OK, here we go. I've been trying to resist posting because it'll probably get me into trouble somehow, but here's a little secret info. I am not really a sherpa. In fact, I am radar trained, although I no longer use radar in my presesnt job description. I am bigger than a breadbox. Can you guess what I am?
Ssshhh...that's right, let's keep it quiet. 21 years and counting. Never heard of "POP" mode, and it's probably irrelevant as to whether it's accurate or not within the first second or two. I've used a laser, which is great for heavy traffic, but a pain otherwise because it's heavy and bulky. I preferred to use a handheld Stalker ATR
unit which is Ka band.
Around here (Long Island) we're trained not to use a burst from the radar gun as a basis for a vehicle's speed. Many traffic judges won't accept a cop's testimony that he nailed a vehicle's speed during a quick burst like that, even though the guns I've used are deadly accurate, instantly.
The only way I've ever clocked speed is by making a visual estimation of speed FIRST, and then using the radar ONLY to back that up, or to narrow it down. Anybody can guess a vehicle's speed to within ~ +/- 5 MPH with a little practice. Once I picked a location, I'd watch vehicles and estimate their speed, usually based on landmarks of some kind. Using the radar to verify my estimated speed quickly trained me to estimate speed pretty accurately.
Calibration (a misnomer) of the radar gun with tuning forks only needs to be done prior to using the gun at each location, and then after issuing a ticket. So the radar gun is actually a highly accurate device for backing up your visual "expert testimony" on speed, as well as to nail down an exact number. I know you're 15-20mph over before I even pull the trigger, so that POP mode business is moot for me.
If you get nailed coming around a bend by a burst of radar, they probably got the speed right ( with the error always in your favor whenever there's an angle involved anyhow) but in that case, it would be awfully hard for the cop to say he visually estimated your speed as well. I'd hire a lawyer if I got one of those. But in some small towns and Villages, you may be pissing up a rope either way.
All that stuff you've heard about radar guns clocking trees at 60 mph, is pure lawyer bunk. It's based on improper traing where the
cop hasn't set up properly and failed to verify first that his vehicle's heater fan, or power lines aren't giving off some interference, which can happen. In this environment a gun pointed at a tree can indicate a speed, but it didn't come from the tree. However, once an object with a mass of a vehicle enters the gun's range, any of these weak signals will immediately be overridden by an accurate vehicle speed. If there's any other car within the gun's v-shaped beam, I'll see multiple accurate readings and can still know what belongs to what, however, knowing that this will be tough in court (as it should be) I'll probably wait until the next guy comes along all by himself.
Personally, I'm not really looking to ram anybody up the behind, and I always give the benefit of the doubt. Insurance companies kill people for speeding, and most cops, believe it or not, really don't want to nail somebody unless they're sure they've got the right guy.
Radar detector? I usually know you have it before you're pulled over if you're going to hit your brake the minute I pull the trigger. You might want to ditch it anyway. If you're asked - admit to the detector. Denying it will probably make you look like a wise guy. If you argue, you'll get a ticket for sure. Argue only if you know for damn sure you didn't do it, but try not to get "porky." Your best bet is to act like a gentleman, even if the guy who stopped you is an A-hole. Yep, some of them are, I could name a few, unfortunately. Cops are allowed to use some discretion for less than misdemeanor traffic offenses. Some guys actually hate writing you that ticket, some like it, but they're all usually doing it because that's what the boss said they want them to do.
15 over is a nice safe number. 5 over is pretty lame in any decent court. Small towns scare me. I'm more nervous pushing the limit south of the Mason-Dixon line, myself - not that I ever have [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] Ha ha.
When I'm driving out of state, I can usually guess where the cops are going to sit. A nice fringe benefit - not that I'd ever need that. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] Heyyohh! I never speed (sound of slappin on my knee).
Speed limits do exist - why some are what they are is a mystery however
Guess I'd better shut the hell up before I make somebody mad.
Hey! Drive Safe Dammit! And for the love of Ullr, stay out of the left lane whenever possible and look in your rear view mirror at least once a day - there are thousands who don't - and if you're one of those, you're going to get it from me.
Or am I really a sherpa? Mmmm, not really sure myself. This happens to me from time to time. Sorry. Pretty scary either way though, eh?
:[ January 24, 2004, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Carvemeister ]