Beating Photo Radars
A photo radar is designed to photograph drivers who travel five to ten miles per
hour over the speed limit. These photographs, along with particulars such as
date, time, location, and vehicle speed, are then mailed to offenders.
Anatomy of Photo Radars How does photo radar work? Photo radar is made up of the following:
A high speed traffic camera and flash unit
A narrow beam, low-powered Doppler radar antenna aimed across the road
A computer that records information, such as date, time, speed, and location of the violation
Photo radar works this way. First, the system is hoisted onto a police vehicle
that typically patrols areas where overspeeding is a problem. Then, it catches
speed demons and those who run against red lights. Drivers can see their vehicles'
speed from a reader board found in the back window of the police unit display.
Beating Photo Radars Many disgruntled drivers have successfully parlayed their
dislike for photo radars into a lucrative business. They produce products that
supposedly protect drivers from being photographed by photo radars. Below are
some of the products and a brief description of how they are used.
Radar Detectors A radar detector detects the presence of photo enforcement
devices. Accordingly, it assists drivers in beating photo radars by warning them
of photo radar presence. This gives drivers time to slow down. Many claim radar
detectors are effective. One problem with radar detectors, however, is that
these do not work with red light cameras that measure speed using sensors
embedded in roadways.
Flash-back device What senses the flash of a photo enforcement camera and
immediately flashes its own strobe light onto the license plate to make license
numbers invisible to cameras? Why, a flash-back device, of course! Flash-back
devices are highly popular, especially because they're cheap. A study, shows
however, that flash-back devices are ineffective in beating photo radars when
Redflex sensor-based photo enforcement cameras are used.
GPS-based warning systems Radar detectors are illegal, and in some states, use
of flash-back devices are implicitly prohibited. What do drivers interested in
beating photo radars without breaking the law do? They buy GPS-based warning
systems. These devices, which are very popular in European markets, has just
recently become available in the United States.
This is how a GPS-based warning system works: you download the location of speed
enforcement cameras into a GPS system. Because your system now has a map of camera
locations, it warns you to slow down every time you are close to a photo radar.