The Basics of Speed Radar Guns

Fatal accidents due to road speeding are sadly an everyday occurrence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working on promoting safe behavior on the roads, but there is only so much that can be done.

In the meantime, the police are also contributing and trying to catch offenders. This is where police radar guns come in handy. Radar guns are known as the most common method of checking driving speed.

Keep reading to learn how police radar guns work, and how they are used.

Using Radar Guns

Police officers have the possibility of using a stationary radar gun or a mobile one. The stationary gun is used when patrol cars are parked on the side of the road. It resembles an oversized pistol that police officers point at a vehicle to check its speed. Mobile or moving radars, however, allow officers to measure the speed of an oncoming vehicle while driving on patrol. The radar can also measure speed from behind the vehicle.

Radar Frequencies

Radars operate on different frequencies, the most common ones being the X, K, or Ka bands.
The radars using the X band are becoming less common during speed patrols as the beams they produce are strong and easily detectable.  The police mostly use radars with K-band – 18 to 27 GHz – and Ka-band – 27 to 40 GHz. The Scout 2 Radar Gun is one such handheld radar gun that meets all K band requirements officers are looking for.

Radar Limitations

Stationary radar guns are positioned on the side of the road, so users must be able to estimate the speed of a coming vehicle accurately. This is due to the changes in the vehicle’s position in motion.

The officer must be trained to position the radar to minimize inaccuracies in the reading – ideally to less than one mph.

Identifying the target

One of the weaknesses of radar guns is that they don’t differentiate targets in traffic. This is why it is essential to get a trained officer to operate the radar gun and get the most accurate reading out of it. Another reason a trained operator is needed is that a visual speed estimation is sometimes required to ensure the radar is measuring the right target.

The Environmental Effect

The environment also plays a role in the proper functioning of police radar guns. Weather conditions like rain can affect radars and the quality of their reading. The movement of nearby branches and leaves due to brutal winds can be detected by radars and affect or confuse the speed reading. Radar guns are highly sensitive devices and can pick up on anything moving in the surrounding area, so it takes a professional to get proper data from them.

Radar Range

In general, speed is measured within a distance of 1,000 feet or much closer if the officer is in a hidden stationary position. The tricky part is that the radar displays the speed, but the managing officer needs to determine which vehicle the radar picks up. This is why a trained operator should do the speed measurements and visually identify coming vehicles.

Radar Sports: The Best Radar Guns for Speed Control

Using the right radar gun can provide the most accurate speeding metrics and reduce the number of road speeders and offenders.

Radar Sports offers the best selection of speed and radar guns for traffic enforcement. We have a wide selection of stalker and sports radar guns, too, as well as speed pitch and branded sports inflatables. Get in touch with our team to learn more about our police radar guns.

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