Radar or Laser: Choosing a Speed Gun for Your Department

When a driver gets ticketed for violating the speeding limit, they can decide whether to pay the ticket and move on or to contest the ticketing in court. When a driver chooses the latter option, they must prove that the officer made a mistake in determining the speed of a vehicle. If that is the case, the court dismisses the charge.

Speed guns help police officers detect the accurate speed of vehicles in traffic. Placed at a reasonable distance before a speed sign, it captures the speed of a vehicle and displays it by the time a driver passes by the sign.

Currently, there are two types of speed guns in the market: the radar gun and the laser gun.

The RADAR Speed Gun
Radar guns have been the go-to measurement tool of traffic enforcers for years. This type of speed detecting device uses what is known as the Doppler Effect, which refers to a change in wave frequencies reflected from or generated on a moving object.

For example, a radar beam aims a frequency toward a moving vehicle, which returns a different frequency that is used to calculate the speed of the car. Significant changes in frequency mean a fast speed, resulting in the vehicle getting pulled over.

Although radar speed guns are known for their convenience and ease of use, they might produce less accurate readings during heavy traffic. The waves coming from the gun are wide by nature, so if you point it toward a car, it will also strike other nearby vehicles. The speed detected by the gun may not be the actual speed of the target vehicle.

The waves of radar guns can also be picked up by radar detectors from a long range away, giving drivers enough time to slow down before they approach the traffic enforcer.

The Laser Speed Gun
Laser or LIDAR (light detection and ranging) guns operate the same way as their radar counterparts. The gun sends out pulses of light and measures a vehicle’s speed based on the returned wave frequencies that bounce off the car.

The difference is that the waves are narrower, making it easier to pinpoint a vehicle from traffic. Some laser guns can record a video image of the car and its license.

The narrow beams of laser guns also make it difficult for radar detectors to pick them up. Sometimes the sensor will pick up the signals only when the vehicle is within the visual distance of the traffic enforcer, giving the driver little warning.

Choosing the Speed Detector for Your Department
Choosing the right speed gun for your department depends on your agency’s needs. Consider the following factors to determine which unit you should buy:

#1: User-Friendliness
Whether you want a radar or laser speed gun, choose devices with features such as:

Displays bright for daytime use but can be dimmed for nighttime
Waterproof and dustproof surfaces
Protective bumpers
Easy-to-use touch-screen menu controls
Can be charged by the vehicle or operated from rechargeable batteries
For laser speed guns, make sure that it has an encryption system that prevents image alternation.

#2: Software
Choose speed guns with computer-based software used for transferring, collecting, and reporting data. Some speed gun software packages collect speed and traffic patterns that can help you identify problems and come up with solutions.

Choose Speed Guns by Radar Sports
Speed guns have tremendously helped traffic enforcers manage traffic in their area and minimize accidents. Whether you choose a radar or laser gun, consider what solutions your department needs.

Radar Sports offers a variety of speed guns, from the traditional radar guns to the more advanced LIDAR guns. Equip your precinct’s fleet with our pieces of tech to keep the roads safe from aggressive drivers.

Get in touch with us to order your laser speed gun or directional radar gun. Call us at 1-800-914-4008 or fill out our contact form and receive an additional $10 off your purchase.

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