'You cannot beat police radars'
By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter
Published: December 27, 2008, 23:32
Dubai: With Dubai Police installing more and more radars on the roads, the latest buzz among bloggers across the city is how to speed and get away without a fine.
The answer for many was to get hold of radar detectors which would alert them about the radars well before they reached them so they could reduce speed when they got close to them.
Dubai Police's Traffic Department though had a different plan.
Radar detectors cannot detect any radars in Dubai, so motorists who spend cash on detectors should keep their money, a senior police official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Acting Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, told Gulf News that radar detectors could not detect radars in Dubai because the frequencies or radio waves which the detectors can sense from far away and alert the motorist were kept at the lowest levels.
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"The latest technology used in radars today is very advanced and it is difficult to trick digital radars today. Detectors could have been useful with the old radars which worked on films," Lieutenant Colonel Al Mazroui said.
He said radars in Dubai had been set on the lowest frequencies which can only be detected via detectors very close to the radar. By that time, the detector is already close to the radar and is not useful. The detectors can give wrong alerts by detecting other frequencies such as telephone signals.
He said motorists had lately claimed that they could deceive radars by covering and hiding their number plates through either spraying them with a special spray or covering them with a special kind of plastic which prevents radars from capturing their number plates - but he said that this does not work.
Lieutenant Colonel Al Mazroui said there would be around 500 radars on Dubai roads by the end of this year.
He said the department had installed 90 new digital radars on several roads and highways in Dubai to reduce the number of fatal accidents resulting from speeding and reckless driving.
He said the traffic department had installed the new radars known as "beams" on different roads, these comprise 30 radars on Shaikh Zayed Road, 22 radars on the Dubai-Al Ain Road, 17 radars on the Dubai-Hatta Road, 10 radars on Emirates Road, 6 radars on Al Khail Road and 5 radars on Business Bay Bridge.
"We are currently training traffic policemen on how to use speed radar guns which will come into effect by the beginning of next year. These radars can catch offenders from a distance of one kilometre, as they are very accurate and clear," Lieutenant Colonel Al Mazroui said.
He warned motorists that these radars are small and difficult to be seen. Therefore, motorists need to be careful and abide by speed limits.
"Speeding is the main reason behind many fatal road accidents. If a motorist is travelling at a speed of 120km/h, he or she travels 100 metres in a second, which is a lot and makes it difficult to control the car in case of any distraction. It is difficult to control a high speed car even for those who are experienced drivers," Lieutenant Colonel Al Mazroui said.
He said the goal behind installing more radars on the roads was to protect the lives of road users and not to make money.
"The traffic department is working to reduce accidents and offences by increasing radars and intensifying police patrols," Lieutenant Colonel Al Mazroui said.
How it works: Speed of light
A radar device produces a concentrated radio wave and listens for any echo to measure the speed of vehicles. If the vehicle falls in the path of the radio wave, it will reflect the electromagnetic energy which will make the radio wave fall back to the radar device.
Radio waves move through the air at the speed of light. The radar device then can calculates how far away the object is based on how long it takes the radio signal to return. Based on the frequency changes, a radar can calculate how quickly a car is moving toward it or away from it.
Source: HowStuffWorks "How Radar Detectors Work"
Lieutenant Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Acting Director of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, said many new radars did not flash when they caught offenders.
"If there is enough light through which the radar can catch an offender it does not flash. So, motorists should not rely on radars flashing."