task Force, as a foundation for its research.

The speed measurement standards are a compilation of work done by various content specialists and practitioners.  MCOLES staff facilitated several work sessions in order to take full advantage of the expertise of those in Michigan who possess the requisite knowledge and experience in law enforcement, speed measurement enforcement, training, and traffic services. MCOLES would like to acknowledge the time and energy volunteered by all the members of the speed measurement work group and to express our sincerest thanks for all their input, assistance, and support, without which these standards could not have been established.