Understanding the Way Police Radar Speed Guns Work

Police holding a radar speed gunA police radar speed gun uses radio waves from an active or static position to determine the speed of automobiles. Its beam targets a vehicle and returns data to the sensor, which the officer can easily read. A Doppler shift occurs when the radar’s frequency changes due to the target’s movement.

Still, the officer won’t have to calculate for the shift in speed, as the radar does it for him. The scenario can get a little complicated when both the target and the radar vehicle are moving – this is where moving radars come in handy.

For their exceptional versatility, radars have become a favorite tool for traffic officers.

How it works

Stationary and moving are the two main types of radars used today. Stationary radars are held from a fixed location, usually when the officer is stationed alongside the traffic. Hand-held models are some of the most popular options.

Thanks to advancements in technology, manufacturers now pack radar speed guns with features that are more reliable. Two of them are:

  • Same Lane Mode – With this feature, the officer can clock same-direction automobiles ahead of the patrol car. Speed guns with a rear antenna can perform on even faster vehicles.
  • Fastest Speed Feature – They use this to check multiple vehicles and display the fastest speed. This mode makes it easier to clock different cars all at once – a feat that would normally be impossible with conventional radars.

In some locales, moving speed guns are the required tool for officers stationed at highways. If there is no access to radar, many resident sheriffs and police use technologies such as VASCAR to measure time and distance. They clock a target between two locations and show its average speed.

While this technology works fine, it doesn’t work as fast as pointing a speed gun toward the vehicle.

Radar speed guns are extremely efficient at clocking vehicles. When a target draws near, just a press of a button will instantly show its speed. Officers have relied on this exceptional tool for years.