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How Accurate is a Speed Radar Gun?

undefinedAlthough a RADAR gun or LIDAR device is exceptionally accurate, calibration, distance,  and training can significantly affect its accuracy. LIDAR is also vulnerable to adverse weather. 

You need not worry about VASCAR as it is illegal for use as a speed detection device in California. The use of aircraft is also unlawful, except to identify a speeder from the air. A patrol car must pace the vehicle, issue the ticket, and both the aircraft operator and the law enforcement officer (LEO) must appear in court, so it’s rarely used. But you will see warning signs along the freeway.

Pacing is another method used to match a vehicle’s speed to determine how fast it is going. This can be difficult as the patrol car must follow the “speeder” at a steady speed for a specific distance to get an accurate reading on their odometer. Due to curves in the road, hills, and other traffic, an accurate speed might be difficult to ascertain and easily argued by an experienced traffic attorney. Another method used and allowed but easily argued by an attorney is an estimation (guessing), especially in adverse weather. 

A correctly calibrated, stationary RADAR gun can measure your speed accurately to plus or minus one mph. Yet, if the device is out of calibration or the LEO operating the device is not adequately trained, it could produce a false speed reading.

Therefore, a knowledgeable traffic attorney can get the training and calibration records to challenge your recorded speed in court. 

LIDAR Versus RADAR to Determine Speed 

Light Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is a more recent technology that produces a better image and could be more accurate than RADAR in fair weather. However, it is greatly affected by the weather. 

LIDAR emits a high-frequency laser that bounces back in nanoseconds to provide an image of what is surrounding the vehicle, or in the case of law enforcement uses, the speed of an approaching vehicle. In fact, it is used in the new autonomous (self-driving) vehicles. 

The distance can also affect the accuracy of both LIDAR and RADAR. Although RADAR is accurate over a great distance, the further away the object is that you are trying to measure its speed, the more likely a larger vehicle or object will interfere with the signal.  

Regardless of the method used to determine your speed, RADAR gun, LIDAR, pacing, or estimation, you should always consult a traffic attorney about possible challenges or technical issues that could get you a dismissal. When you add the price of increased insurance to the fine, you could pay close to $2,000 over the three years the ticket will stay on your driving record.  

Bigger & Harman Can Resolve Your Speeding Ticket 

When you get captured by a radar gun going over the posted speed limit on I-395 in Mono or Inyo County, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf