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NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. - Speeding is not necessarily reckless, even at 128 mph, a judge ruled in the case of a motorcyclist who tried to flee from state troopers.
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With some reluctance, County Judge John Steinheider ruled last week that Jacob H. Carman, 20, was not guilty of reckless driving on Sept. 5, when he was spotted by a trooper who then chased him at the top speed of his cruiser's odometer — 128 mph.

"As much as it pains me to do it, speed and speed alone is not sufficient to establish reckless driving," the judge told Carman on Friday. "If you had had a passenger, there would be no question of conviction. If there had been other cars on the roadway, if you would've went into the wrong lane or anything, I would have convicted you."

Otoe County prosecutor David Partsch acknowledged that Carman could have been charged with speeding but, "We felt that the manner in which he was operating the motorcycle was reckless."

Carman didn't get off entirely. He was fined $300 for expired tags and other violations.
 

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Agree with the Judge......

My comments are inserted and blue.


NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. - Speeding is not necessarily reckless, even at 128 mph, a judge ruled in the case of a motorcyclist who tried to flee from state troopers. Anyone one of us that knowingly exceeds the posted speed logically must agree with the stated premise by this Judge. The arguments will rage, but they will not address the premise, they will be personal and relative judgements of speed, i.e., "when I go 10 mph over the speed limit, it's not reckless or unsafe, but when others go 20 mph over the limit they are reckless, or unsafe."

With some reluctance, County Judge John Steinheider ruled last week that Jacob H. Carman, 20, was not guilty of reckless driving on Sept. 5, when he was spotted by a trooper who then chased him at the top speed of his cruiser's odometer — 128 mph. It seems as though the officer did not assert that the m/c rider knew he was being pursued, contrary to the opening editorial paragraph. Clearly if he had been trying to "flee" from the officer he not only would have been charged with such and, most likely, convicted.

"As much as it pains me to do it, speed and speed alone is not sufficient to establish reckless driving," the judge told Carman on Friday. Could not agree with that statement more. "If you had had a passenger, there would be no question of conviction. If there had been other cars on the roadway, if you would've went into the wrong lane or anything, I would have convicted you." I don't agree with that particular point. If it's not reckless for the rider, and the passenger is willingly enjoined in the action, then it would not necessarily be reckless. Applying the same logic about 10 mph over the speed limit and add passengers, it does not directly follow that it would be reckless. If the passenger was underage, then it might, probably would, be "child endangerment" because the child cannot consent, and the substantial speed would tremendously increase the risks of injury.

Otoe County prosecutor David Partsch acknowledged that Carman could have been charged with speeding but, "We felt that the manner in which he was operating the motorcycle was reckless." That was a goof, or ego, on the part the part of the prosecutor. He could have done both, but chose to not give the Court an option for conviction of speeding by not including the lesser offense in the charges.

Carman didn't get off entirely. He was fined $300 for expired tags and other violations
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Discussion Starter #4
Bill, i have to say I agree with you. I was surprised that the judge looked at it this way. I assumed that at that speed reckless driving was a given.Never accured to me logic would enter into it
 

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Here in Cal it is similar, 20 over state max is reckless, and anything over 25 in a school zone is reckless!

Basically in the law they provide the definition of reckless, it is not an arbotrary decision by the cop or DA.
 
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