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A new portable speed detection system developed and built by Unipar has just been unveiled by the Lake District National Park Authority in Cumbria. The system, which uses the recently Home Office Type Approved SL700 laser at its core, records evidence of speeding watercraft onto Hi-8 video together with an overlay of speed, time, date and range.
The system also includes integral GPS positioning, which overlays onto the video the exact location of the camera at the time the speed measurement was recorded together with an independent overland (or in this case over water) speed measurement. This is to ensure evidential integrity by proving that the system, which can be operated either on board another boat or on the shore, was stationary while speeds were being recorded and also as proof of where the event took place on the lake.
Initially, the National Parks Authority have commissioned and taken delivery of two systems for deployment at lake Windermere and Conniston Water, where safety concerns over the excessive speed of some watercraft have lead to the introduction of a blanket 10mph speed limit. With over 3,000 craft registered for use on Windermere alone, ranging from high powered jet skis capable of over 60mph to twin engine off-shore motor yachts, the parks authority felt that it would only be a matter of time before someone suffered serious injury or worse, as a result of a speed related accident. The introduction of the new 10mph limit together with the presence of the new detection equipment is intended to ensure that this becomes less likely.
The system will go into operation for the first time in early 2006 when the boating season begins in earnest. It will be operated simultaneously on both lakes by the park rangers, who have all been thoroughly briefed and trained how to deploy and use the equipment correctly. Anyone now caught in excess of the new speed restriction will have the event recorded onto tape and may face a court appearance and a fine. Hopefully, most of the responsible boat users will keep their speed within the new statutory limits thus ensuring the safety of not just themselves but everyone who uses the water. However, for a small minority who don't, they might just find themselves starring in their own video nasty this year!
NOTE: Anti-Laser PRO PARK does not list ANY Unipar lidar guns on their site for gun they can jam. I asked Anti-Laser on this forum, but the refused to answer the question!