Police officers took aim at vehicles zipping down a runway in tests meant to convince judges that laser speed guns, increasingly popular among law enforcement, are as accurate as radar guns, the Associated Press reports. At the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett, near Richmond, the guns screeched and whined as officers zeroed in on a variety of vehicles including, cars, trucks, a large van, and motorcycles.
The officers took turns disclosing the speeds their devices recorded, whether by a laser gun, radar, time-distance measure, or other methods, as an officer with a clipboard wrote them down. Sometimes, they all matched. Other times, one or two was off by a mile an hour. At least a dozen courts from New Jersey to Hawaii have taken what is referred to as judicial notice, or general acceptance, of laser speed guns. Some prosecutors and judges still aren’t sold on the accuracy of the hand-held devices. The testing officers, about 20 from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina, hope their tests will change doubters’ minds.