New York State Police

Speed Enforcement Training

Speed enforcement is an essential part of the NYSP effort to reduce deaths and injuries on the highway. As part of this commitment, the Basic School program includes thorough instruction for recruits in the special tools used by troopers in their speed enforcement efforts: RADAR, LIDAR and Time Distance Measurement instruments.

RADAR is the acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. It is the basic tool used by police officers everywhere to detect speeding violations. Each recruit trooper receives 30 hours of instruction in the proper setup, testing and operation of the radar instrument. Each radar operator also is required to demonstrate proficiency in visually estimating the speed of a vehicle.

LIDAR stands for LIght Detection And Ranging. This system uses laser technology to cast a concentrated beam of light on a moving target and detect its speed. The device has a big advantage over conventional radar in that it can target a single speeding vehicle in heavy, congested traffic conditions. LIDAR training requires an additional 36 hours of instruction beyond the basic RADAR course.

Speed Distance Measurement uses the formula "Distance Traveled/Time elapsed = Speed of Vehicle." Several devices use this principle, the most common now being the "Skytimer." This average speed computer is used by specially trained troopers riding in NYSP fixed-wing aircraft, who coordinate their efforts with patrol vehicles on the ground.

For more information see Traffic and Highway Safety Speed Enforcement.