Road Safety News
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Pocket sized radar gun now available

Friday 12th April 2013

A new mobile phone sized radar ‘gun’ that can measure a car’s speed from half a mile away is now available for purchase.

The ‘Pocket Radar’ device is said to be accurate to +/- 1 MPH and to offer the same performance as other professional radar guns, but at a fraction of the size and cost.

Pocket Radar is available from Barrington International which supplies products to the NHS, specialist hospitals and the prison services. They describe the product as “small enough to fit into a shirt pocket and discreet enough to use without altering traffic behaviour”.

Click here for more information or contact Barrington International on 01985 844 959.

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I see Idris Francis is still confused about speed and injury in road traffic accidents.
Idris - it matters not what the cause of a collision is but it does matter at what speed vehicles collide with other vehicles and objects. The faster the colliding vehicle is traveling at when it comes to a sudden stop, the more likely and more significantly the living things within that vehicle or who the vehicle collides with will be squished to a lifeless jelly.
Steve; Sunderland

I use one for motorcycle training. Two exercises in the test have to be done at 50kph so this is a really easy to use and useful tool for us. It takes the guess work out of it for the candidate. At the moment it probably won't stand up to Court scrutiny. Apparently also used in the USA to measure the speed of a baseball pitch etc. It's easy to aim and can capture the speed of a motorbike quite easily from a distance.
Andy Smith. Cardiff

Of course the 1mph accuracy will only be of the reflections returning to the device. For that to translate to an accurate reading of the speed of an object requires the object to travel directly towards the device, the beam to reflect from the same surface throughout the reading and the beam width not encompassing other surfaces (or receiving multi-path reflections).

You certainly would not want to prosecute anyone following an inaccurate speed reading but the device could be used, as Rod may be doing, to take an average of, say, 50 cars. You could hope that all the + and - slip errors from vibrations, sloped surfaces, multi surface and reflections would cancel out in a large enough sample to give usable statistics of different averages.

For example, results could be used to indicate the 85th%ile which could help set appropriate speed limits.
Dave, Slough

It has been the electronic ability to measure speed cheaply and accurately and the ability of computers to automated prosecutions that has made speed the be-all and end-all of road safety policies, despite it being relatively insignificant in accident causation.Now it seems we are moving toward the East German Stazi model, with vigilantes wanting their own electronic gizmos. Where will it all end?
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

"People have a rough idea of how long a metre is, but absolutely no idea how long a mile is."

My usual question to Britishers living in what they believe to be a metric world is "How tall are you?" I have yet to meet anyone who could answer in metres or cms or mms.

Even now, despite decades or propaganda, far more people can visualise a mile than a km, and mph is a far more useful parameter - not least because our maps and signs are still in miles - than metres per second because it relates directly to how long in hours a journey will take.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

It can measure MPH, KPH, FPS or MPS.
Accuracy: +/- 1MPH, +/- 2KPH, +/- 2PPS, +/- 1MPS
Alan, Salisbury

Its accuracy is certified in the USA but not here in the UK. At this stage I see no point in getting HO/CAST to look at it. It does exactly what it says on the tin and we will be adding a lot more information to the website.
Alan, Salisbury

Bob: I'm sure it would/could not be used for prosecution purposes as HO approval would be required anyway. I would imagine purchasers would just be using it for monitoring, information gathering and road safety education purposes anyway. Incidentally, why are there so many 'disagrees' to mine and Rod King's comments? We're more or less making statement of facts rather than opinions or ideas. Some readers seem to display knee- jerk reactions to news item or comment where 'speed' or 'radar' is mentioned.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

When I do speed awareness courses I always convert to ft/s or m/s for Duncan's reason. It does help people understand the issues.
Nickolas Sawbridgeworth

it might be a useful tool or toy to be played with, but I ask if it's been approved for prosecution purposes?
Bob Craven Lancs

Hugh:
It still is dependent upon the cosine effect. I generally use it as if I was looking at a phone and then flip it up to vertical to take the reading.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire

Could have done with one of these when I was working! Rod: I presume they still have to be aimed accurately to get the correct reading, rather than just magically held in the hand discreetly? As it's radar, I'm amazed it's contained in such a small package.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Another toy for the speed obsessed to spend other people's money on.

Talking of speed obsessed, why is vehicle speed quoted in miles per hour when a more valid and useful indication to drivers would be in metres per second?

People have a rough idea of how long a metre is, but absolutely no idea how long a mile is. They know how long a second is so it makes sense to have Metres per Second rather than Miles per Hour as a relevant speed indication.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

We have had one for over a year at 20's Plenty for Us and use it for discretely measuring vehicle speeds. Because it looks just like a mobile phone it attracts neither attention or any response from drivers.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire