Mon | May 29, 2017

Speedsters to be caught on camera

Published:Wednesday | May 27, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Highway patrol police undergo training on Michael Manley Boulevard recently, in the use of the new TruCAM laser speed-detection guns.

Undisciplined and rash motorists, tempted to speed at every turn, are being warned to beware as traffic cops are being armed with more effective speed guns.

It doesn't matter how fast you go, the new state-of-the-art speed indicators will stop you in your tracks around the curve and capture images of your vehicle and you.

Between January 1 and May 19, a total of 136 motor vehicle fatalities have been recorded in Jamaica, compared to 124 for the corresponding period in 2014 and 107 in 2013.

It is expected that the new speed guns, with camera lens technology to capture images, will be deployed at hot spots in Jamaica.

"It has not yet been implemented in terms of enforcement, because there are certain procedures that have to be followed," said head of the Traffic Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen.

"These new ones will be rolled out as soon as the administrative exercises are completed, and [they] will be able to do much more than what currently obtains," he added.

Said Allen: "They are here and a number of our operatives in the JCF have been trained by trainers from where the instruments were sourced and what is taking place now is the necessary gazetting of these equipment before they are on the streets."

 

STATE OF THE ART

 

The effectiveness of the speed guns capturing image as well as velocity are likely to cause, more than ever, many a speeding motorists to sit, fuming in the driver's seat as red and blue lights flash from behind and a traffic cop writes a ticket.

"How did he get me?" you ask. "Could he have even got my speed from that far away?" you wonder.

Police laser guns may seem complicated and daunting, but with a little elementary understanding of math and an example or two, anyone can understand how it works and how to defend against it.

The police will be able to use one lens in their new device to emit the light and the other for receiving the light.

At top is the viewfinder, through which the officer will select a target, and below, just like a normal gun, is the trigger.

At right is a stock, which the officer can put against his shoulder to steady the gun. There are many different types of laser guns, but most have this gun-like setup. The shoulder stock is optional.

 

FASTER READING

 

If the new-look speed gun is working normally, you'll have a speed reading in about a second, but there is more.

Allen told The Gleaner an image of the vehicle, along with the occupants in the front, will be on display.

"These speed guns will be able to capture images and so that old-time query and complaint from suspected traffic offenders will be reduced considerably if not totally eliminated," said Allen.

He predicted that with the introduction of guns, there will be a reduction of questions that motorists ask about culpability.

"It is so crystal clear in its usage that it will capture the image of the vehicle, registration number and even the occupants of the vehicle, so it reduces significantly any form of ambiguity [such] as ...what currently entails," he said.

Allen stressed that both the old and new equipment would continue to be deployed on the streets.

"So the next step is to have them gazetted and for further training of our operatives before the necessary enforcement activities with these new equipment commences," he said.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com