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Home > News > Speed Camera Detectors and Speed Camera Jammers
Speed Camera Detectors and Speed Camera Jammers
   
Apr 03, 2010 - NIWOT, CO -
Front Facing photo speed traps and Rear Facing Speed Traps
Speed Camera
Mobile speed van
ProDB-2 Speed Camera Defense for front and rear protection of your license plates
motorcycle speed camera defense
manned photo speed trap
Gatso speed camera
Passport 9500ci and Blinder M47 laser jammer
Passport 9500ix and Blinder m47 laser jammer

How do speed cameras and photo radar speed traps catch you? Photo radar speed traps use a front facing camera (pointed at the front of your vehicle) or a rear facing camera (pointed at the back of your vehicle) and almost always use radar guns combined with a high speed photo system and computer. Check out the images at right. If the photo trap is front facing, it means you are driving towards the photo trap. The radar gun is pointed across the highway, typically at 23-25 degrees, making it difficult to detect the radar with a radar detector until perhaps the last 200 feet.

If the photo speed trap is a rear facing camera, it means you actually drive into the trap before it can be detected by a radar gun, at which point it is too late. The photo radar actually is aimed at the back of your vehicle as you pass through the photo radar trap. A radar detec tor would not detect the photo radar until you actually are in the photo trap.

The ProDB product is best at detecting the flash, whether it is a front facing or rear facing camera, alerting you, and protecting your plate. You might choose the for front and rear protection. You may only be interested in protecting one license plate with the ProDB product. If you ride a motorcycle, the ProDB-M is great to protect your rear motorcycle license plate. The ProDB products will detect and protect all forms of photo radar speed traps, while GPS radar detectors can only detect known locations of speed cameras and red light cameras, but they can not protect against mobile, photo speed vans. If new photo speed traps have been installed since your last WEB update, then the GPS radar detector is unable to protect you against the new speed cameras and moble speed vans using photo speed cameras.

Radar Detectors that do not incorporate GPS WEB updates are poor at detecting these photo speed traps. There is a GPS radar detector, which is installed as a remote system, Passport 9500ci radar detector. This Escort radar detector is outstanding at alerting to known locations of photo speed traps before you get to the photo radar trap, as well as radar and laser. There are also windshield mounted GPS radar detectors, such as the Passport 9500ix to alert to speed cameras and red light cameras.

Speed cameras and photo radar traps are designed to photograph your vehicle, if you exceed a specific speed, set by the photo speed trap. The pre-determined speed varies from state to state, but in 2009 and 2010, the speed that triggers the speed camera is getting closer and closer to the posted speed limit. In some cases you may be only 1mph or 2kph over the posted limit, In other cases it may be 3, 5 or 7 mph/kph. The radar gun determines your vehicle speed, while the camera photographs your license plate, and often takes a picture of the driver. Some people drive with their sun visor up, while others drive with the sun visor down.

 

Speed cameras are used in three ways:

1)       Fixed speed camera alongside a suburban highway

2)       Red light cameras at intersections

3)       Mobile speed vans with cameras installed in back cargo area

 

Some fixed speed cameras use magnetic timing sensors under the road surface to measure your speed. As you drive over the 1st magnetic trip, a clack starts, and when you drive over the second magnetic trip, the clock stops. The speed is easily calculated and if the speed is too high, the camera is triggered to photograph your vehicle, based on your speed, when your vehicle is in the center of the photograph frame. Red light cameras may also use magnetic strips built into the subsurface to capture your violation. When the light turns red, the magnetic sensor is turned on, waiting for the unsuspecting driver. But running a red light is dangerous to you and to other drivers, so please do not run red lights.

 

When the speed camera, red light camera or mobile speed van takes the picture, the ticket is reviewed and a speeding ticket is mailed to the registration address assigned to the license plate. In most cases, the person reviewing the image is not a policeman, but a person working for the company, who installed the photo speed trap. Each picture includes the date, time, location and vehicle speed. The photo radar company develops the film and gets the registration data from the municipality or state.

Assuming the alpha-numeric characters of the license plate is legible and the driver's face is visible, the company mails the vehicle owner a ticket, such as speeding or running a red light. The ticket typically gives you three choices:

1)       paying the ticket

2)       going to court to challenge the ticket

3)       or indicate the registrant was not the driver of the vehicle. You will usually be compelled to indicate who the driver was, if not you.

 

The photo radar company that installed the speed camera or red light camera often provides expert witnesses to the municipality for cases that appear in court. As a result, the photo radar company receives a share of fines paid in addition to the cost of their contract with the city. The photo radar company will almost always testify against you, providing additional income to the photo radar company. Much of the money the photo radar company makes is derived from the photo tickets issued.

 

Photo Radar mobile speed vans are usually placed in very strategic places, where the police know people usually speed. Is that about safety or money? City managers always say it is about safety, and while it is desired to reduce accidents, the goal of photo radar speed cameras is to generate income. The mobile speed vans are frequently on the roads where the speed limit is too low for typical driving. All major cities have the same issues, where police set up speed traps where speed drops down unexpectedly, and people do not see the speed change. And of course, the police always say we should be more observant. Most major cities in the USA, Canada, England, Australia now have all three versions of speed cameras, red light cameras and mobile speed vans – just waiting for you. No matter the state, province, country or municipality, if it is a safety issue, accidents in these locations should be decreasing. But that tidbit of information is rarely analyzed

 

A Speed Camera is a fixed camera located beside a highway, which is used to detect and photograph a vehicle driving in excess of a certain speed. A Red Light Camera of course is located at major intersections, while Mobile Speed Vans are moved from location to location through out your town, according to the time of day and heavy traffic flow. If speed limits tend to be lower than the posted speed limit, it is unlikely a speed camera or mobile speed van will be located at a location.  If speed limits tend to be higher than posted speed limits at a location, you can be assured the location will be at the top of the list for a good speed camera location or mobile speed van visit. The money generated from these speed traps can be phenomenal, which is why the photo radar companies often install the photo speed traps for reduced costs to the municipality.

 

City managers justify photo radar speed traps by playing on the number of accidents that could be reduced, thus they justify the speed camera purchase to save lives. Rarely do you see a reference of lives saved; and of course once installed, the speed cameras become a money making machine with no police car needed, no officer needed, very little labor and a load of money being generated. This is the point never openly discussed, but always discussed privately among the city managers. Publicly it is about saving lives, while privately it is about generating more tax revenue! However, accidents are caused by a lack of attention to one’s surroundings. If a person were to drive for example 70mph in a 65mph posted speed, it is not the speed that causes the accident, but the driver’s distraction that creates the situation for an accident. The speed generally defines the severity of the accident.

 

In most cases the private, unstated, justification for photo radar traps, speed cameras and red light cameras is revenue creation. Go where the money is. Given there is minimal manpower, minimal equipment used, the photo radar traps are a huge money maker. The speed cameras get your speed. The red light cameras catch you if you run a red light, and the newer intersection cameras can catch you if you “speed on green” through the intersection. And Mobile vans can go most anywhere, anytime, where the most money can be made.

 

City managers contract with photo radar companies to install and manage most photo radar traps. These companies producing speed cameras and red light cameras are experts, who design, produce, ship, install and manage such systems for the cities that purchase. Their staff review photo images daily, and compare the alpha-numeric characters on the license plate to registration data made available to them by the state and local governments. Once the registration of the speeder is identified, a ticket is mailed to the address of the registrant. But was that the person who was driving the vehicle?

 

The mailed ticket identifies the license plate image and usually a picture of the driver. Some people drive with their sun visor up, while others drive with the sun visor down. Some people disregard the citation, as it is not certified. Each state will have a policy on how it responds to a “no respond” situation. The “ticket in the mail” usually gives you several choices:

1)       admit guilt and pay the fine

2)       attend a defensive driving class, and of course you pay for that expense

3)       request a trial

4)       tell them who the actual driver was

 

There is usually a limited time to respond to the citation, which compels the majority of the people receiving the photo radar ticket to pay the fine immediately. This is the desired goal, as it is the #1 alternative, and they want the money with as little labor expended on their part as possible. As you go down the alternatives, you can see an increasing amount of labor required on their part, which is not what they want.

 

Plead Guilty and “Pay the Money”
You can plead guilty by returning the citation with a check in the desired amount of money for the fine.

 

Take Defensive Driving School

If a Defensive Driving class is offered, you would complete the driving class, which is usually managed by a certified government employee. In most cases the ticket is cancelled, but may stay on record. No points are assigned. In most cases the insurance company is not aware of the ticket and driving class. Perhaps this is the better of the alternatives made available to you.

Plead Not Guilty and fight it.
Send the citation in saying it was not you. You might say you are not guilty, but you have to prove this, and it usually goes to some form of adjudication. Do you want to do this? Do you have time? Is it you in the picture? Is it a legible picture of you or someone else? If so, you can ask to have the citation dismissed with no further action. The court will pressure you as to who the person in the image is, and most likely you will be compelled to state who the person is, if you know them, or you may pay the fine anyway. Ultimately, it is their job to define the driver, but you know they will be looking at you. If you do not know the person, say so. Be truthful. Lying to the court would not be in your best interests, as they can come back to you, as they choose.

 

Depending on the state, the citation may be certified. If a signature is required, then the person being served the citation may have to sign. Perhaps the state requires anybody to sign. Certified means that a reply is mailed back to the authorities indicating the citation was correctly delivered and received. In some states, there is several months provided for the citation to be served, usually three to four months. Interesting that you as the driver have a limited time to respond, yet they have considerably more time to get the citation to you. If you are visiting a state and get a photo ticket, it may be the photo radar ticket will not be mailed outside of the state, ar may not be mailed outside the county. However, some states may desire to mail out of county or out of state, if the revenue justifies the additional effort. Some states will not mail to a post box, while others will.

 

Request a Trial

You must know your facts, have written details to back up your position. If you come to trial and think that you are going to talk your way out without having proof, you are wasting your time, and will probably piss off the judge. Why are you not guilty? Be specific and have a back up approach. Know your facts such as time, location, speed, etc. Were you even at that location at that time? Was it the driver in front of you or behind you? Was the road slippery and you had to make an instant decision? You might also study the photo radar tool and see if there is a technical issue that effects the citation. Does the state permit outside companies to issue a ticket? Was the photo radar system maintained properly? Was the radar gun calibrated on a timely manner? Was the photo system operating correctly? You may need to get details for the photo radar company, and they will not provide it willingly. Again this is another issue of the state, as they most states make it hard for you to get information, but make it easy for them to give the citation to you. You may have to Subpoena the photo radar company for equipment records of that photo radar trap, including photo system maintenance, radar gun calibration, test records, etc. The court or prosecutor may make it difficult or try to delay, but you have the right to subpoena evidence that relates to your citation. Were the people qualified to make the maintenance? In many cases the technicians have to be certified and meet certain requirements to certify a photo radar trap is fully functional. Is the technician only qualified in radar and not photo, or vice verse?

 

If you choose to go to trial, you must be prepared. Otherwise you will waste your time and likely pay more money.

1)       Was the radar system calibrated? When? Was it calibrated at the proper frequency? Was the person calibrating the radar gun certified and trained? Was the photo radar system operating correctly? Who tested it and when? Were they certified to test the radar gun? How many actual failures has the photo radar system had in its use? What company operates and maintains the photo radar trap? If they can not answer pertinent questions, then the citation may not have merit.

2)       Did the company keep records? Were the records so poor that they can not substantiate the failure rates?

3)       Does the photo radar company have a consistent maintenance record of their systems? Did maintenance conform to the specification sin the technical manual? You may have to get a lawyer to get these answers, or you may use a subpoena to get the information. How much training did the technicians have in operation and calibration of the entire photo radar system? Maybe it takes two or three people to repair, test and calibrate, and the company only used one technician. If so, how can the technician be sure a malfunction did not occur?

4)       Was the person who issued the citation qualified to do so?

5)       Was the information used to create the citation correct, or was it vague?

 

 

So we describe above the types of speed cameras, red light cameras and mobile photo speed vans. Given that local governments are rapidly installing these traps to increase their lagging tax revenue (they seem not to consider cutting non-critical expenses), you might consider our ProDB for front and rear speed camera protection. You may only be interested in protecting one license plate with the ProDB, which is used to protect one license plate on a car, SUV or truck. The ProDB-M will protect a rear motorcycle license plate. There is the Passport 9500ci radar detector from Escort Radar, a GPS radar detector, which is hidden into your vehicle as a remote radar detector and provides photo radar protection, radar detection, electronic invisibility and laser jamming. raps before you get to the photo radar trap. The windshield mounted GPS radar detector, Passport 9500ix is also available.

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