How do Velolaser radars work and where are they found?


Published 05/03/2019
Velolaser radars

Velolaser radars were put into operation in February 2018 and their implementation in various provinces has been expanding. However, there have been some issues as regards the effective use of these radars. Because of the ease with which they can be relocated and operated remotely.

What are Velolaser radars?

Many of the first 60 units came without the corresponding approvals. This meant that their readings had no legal validity. Furthermore, their sophisticated mechanism means that you need to take a special course in order to be able to use them effectively.

These sophisticated devices, barely fifty centimetres tall, can be installed almost anywhere and in a very short time. This means they can be in operation in different locations on the same day and without the need for a police vehicle nearby.

This is because they can be managed remotely via Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G connection. However, their communication system has also given problems in some units, according to sources from the civil guard.

Adjustable settings

The programmable features and the settings that the radar device needs for each function require prior knowledge on the part of the officers who will use it. This is necessary because this undetectable radar is capable of being used with the adjustable settings we outline for you below:

  • You can monitor two lanes at a time going in different directions from its location.
  • You can use it to detect the type of vehicle in question. For example, if you are driving a van of less than 3,500 Kg, a HGV, a passenger car or a bus they can use the different speed limits on the corresponding road in order to establish the penalty.
  • It can be preset with different criteria in order to establish the parameters of the penalties. This means that they can select what type of vehicles they are going to penalise and what type of actions. For example, only cars that exceed the speed limit by more than 40 kilometres per hour.
  • They allow you to monitor speeds of up to 250 km per hour.
  • They have a system for calculating the safety distance. Thus, they can use this penalty criterion with an effective reading of the speed at which your vehicle is going and the distance you are keeping from the vehicle in front of you.

Types of checkpoints

All this makes them suitable for two types of checkpoints:

Selective checkpoints

When it comes to penalising behaviours which may constitute offences against road safety such as reckless driving or those which are punishable by license points, they are programmed for this purpose and the radar will be configured with the speed limit and the type of vehicle you wish to target.

For these kinds of checkpoints, the radars are located away from the main radar and outside of signposted checkpoint areas. Its position and location are not signposted either; it operates in discrete locations and without the presence of police vehicles.

Generic checkpoints

This is when they are used with any mobile radar and they are placed in an identifiable checkpoint vehicle in order to reinforce their deterrent effect.

What kind of penalties do Velolaser radars handle?

These radars are specially designed and intended to pursue serious infractions in the area of road safety. Their use for other types of generic checkpoints only makes sense in the absence of other types of mobile radars or in order to make use of their capacity for discriminating between vehicle types.

Where are they found?

According to unofficial data from the SocialDrive application, these sophisticated Velolaser radars have been located at 185 sites. In July of last year, their effective use was minimal in Asturias, Ciudad Real, Huesca, Madrid Sur, Murcia, Orense, La Rioja, Teruel and Zaragoza, despite the fact that they were already available in many provinces. Some times, the devices were not in operation and in others the necessary training of the officers had yet to take place.

In December of last year, they were already operational in all the initial provinces and communities in which they had not been in operation, such as the Balearic Islands, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Jaén, Lugo, Madrid Norte, Málaga, Mérida, Tenerife and Valencia.

Likewise, other provinces that did not have these radars have been provided with new units. These are: Segovia, Palencia, Huelva, León, Ávila, Soria and Toledo.

Most common locations

According to the same source, the most common locations of these radar devices are the following:

  • On tripods in 67% of cases.
  • Camouflaged in guardrails 15% of the time.
  • In cars 10% of the time.
  • On traffic signals and displays 7.5% of the time.

So you can see, once the implementation problems that came with the Velolaser radars were overcome, their implementation throughout the country seems to be progressing at a good pace. The first penalties are beginning to arrive at drivers’ homes and it will take time in order to see if they are having a positive effect on road safety.

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