MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: how does police radar work

Date: Tue Apr 25 06:58:21 2000
Posted By: Dale L. Laux, Staff, Serology/DNA, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 955625232.Eg


For detailed information on how radar works, an article written by Bruce 
J. Schryver, Ph.D is available at  I work with an
officer who runs radar and asked him how it works.  Basically, an officer that 
is stationary can point a radar gun at an oncoming vehicle, and the gun will 
accurately register the speed of the car.  When the gun is pointed at a group 
of cars, the gun will register a speed and the officer must determine the 
speeding car by sight.

Officers following speeding cars "pace" the offending vehicle and can 
determine the vehicle's speed in this manner.

The newest technology utilizes lasers.  An officer can point a laser beam on 
the speeding car's license plate and determine it's speed very accurately, even 
out of a group of vehicles.

So be careful driving and no speeding!

Dale L. Laux
Forensic Scientist

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