How Laser Works to Measure Your Speed
Laser or LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) guns are used across the nation to detect the speed of motorists. When compared to radar—a significantly older technique—the laser uses much shorter wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, close to infrared range. Police laser uses pulses of laser light as opposed to radio waves; these laser light beams are significantly narrower than radar beams which allow a much more accurate determination of your speed. Laser guns do not rely on light to determine the speed of a vehicle, rather it is dependent on the speed of light.
The speed of light is a constant, allowing extremely precise measurements of distance through the computation of time the laser gun emits the pulse and when it detects the reflection. Several measurements are taken in quick succession, allowing easy computation of your vehicle’s speed. The laser gun requires only half a second or less to capture your speed, as compared to two to three seconds for a radar gun. The laser gun is also instantly “on” which makes radar detectors useless. The instant the beam hits your vehicle, your speed is recorded before your radar detector can issue a warning.
Problems Associated With Laser Speed Detection
There are a number of issues associated with laser speed detection, despite its relative accuracy:
- Laser guns are much more expensive than radar equipment.
- Laser guns can’t be used from a moving vehicle.
- Laser guns can’t be used from behind glass.
- Accurate aiming by the police officer is crucial, requiring a tripod or an extremely steady hand.
- There is the potential of targeting the wrong vehicle if there is significant traffic on the road.
- The officer is unable to see the beam in order to know whether he has maintained the beam on a specific part of the vehicle.
- There is the potential for mechanical interference with a laser gun; in a case in Pennsylvania, state troopers discovered their air conditioning/heating fans were interfering with the laser guns, causing a rock to be clocked at 70 mph.
- Weather conditions such as rain, fog or mist can cause errors in the laser readout due to the refraction of water upon light.
Why It is Important to Fight Your Speeding Ticket
When you received your speeding ticket you may have decided it was simply easier to pay the ticket than to fight it. Unfortunately, by paying your ticket, you have effectively pled guilty and received a conviction for the offense. Once you have that conviction, you will have points placed on your driving record. If you were clocked at a speed less than 15 mph over the posted speed limit, you will have three points added to your record, and if you were driving more than 15 mph above the posted speed limit, you will have four points added to your driving record. If you were also charged and convicted on charges of reckless driving, you will have another four points added to your driving record. Every time points are added to your driving record, you are likely to see a jump in the amount of your auto insurance premiums. If you have enough points on your driving record, your insurance company could drop you completely, and you could find it very difficult to obtain automobile insurance. Further, should you accrue sufficient points on your driving record, you could actually lose your license for a period of time.
How an Attorney from The Law Place Can Help
While you have many options in choosing a Florida traffic attorney, we believe that experience is the single most valuable asset your attorney should bring to the table. Experience lies not only in the number of years your attorney has practiced, but the tactics and strategies added through those years from giving each and every client an aggressive, focused defense. The attorneys at The Law Place have been tenaciously fighting speeding tickets for decades, representing thousands of those charged with speeding each and every year. Our attorneys have outstanding credentials in addition to their level of experience and we will work hard to prevent your driving record from having points added to it.