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How New York Police Determine Speeding

New York police have several different methods of determining your speed before they issue a ticket. Radar is the most common. Radar devices can either be mounted inside a patrol car or housed in a portable "gun." Radar measures speed by sending out radio waves. The waves bounce off of objects such as vehicles, and the Radar device measures the return frequency of the waves, which shifts based on how fast the vehicle is going. Police officers can also use laser to determine how fast a vehicle is going. Laser technology, also called LIDAR, measures the time it takes for a beam of light to be reflected back from a moving vehicle. The exact time will vary according to how fast the car is going when the laser beam hits it. Unlike radar, LIDAR has to be aimed at a specific vehicle. Drivers with radar detectors beware: LIDAR is undetectable with normal radar detectors, and even special LIDAR detectors won't detect it until it's too late.

In New York, police can also use aircraft such as helicopters to catch speeders. Speed can be measured from the air by watching a motorist and timing how long it takes the car to pass over two points on the ground that are a known distance apart. EZ-Pass tollbooths also have a radar system embedded in them that measures how fast you are going through the tollbooth, so make sure you slow down to a safe speed or you will receive a warning letter. You could also have your EZ-pass privileges revoked if you continue to speed. There is a myth that the police are planning to use EZ-Pass to enforce speed limits on New York state highways, but that is actually a hoax.

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