How far are radar guns accurate?

Regardless of the technology the agency uses, these devices are sensitive measurement tools that require regular calibration and adjustment. Radar guns, for example, require the use of a tuning fork to ensure that the device produces accurate readings. Device manufacturers recommend calibration before each use, but states may require testing and calibration much less frequently. Ideally, police detection speeds with radar guns are accurate to be between 1 and 2 mph.

LiDAR guns tend to be a little more accurate because of the precision of lasers. LiDAR guns cannot be used from a moving patrol vehicle, however, radar can. Designed to look and act like a portable radar gun, a laser detector uses a low-power laser light beam that bounces off the target vehicle and returns to a receiver in the unit. The unit then electronically calculates the speed of the target vehicle.

Laser detectors are supposed to be more accurate than radar units. Many of the detectors available on the market have sensitivity control that can be adjusted to offer the best compromise between trying to detect even weak and distant police radar signals and trying to filter out off-frequency signals that come from sources other than police radar. Police radar is a radar used by police to measure the speed of drivers and to issue speeding tickets. Police can operate the constant-ignition police radar from a “covered” position, hiding among the dense foliage of a median, for example, and pointing their police radar guns across the road at an angle other than directly toward approaching vehicles.

If you have been stopped for speeding based on the results of a radar gun, it is possible to challenge the radar gun tests in court. There are certain speed traps used by police that use constant-transmission police radars that are designed to be more difficult for those who use radar detectors to detect. Most radar errors are the result of radar operation under real conditions, which are often not ideal. The second mode of operation of police radar is called RF-Hold, more commonly known as instant police radar.

If you think of detectors as specialized radio scanners, you will understand how POP radar sought to make them ineffective or at least give that appearance to municipalities that considered purchasing the much-equipped MPH radar guns. Although metal reflects radar beams better than most surfaces, virtually any material will reflect radar waves to some extent.

Janice Bollig
Janice Bollig

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