”Selective enforcement” operations, otherwise known as speed traps, abound in speed-loving South Florida, where highway troopers patrol in superfast Camaros in case someone dares to lead them on a chase, says the Miami Herald. Hundreds of speed traps throughout the country are listed on www.speedtrap.org, a Web site run by the National Motorists Association that allows users to post comments about well-known speed traps. The group formed in 1982 to persuade lawmakers to repeal the country’s 55 mph maximum on highways, an effort that found success in 1995.
Police mainly rely on three methods of speed detection to catch the lead-footed: RADAR, VASCAR and LASER. RADAR stands for radio detection and ranging. It works by calculating how long it takes a radio wave to bounce from a radar gun to a vehicle and back again. LASER, or light amplification by simulated emission of radiation, is similar to radar detection, but it uses light waves instead of radio waves to calculate the speed of a moving object. VASCAR is a method of timing drivers as they pass two points on a road. A police officer computes speed based on how long it takes the driver to get from Point A to Point B. VASCAR stands for visual average speed computer and recorder.