Types of Speed Detection Methods in Virginia Beach

There are many devices used to determine the speed of a vehicle. They can be used when an officer’s car is stationary or if it is moving. An important tool are radars. Radars use sound waves to pursue radio waves that bounce off other vehicles. The time that it takes those waves to travel from the vehicle back to the radar gun calculates how fast the vehicle was going. The police officer aims their radar gun at the vehicle and pulls the trigger, sending out radio waves. Then the radio waves come back to the radar gun, calculating how fast the vehicle was going. Other important tools include LIDAR and speed cameras. If you have been given a speeding ticket in Virginia Beach you should contact an experienced traffic lawyer, who can fight to get your ticket dropped.

Radar Detections

Radar detectors are generally located in front of the car by the driver. Again, they are illegal in Virginia. Radar presents a speed rounded up to the mile. If radar detected someone driving 91.5 miles per hour, the radar would round up to 92 miles per hour. Judges put a lot of stock into what the radar gun says, especially because they are calibrated regularly. If a police officer testifies that their radar gun read that the driver was going a certain speed, the person will find that evidence harder to overcome.

Police Officers have to be certified in how to use radar guns correctly. They are given an owner’s manual, receive training in the operation of the equipment, and are required to have it calibrated at least every six months with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Proving the Calibration

When the police officer takes their radar equipment or their radar gun to be calibrated with the Virginia Department Forensic Science, they give them a printout. They are generally calibrated to within one mile.  The police officer, depending on the jurisdiction, will keep their printouts with them. In other jurisdictions, the printouts are on file with the Court. A specific binder has a list all of the police officers who regularly work on the road and all of their calibrations. As to the daily calibrations that are required, there’s no printout of that. The police officer has to testify that they calibrated their radar gun before and after their shift and that it was working properly.


Potential Sources of Error

The main source of error is user error. If the police officer did not use the radar correctly, did not properly turn it on, did not accurately lock it onto a person’s vehicle, or had the vehicle in the beam or forgot to calibrate it with the tuning forks before or after their shift, then that counts as user error. Another source of error could be vehicles in the beam associated with heavy traffic – other cars that interfere with the reading that the officer gets. Also, other radio waves could cause the radar to measure the speed wrong.

What is a LIDAR

Another type of speed detection device in Virginia Beach is LIDAR. It is used to determine the speed of a vehicle. It is a newer method, not quite as prevalent as radar guns yet, but most troopers are using LIDAR.

Once the police officer sees a person’s vehicle and determines they are speeding, they will aim the LIDAR at the person’s car. It is similar to a laser, but it is radar instead with a wider beam. It is more specific to a person’s vehicle. The police officer knows the distance between two points, the time it takes to get from one point to another, and then determines the velocity. LIDAR is very specific.

LIDAR weight in Court

LIDAR are given the same reading as radar guns. They are calibrated every six months and judges will be more partial to technology. When the police officer states their laser was calibrated and was working properly, and read he was traveling 80 miles an hour, the judge will likely believe that.

Speed Cameras in Virginia Beach

Another type of speed detection device in Virginia Beach is Speed cameras are not used too much in Virginia Beach. More common are red light cameras. There may be some speeding cameras in the area, but they are not used frequently in this region.

Speed cameras have radar equipment that measures how fast a person was going. It determines a person’s velocity based on how far away he is from the camera, how long it took for that signal to return. As a person moves past the camera, the sensors capture the vehicle.

Leniency of Speed Cameras

If a person is traveling 50 in a 45 zone, it is unlikely they will be caught on a speed camera. However, once a person is more than 10 miles over the speed limit, that will register on a speed camera. The specific speed is calibrated for that specific camera. They are as accurate as the radar equipment attached to them. They have to be calibrated periodically to remain accurate.

Contacting an Attorney

Someone that has been given a speeding ticket and would like to fight the charge, should contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyer. A local attorney knows exactly what they need to know to defend a case.