How ISP Uses Radar On Speeders


By KMVT Staff

Boise, Idaho ( KBOI ) Idaho State Police are always out., looking for speeders on the highway.

They say when using radar, they can track someone as far as quarter of a mile away, on some stretches even longer.

Sgt. Fred Rice, Idaho State says, "basically it's a laser. It shines light out. It's reflected, the light comes back. It's timed and it tells us how fast an object is moving."

Sounds simple, but there are limits to using radar and laser devices. ISP says the laser is a lot more accurate.

"Laser you have to tell which car you're looking at. Radar's taking all the vehicles that are out there and you have to be able to determine which one is speeding."

ISP says that may be harder if there are a pack of cars moving together or a huge semi close by.

"The motorcycle, I am not going to pick them up because cars a bigger reflector. I would just get the car."

Reporter: I asked if a smaller sports car is harder to detect like stealth.

"It might take a second or two on a car that's very low key, fiberglass, it doesn't have a lot of reflective, but it's still going to get a reading off of it eventually."

"If you ever wonder why front license plates are required by law in Idaho, here's your answer."

"It has to be on the front bumper. That's where the license plate has to be. And guess what? A license plate is very reflective."

ISP says even motorcycles have a headlight that not only lights up the road but also lights up laser and radar devices. The Sgt says the advantage of laser is its pinpoint accuracy but the disadvantage, an officer has to be stopped. But with radar police can move and find you coming or going but the speeder can't be clocked from the side.

"Radar it's reflecting off of many objects. When you have a cluster of cars coming at you that goes into the training of the officer. You have to pick the car you believe is speeding."

Sgt Rice says that troopers can pick a speeder out of a pack just as accurate as radar. They can come within a mile or two of its actual speed.

"We got some officers out there, they can nail it."

Even though we may try to get away with flooring it every so often, the Sgt says the laser and radar aren't the speeders biggest problem.

"How do you fool radar? Well you got to fool the cop."

The biggest excuse police hear from speeders is that the driver just wasn't paying attention.

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