According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 112,000 drivers receive speeding tickets every day at an average price of $152 per ticket. The vast majority of traffic stops are the result of speeding caught by law enforcement using radar guns to track speeders in the same way Major League Baseball tracks the speed of a pitcher's fastball. The problem with radar is it's easy to detect. If you have one of the best radar detectors, you'll know about that police car hiding behind the billboard long before you're in its path. This is where laser speed guns come into play.
Also referred to as LIDAR (light detection and ranging), laser speed guns use light in extremely fast pulses to detect an object's speed. It has a range of 1,000 feet to 4,000 feet, and it's very accurate. One of the advantages of laser speed guns is that they're nearly impossible to detect beforehand. Unlike radar, which you can detect miles before the cop knows you're coming, laser doesn't spread out and expand. The signal is very narrow, which means that you can receive a laser alert on your radar detector while all the other cars on the road are none the wiser.
So what good is having a LIDAR detector on your radar detector? If you were speeding when you got a laser alert, then there's no chance of adjusting your speed. You're caught! Here are some methods of being prepared for laser speed guns.
When your vehicle is hit with the laser of a LIDAR gun, a laser jammer detects the laser and sends out a laser with the same wavelength but higher intensity. This effectively confuses the LIDAR gun, resulting in an inaccurate speed or no speed at all. So you might get around the technology, but laser jammers are easy to detect. The officer will know you've jammed his LIDAR gun, which only gives him reason to pay closer attention to your vehicle, looking for any excuse to pull you over.
Unlike radar jammers, laser jammers aren't illegal under federal law. They are, however, illegal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. And the number of states where they're illegal will likely only grow.
Community Threat Sharing
The best radar detectors have community threat-sharing features, which allow you to share information with other drivers with radar detectors. Your radar detector must have both GPS and the ability to connect to your smartphone to do this. Even if your radar detector doesn't have Bluetooth or GPS, some devices are compatible with smart cords that you can purchase separately. The smart cords provide a Bluetooth connection to your phone, which can also provide the GPS features.
By using a community threat-sharing app like Escort Live or Cobra iRadar, you can report GPS locations for things like red-light cameras, speed cameras, speed traps and active laser guns. In other words, you can see where other users have reported active lasers and when the lasers were active. By being part of a community, you have more eyes looking out for you. It's not foolproof, though. You might be the one reporting the LIDAR gun, but it's effective.
nemo est supra legis
There is really only one method for combating a LIDAR gun that's 100 percent effective don't speed. Speed limits have a purpose, and it's not so the government can make money from tickets. It's to keep you and others safe. The faster you go, the shorter the reaction time and the less control you have over your vehicle. Exceeding the posted speed limit isn't just dangerous to you, but it's also dangerous to everyone you share the road with. If you obey the posted speed limits and always keep a safe speed, you'll never have to worry about a laser gun.
So heed the ancient Latin phrase nemo est supra legis "nobody is above the law."