While some riders may not like the hi-tech TruCAM II radar gun’s ability to more accurately measure speed, the device could also be considered a friend of the motorcyclist.
Features which may appeal are its ability to target tailgaters, aggressive drivers, distracted driving and vehicles obstructing traffic.
So why aren’t they used more for these offences, rather than just speeding offences?
We asked police and transport departments in several states for statistics on offences from TruCAM II units and were either told the figures were not available or would take days/weeks to acquire.
We will update this article if they ever arrive.
Many police departments now have TruCAM II devices but some don’t divulge their technology.
Victoria and Queensland Police said they do not use the devices which cost about $A36,000 (£20,000, $US25,000) per unit.
While the units could be a friend to riders, more often than not they seem to be their foe.
Some of their abilities specifically target riders including its “rear-plate mode” which measures the speed of an approaching motorcycle (or other vehicle with a missing or obscured front plate) and tracks it as it passes so that it captures the number plate.
The images are highly accurate to 150m and at speeds up to 320km/h.
Manufacturers Laser Technology Inc (LTI) say the device will detect any vehicle, capturing its make, model and registration plate.
LTI claim the cost of the device is justified by providing better proof of an offence so officers are not required to front court when a fine is challenged.
Other features include:
- Differentiating speeding motorcycles and other vehicles in heavy traffic, including when lane filtering/splitting;
- Automatically capturing images in a fixed distance, such as school and construction zones;
- Auto focus, iris and shutter speed for clear number plate images up to 150m away;
- Enforcing multiple speed limits on the same highway and distinguishing between commercial and private vehicles;
- Allowing enforcement at night or within tunnels;
- Capturing vehicles misusing bus, transit or car pool lanes;
- Detecting vehicles obstructing traffic;
- Measuring the speed, traveling time and distance between two vehicles for “Following Too Closely” or “tailgating” violations; and
- Detecting drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.
Since the system’s clarity can detect seat belt infringements it may also pick up riders who have not done up their helmet chin strap.
LTI say TruCAM II also has built-in detection algorithms to combat laser jammers. (Western Australia is the only state in Australia that allows radar detectors.)
LTI have sold more than 6000 photo/video lasers to more than 90 countries.