This email was sent out 1 week after I heard some suspected LIDAR trap traffic over the police scanner one morning. This email confirms my suspicions...my base now has lidar. A dangerous upgrade from the years of easily detectable constant-on Ka. Looks like I may have to check into jammers now.
Message to Speedsters:
Buy the Most Expensive Radar Detector you can possibly find.
No, really! I mean it!
Because I want you to waste as much money as possible. I want you to feel like the biggest jerk idiot on Edwards when you get nabbed by…the Lidar! And then you can add the cost of the ticket to the cost of that fancy-but-useless electronic chatterbox you mounted on the dash.
"Lidar" stands for "Light Detection and Ranging". It's a laser. And it laughs--no, chortles--at radar detectors.
You can't outrun light speed, there, Captain Kirk. And the Lidar is basically instantaneous, so even if you see the cops, it's too late.
On Thursday, TSgt _____, SSgt _____and SSgt _____ let me accompany them on one of their patrols to "stake out" Rosamond Blvd. They showed me their radar and lidar equipment, discussed the requirements for getting certified to use it, and even the periodic calibrations of the equipment itself.
Most impressive thing I saw was when I used the lidar to check the speed of cars that were 3000 feet away. (At that point, they were mere dots on the very distant road.) Funniest thing I saw was when the same car would get to about 500 feet away, and you could see the car literally pitch forward, nose-down/tail-up, as the driver suddenly realized "that's a cop!" and slammed on the brakes…"Hello! A little LATE there! But thanks for confirming you knew you were going WAAAAAY too fast!"
Meanwhile, SSgt _____, SSgt _____ and SrA _____ were doing the hard part. Stationed down the road, they would pull over the cars we caught with the radar and lidar. We talked about the procedures they use when they make a traffic stop--and also the techniques that generally work to keep the people they stop from coming unglued.
Turns out, some people get upset when they're pulled over. Stands to reason, I reckon. But a few even decide that, what the heck, "in for a penny, in for a pound," so as long as they're already not having a lucky day, it's time to impress the policeman with their analysis of HIS faults.
Earth to obnoxious drivers: This technique works approximately…uhhh…ZERO percent of the time!
But generally, people are cooperative and remorseful. They know they messed up, they know they shouldn't speed, and they feel pretty dumb. Maybe that'll work for next time they drive on base.
Oh, yeah. If you're going MUCH too fast, you can lose your base driving privilege immediately. That's "immediately" as in "No, ma'am, you can't drive it the rest of the way to work. Leave it here and call a friend, co-worker or supervisor."
By the way: I did not participate in ANY of the tickets. I didn't run the radar, or the lidar, or make any stops…our lawyers made sure I knew all the rules so I wouldn't and couldn't be considered to be "part of the enforcement team."