Police drafting new speeding help
Wed, Jan 4, 2006
Laser devices will be used by county police on F.J. Torras Causeway
By MARCUS E. HOWARD
The Brunswick News
Drivers on the F.J. Torras Causeway who choose to exceed the speed limit now might want to think twice about doing so.
That's because the Glynn County Police Department is using a new type of speed detector to nab speeders on the busy roadway.
Light Detection and Ranging speed detectors, or LIDAR, use a laser dot to give a readout on the velocity and distance of moving vehicles.
They offer greater accuracy than radar-based speed detection units.
The LIDAR units can pinpoint the speed and distance of individual automobiles, making it easier for police to catch speeders in high-traffic areas such as the causeway.
Sgt. Kevin Wilborn of the Glynn County Police Department's traffic division said that while the department plans to use LIDAR all over the county, it will give special attention to the causeway due to frequent complaints from residents about traffic conditions there.
"Our major concern now is the causeway," he said.
"We're trying to get people to pay more attention to what they are doing."
The police department purchased its LIDAR detectors three months ago and has been training officers to use the devices.
The purchase of two more detectors and training of more officers is scheduled to occur this year.
The Brunswick Police Department began using LIDAR detectors in October.
One disadvantage to using LIDAR detectors is that the devices must be in a stationary position during operation.
Therefore, officers cannot use them while driving, unlike radar speed detection devices.
However, Wilborn said LIDAR allows the department to worry less about visibility because officers can stand outside their vehicles, as well as behind brush or similar obstacles, when using the devices.
This prevents officers from having to station themselves on bridges and other more visible vantage points as they must when using radar devices.
"It's not to create problems for anybody," said Wilborn.
"It's another tool we're able to use to assist us in the performance of our duties."