This is information everybody needs to see and understand, including motorists and the officers running the equipment. It’s no secret that radar, the most widely used method of measuring speed by law enforcement agencies across the nation, is an inexact science, often recording inaccurate, if not downright impossible readings. If you need proof, look no farther than this very video showing just how wildly some of the readings can vary.
One afternoon, in the span of just three hours, the radar system in this police cruiser recorded fourteen false speed readings, varying from a 93 MPH garbage truck to a 103 MPH school bus and even a 131 MPH family sedan, none of which appeared to be traveling any faster than the traffic around them, which registered between 50 and 70 MPH for the most part.
What makes this really troubling for me, though, isn’t these huge, obviously-incorrect readings. Those would almost never hold up in court, especially if there was a dashcam running in the car at the same time as the radar. However, who’s to say there aren’t some false readings in that put the vehicle’s speed at 80, a completely plausible speed for any vehicle to be traveling without standing out drastically from the traffic around them moving around 70. There’s a real good chance that driver is going to get a ticket and that will almost certainly hold up in court, when they could, in fact, be traveling within the “buffer” most officers allow motorists to travel above the speed limit.
It’s something to think about, along with the fact that there’s no sure-fire way of knowing exactly which vehicle is being recorded by the radar system. It just seems like there are entirely too many variables in this system for it to be so widely used to generate so much money for the various states.
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