Speed Measuring Devices

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Speed Measuring Devices

The Police forces in Ontario use four primary methods to detect drivers committing the offence of speeding. These methods are Radar, Laser, Aircraft Patrols and Pacing. Speeding is the most common offence issued to drivers in Ontario, but also one of the offences we have a lot of success defending against.

Radar is used from either front or rear mounted antennas on police cruisers. They can be used while the cruiser is stationary or moving. While stationary, police officers will often manually point the radar at approaching vehicles. This is the method being used when you see cruisers stopped along the road with a device that looks sort of like a telescope in their hand.  While the cruiser is moving, the mounted radar can detect the speed of both oncoming vehicles, and vehicles going the same direction.

Laser or Lidar can only be operated from a stationary position. The device is typically mounted on a stand or tripod where the officer can look down the sight to pin-point which vehicle is being “clocked”. The officer will see a magnified view of what is being looked at, much the same as a scope on a rifle. By aiming the laser at a flat part of the front of a vehicle (typically the license plate area) they are able to record a very accurate speed measurement from an extremely long distance away.

Aircraft Patrolling is used to catch drivers speeding in a way that is often difficult to notice until they have already been caught. This method is typically used up around cottage country when there is an abundance of traffic from people going to and from their cottages. The police officer in the aircraft uses a computer tracking system, which is able to calculate the time it takes for a vehicle to travel between two locations. They are able to calculate the average speed of a driver by the time it takes to travel between the road markings. These patrols are partnered with a ground-based team which is notified of the speeding vehicle and able to conduct the traffic stop to issue the ticket.

The last method of measuring speed is called Pacing. This method is not used as often now due to the technological advancements available today. This method of speed detection is rather simplistic, and is done by matching the cruiser’s speed with a vehicle that they are following. By matching the speed, the officer is able to use their own speedometer to record an average speed of the vehicle in front of them.

The methods to measure and detect speeds are very accurate, which can make defending against the charge of speeding difficult for an unrepresented person. However, with knowledge of the strict requirements of the officer to setup, operate and test the equipment properly, there are often avenues for a strong defence. Even a small error in procedure can be enough to have the charge withdrawn or dismissed. Ticket Shield legal representatives are trained and educated to locate these, often small, errors and use them to try to have your charge dismissed.