This article reviews the history of laser detection of vehicle speeds, summarises existing research on its effectiveness, and outlines some other applications of laser technology. Laser speed detection, also known as 'lidar', solves many of the problems of radar speed detection. The first lidar was developed by Laser Technology, Inc (LTI) in the late 1980s. Its LTI 20-20 successfully displays the range and speed of moving targets. In 1991, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a trial at Charleston, SC, USA, to compare the effectiveness of radar and laser speed detection; police issued nearly twice as many tickets using the LTI 20-20 as when using radar. Tests on multilane highways in Milwaukee, WI, USA showed that the LTI 20-20 was nearly three times as effective as radar at identifying speeding vehicles. The results of later tests suggested that drivers might change their behaviour, if they believed that their speeds were being monitored by a new 'unbeatable' detection device. Studies in Ohio, USA and Austria showed sharp falls in fatalities after the introduction of lidar. The use of lidar for speed enforcement is now growing rapidly. LTI has also designed a new safety package, using QuickMap software, to help traffic investigations proceed smoothly and quickly, and SpeedStat, a tool to collect speed statistics automatically. For the covering abstract see IRRD 877920.

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    UK and International Press

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  • Authors:
    • ADAMS, J N
  • Publication Date: 1996


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00723059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 26 1996 12:00AM