Page 2 - Stay alert
"Using a radar detector isn't enough. you must be ALERT at ALL TIMES to ALL driving conditions." - Radar Roy
After driving a few days with your newly purchased radar detector, you will become more secure in its abilities as it successfully alerts you of your neighborhood "speed traps". Radar Roy cautions however. as you confidence increases in your detectors abilities, don't fall into the trap of becoming a "stupid driver" and start making mistakes.
The most important thing you can do to avoid a costly traffic ticket it to keep alert of what is happening around you and to respond accordingly!
The radar detector can't protect you against everything. Your radar detector is designed to respond to radar and laser signals it receives and that is all. There are many other methods law enforcement use to accurately estimate your speed and issue you that citation. However, if you are paying attention and know what to look for, you can reduce your chances of being caught.
Aircraft Enforcement: In some parts of the country police routinely use aircraft to obtain speed readings. Often a good giveaway are the large painted white lines on the pavement. These painted lines are used by observers in the aircraft to measure the time it takes you to cross over them. They then radio a waiting patrol unit ahead with your speed and vehicle description.
VASCAR: a computer that calculates your average speed from one point to another. An officer can also use a stop watch. The painted lines in the highway are often a good indicator that this enforcement practice is used in the area, but the officers often use other devices to measure distance. An officer can measure a guard rail from point A to point B then program this distance into his VASCAR system. An officer can also pace you with VASCAR. As you pass two points he enters them into his system. Then the computer calculates your average speed.
Laser Enforcement: A growing trend today are police departments moving to laser (lidar) enforcement and it is estimated that there are over 50,000 police laser guns in use today in the USA.
These guns transmit a beam of infrared light at a frequency of 330 terahertz. This light beam is only 18 inches wide at 500 feet and gets smaller as you approach the officer.
This narrow light beam is aimed by the officer to a reflective area on your vehicle, such as your headlamps or front license plate. The officer can only use the laser gun while he is stationary.
Unless your radar/laser detector is within this 18" circle, or it picks up "scatter" from the beam, your radar detector will never alert. And by chance it does, it is too late as the officer has already obtained your speed.
To protect yourself from Laser Enforcement, we recommend laser jammers. For more information, click here.
Speed Sensors: A relatively new technology that is now being employed by the city of Scottsdale, Arizona , are speed sensors planted in the pavement and then cameras that photograph you if you speed. They then mail you the citation. Some area have signs posted in the area of these devices warning drivers to slow down. Read the signs, avoid the ticket!
Red Light Cameras: Although they are not designed specifically for speed enforcement, red light cameras are now gaining in popularity across the nation as a way to decrease traffic accidents (and increase tax revenue)
Pacing: Perhaps the oldest and most popular method of obtaining a speed reading of a violator by police. Simply put, the officer follows you in his car (or drives ahead of you) and matches your speed to his. After a short distance he obtains a speed of your vehicle and pulls you over. Be alert, is that car behind you smoky?