Published: Monday, March 19, 2007 8:11 PM CDT
MCPD uses the latest in speed detection technology
By Bob Link, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — Officer Brett Hollander was monitoring traffic on 12th Street Northwest as fast as it was passing his squad car.

With each passing car, he would look through the laser speed detection device, pull the trigger and read the speeds.

Hollander is one of several officers that has completed training on the UltraLyte 200, a speed detection unit that does not use radar.

It’s as easy as looking thought the sights, placing a red target light on the bumper of a passing car and pulling the trigger.

The unit displays the speed of the vehicle and the distance from the unit to the vehicle.

Sgt. Greg Scott said the unit was purchased in part with funds from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.

The state agency often helps with financial support on efforts to police speeding, safety belts and drunk driving.

The bureau provided $3,000 for the $3,900 unit.

“It serves a dual purpose,” said Scott. “It’s great for speed enforcement and accident investigation.”

The unit can measure items as far away as 3,280 feet.

The speed range goes up to 200 mph with an accuracy within 1 mph.

Officers who use the unit take an eight-hour class, presented by the Iowa State Patrol. They’re then required to operate it for eight hours in the field before they can use it to issue tickets.

Half the department has been trained; the other half is in the process of completing the program.

Currently the MCPD has radar units in all 11 marked patrol cars and one older hand held unit.

The new unit will be implemented on the department motorcycle, as well as in specific speed control efforts or accident investigations.

“The beauty of it is that it is target specific,” said Scott. “The units in our cars use a signal more like a shot-gun. It spreads out.

“With this you target the car, pull the trigger and boom, the speed and distance are right there,” said Scott.

Hollander was getting readings between 20 and 34 mph at the foot of the railroad overpass on 12th Street Northwest.

“Some of them are really laying on the brakes,” he said. “Using this unit is not taxing at all ... it’s great.”

Reach Bob Link at 421-0538 or

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Comments On This Story

MCRes wrote on March 19, 2007 11:08 PM:"They have to pay for the units somehow, where better than the bottom of a hill! That's how the city paid for the 19th SW resurfacing. Day after day like after car ticketed for speed. It would be interesting to find out how much they did raise during that period. "

dalejr wrote on March 19, 2007 9:29 PM:"It dont matter how steep a hill if your too stupid to use your brakes then its your own fault if you get a ticket."

Speed Zone wrote on March 19, 2007 9:16 PM:"The speed zone stays the same, there are no exceptions. It is the drivers responsibility to operate the vehicle within that zone. So that means you should probably be using the brakes on a steep decline hill."

all for speed contol wrote on March 19, 2007 8:45 PM:"But, taking readings at the bottom of a fairly steep decline?????"