The world of speed cameras can be very confusing for beginners.
There is a lot of conflicting advice, mis-information and myth on the internet. Many terms are used incorrectly by retailers or muddled by the media. However the most common reason why newcomers struggle with these technologies is because they are unrealistically looking for a single product that can cover everything. This is not possible given the range of enforcement equipment that is now used.
Simple advice from a source you can trust.
This post will help you understand the three main categories of speed enforcement equipment, and the three main defences. It will also help you seperate fact from fiction when deciding on the right kind of product(s) to buy to use in your own car.
This stuff really is straightforward and logical ...when you understand the basics! FIXED CAMERAS There are over 50 different types of speed camera or red light camera system currently in use around the world.
These cameras can work in several different ways. Older speed cameras used radar to measure your speed and this was why you could use a radar detector
to warn of them. However, most modern speed or red-light camera systems use ground-based sensors in the road surface to measure your speed; either inductive loops or piezo strips. Some now use virtual loops or scanning lasers. Others record a video image at two locations and calculate your average speed over the distance. Camera systems are also now extremely efficient, sending digital images back to a central control room through the mobile phone network and internet. The reason that radar detectors
cannot pick up modern enforcement cameras is because there are no emissions to detect.
The good news is that it doesn't matter how an individual camera system works, because they all have one thing in common. All fixed cameras are mounted on a fixed installation post, so they are not exactly going anywhere!
The GPS co-ordinates of any camera can be plotted and stored in a database - we use the Trinity database - which you can then download straight into the memory of your Cheetah GPS product so that it will warn you whenever you approach that location. Radar detectors
, laser detectors and laser jammers
cannot warn you of these fixed cameras because there is nothing to detect. Golden Rule #1 - If you want to be reminded about fixed cameras, the product to use is a GPS Camera Detector.
To see if fixed cameras are an issue in your state, please visit our USA guide
or our International Guide
For more details on cameras or to identify an individual one that is being used in your area, please visit our Camera Guide
. MOBILE RADAR
There are many different mobile systems that use radar to measure a vehicle's speed. Some have camera systems attached to them so that tickets can be posted out later. Others don't have a camera, so an officer has to stop you at the time to issue a ticket. They include:
- Hand-held radar gun used by an officer standing anywhere at the side of the road.
- Moving radar systems fitted to police cruisers that can measure multiple vehicles as the cruiser is driving along.
- Tripod mounted radar/camera systems like the mobile GATSO or Multanova 6F which can be set up anywhere.
- Camera Vans / Photo Radar vans with a radar/camera system set up inside and are driven to suitable locations.
- Vehicle mounted radar/camera systems can also be fitted into a standard car and parked at the roadside.
Under international regulations, any system that uses radar to sense motion must operate within particular allocated radio frequency bands. These are known as K band, Ka band, Ku band and X band. Whenever any radar system is operating, it is emitting a signal. Radar detectors look for this and whenever they encounter a signal in one of the frequency bands. they will alert you to it. Golden Rule #2 - If you want to detect mobile radar traps, the product to use is a Radar Detector. LASER (or LIDAR)
Laser is becoming much more popular for speed enforcement because it can more accurately pinpoint individual cars in heavy traffic or urban conditions. Handheld laser guns
can be used on their own but when laser is used inside a Camera Van, the guns are mounted on a tripod and hooked up to a camera system to record any infractions, so that speeding tickets can be issued later and sent out by mail.
A laser gun
is capable of recording a vehicle's speed in less than one third of a second, so if a radar detector
does pick up the laser beam and alert you, its usually too late to do anything about it because your speed has already been recorded.
When a laser gun
is fired, it is perfectly normal for the operator to get an "error message" on the gun and have to fire a couple of times to get a speed reading. When a laser jammer
system is triggered, it fires it's own matching laser beam to confuse the gun, preventing it from getting a speed reading and the gun records the same normal error message that the operator is used to seeing all the time. Golden Rule #3 - No detector can protect you properly against laser traps. The product to use is a laser jammer. OTHER DEFENSIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Products like Veil and Laser Sheild
can help and improve the performance of your countermeasures and you should consider them as past of a total package approach towards defence.
So, summing up - one single product just ain't enough any more to deal with all the different technologies that your up against these days!
Please feel free to add in other advice below. This should probably be a sticky somewhere for newcomers to refer to - there's a lot to take in.