When a review of highway deaths on state roads in 1986-87 found an increase in fatal accidents closely linked to increased speed, the State Police responded by employing a wide variety of innovative speed enforcement strategies and technologies. These included mobile and stationary radar, laser speed measurement devices, aerial enforcement and mobile patrols.
The State Police carried these initiatives into the 1990s, combining them with an increased emphasis on maintaining a highly visible presence on the highways.
Troopers use high tech speed enforcement tools
Troopers use unique Stalker Dual SL radar units from Applied Concepts, Inc. and LTI Marksman-model laser speed measurement devices from Laser Technology, Inc. The units, which use state of the art advancements in microelectronics, were purchased after extensive field testing.
Stalker Dual SL Radar
The Stalker radar units use a high frequency (KaBand) that has proven less susceptible to recognition by radar detectors. Equipped with dual antennae, the units are capable of measuring the speed of target vehicles approaching or receding from a stationary or moving patrol vehicle.
The units feature a wireless infrared remote control, similar in design to a television remote control. The microchip technology used by the Stalker yields a radar unit of unparalleled performance.
Laser or LIDAR (Light Detector and Ranging) instruments use pulses of infrared light to measure the speed of an approaching or receding target from a stationary patrol vehicle. Unlike radio waves transmitted by radar units, laser beams are quite narrow, spreading just three feet in diameter at a range of 1,000 feet. This near pinpoint accuracy makes lasers particularly well suited to speed enforcement in congested traffic situations.
The laser emits infrared light pulses at known intervals and determines the speed of a targeted vehicle by measuring the change in distance when the pulses are reflected from the moving target. This ranging capability has a variety of distance measurement applications in addition to speed enforcement.
A heads-up display scope allows the operator to read speed and distance measurements while continuously sighting targets. The LTI Marksman is capable of making these measurements within three tenths of a second.
Patrol troopers attend a 36-hour course to obtain an Operator Certification Card.