Types of speed measurement devices in Florida
Many clients frequently ask me about the type of instrument used to clock their speed.
RADAR- Radar devices are the most common type of speed measurement device used in Florida. It can be used in both moving and stationary mode. Contrary to popular belief, cops are not required to show you the readout on the radar device. An officer must be certified to use the radar device by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This certification makes sure that an officer knows how to legally and properly calibrate their radar at the beginning and the end of each shift. Also, the radar must be inspected at least once every 6 months. In order to defend a citation based on radar you have to show that the calibration of the unit was not right, that the unit was not inspected within the last 6 months by a repair facility, or that the officer did not properly put the unit in service on that day. The rules regarding the admission of Radar evidence are identified by Florida Administrative Code 15B (https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=15B-2). The officer must include the serial number of the instrument used on your citation.
LASER - Laser devices are just that, a laser that reads your speed pointed directly at your motor vehicle. Like radar, the instrument must be properly calibrated, the cop must be certified in its use, and the cop must conduct accuracy tests to determine the reliability of the laser.
PACE CLOCK - These citations are issued by a cop who is following a vehicle and clocking its speed by looking down at their own calibrated speedometer. Under the administrative code, motor vehicle speedometer devices must be tested for proper calibration and accuracy every six months. The officer must follow a vehicle for a reasonable amount of time to get an accurate speed reading.
AIRCRAFT - Aircraft citations are the sneakiest trick of them all and are conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. There are sets of white lines on the highway spaced a quarter mile apart. A uniformed officer who is a pilot flies above you and watches your car travel between the lines. It’s not very fancy. The pilot will calculate your average speed based on the distance and time calculation, like back in Algebra class. The pilot then calls to a trooper on the ground who will pull the vehicle over and issue the citation. On your citation, the cops must include both the names of the pilot, the stop officer, and the stopwatch serial number. Both the pilot and the stop officer must appear in court or your case will be dismissed.