Chapter 1


While driving on highways, motorists should not exceed the maximum speed limit permitted for their vehicle. However, accidents keep occurring due to speed violations since the drivers tend to ignore their speedometers.

This speed checker will come handy for the highway traffic police as it will not only provide a digital display in accordance with a vehicle‟s speed but sound an alarm if the vehicle exceeds the permissible speed for the highway.

The system basically comprises two laser transmitter-LDR sensor pairs, which are installed on the highway 100 meters apart, with the transmitter and the LDR sensor of each pair on the opposite sides of the road. The installation of lasers and LDRs is shown fig below. The system displays the time taken by the vehicle in crossing this 100m distance from one pair to the other with a resolution of 0.01 second from which the speed of the vehicle can be calculated as follows:

Speed (kmph) = Distance/Time


0.1 km (Reading x 0.01)/3600

Or, Reading (on display) =36000/Speed

Figure 1 –Installations of lasers and LDR`S on highways As per the above equation for a speed of 40 kmph the display will read 900 (or 9 second), and for a speed 60 kmph the display will read 600 (or 6 seconds). Note that the LSB of the display equals 0.01 second and each succeeding digit is tem times the preceding digit. You can similarly calculate the other readings (or time).

Chapter 2
Circuit Description

This circuit has been designed assuming that the maximum permissible speed for highways is either 40 kmph or 60 kmph as per the traffic rule. The circuit is built around five NE555 timer ICs (IC1 through IC5), four Cd4026 counter ICs (IC6 through IC9) and four 7-segmint displays (DIS1 through DIS4). IC1 through IC3 function as monostables with IC1 serving as count –start mono, IC2 as count –stop mono and IC3 as speed-limit detector mono, controlled by IC1 and IC2 outputs. Bistable set-reset IC4 is also controlled by the outputs of IC1 and IC2 and it (IC4), in turn controls switching on/off of the 100Hz (period=0.01 second) astable IC5

The time period of timer NEE555 (IC1) count –start monostables multivibrator is adjusted using preset VR1 or VR2 and capacitor C1.For 40kmph limit the period is set for 9 seconds using preset VR1, while for 60kmph limit the time period is set for 6 seconds using preset VR2 .Slide switch S1 is used to select the time period as per the speed limit (40 kmph and 60 kmph, respectively). The kmph and 60 kmph, respectively) .The junction of LDR1 and resistor R1 is coupled to pin 2 of IC1. Normally, light from the laser keeps falling on the LDR sensor continuously and thus the LDR offers a low resistance and pin 2 of IC1 is high. Whenever light falling on LDR is interrupted by any vehicle, the LDR resistance goes high and hence pin 2 of IC1 goes low to trigger the monostables .As a result, output pin 3 goes high for the preset period (9 or 6 seconds) and LED1 glows to indicate it. Reset pin4 is controlled by the output of NAND gate N3 at power or whenever reset switch S2 is pushed. For IC2, the monostables is triggered in the same way as IC1 when the vehicle intersects the laser beam incident on LDR2 to generate a small pulse for stopping the count and for use in the speed detection.LED2 glows for the duration for which pin 3 of IC2 is high. The outputs of IC1 and IC2 are fed to input pins 2 and 1 of NAND gate N1, respectively. When the outputs of IC1 and IC2 go high simultaneously (meaning that the vehicle has crossed the preset speed limit), output pin 3 of gate N1 goes low to trigger monostables timer IC3. The output of IC3 is used for driving piezobuzzer PZ1, which alerts the operator of speed –limit violation .Resistance R9 and capacitor C5 decide the timer period for which the piezobuzzer sounds.

The output of IC1 triggers the bistable (IC4) through gate N2 at the leading edge of the count-start pulse. When pin 2 of IC4 goes low, the high output at pin 3 enables clock generator IC5, since the count-stop pulse output of IC2 is connected to pin 6 of IC4 via diode D1, it resets clock generator IC5. IC5 can also be reset via diode D2 at power-on as well as when reset switch S2 is pressed.

IC5 is configured as an astable multivibrator whose time period is decided by preset VR3, resistor R12 and capacitor C10. Using preset VR1, the frequency of astable multivibrator is set as 100 Hz. The output of IC5 is fed to clock pin 1 of decade counter/7-segment decoder IC6 CD4026.IC CD4026 is a 5-stage Johnson decade counter and an output decoder that converts the Johnson code into a 7-segment decoded output for driving DIS1 display. The counter advances by one count at the positive clock signal transition. The carry–out (Count) signal from CD4026 provides one clock after every ten clock inputs to clock the succeeding decade counter in a multidecade counting chain. This is achieved by connecting pin 5 of each CD4026 to pin of the next CD4026. A high reset signal clears the decade counter to its zero count. Pressing switch S2 provides a reset signal to pin 15 of all CD4025 ICs also IC1 and IC4. Capacitor C12 and resistor R14 generate the power-on-reset signal The seven decoded outputs „a‟ through „g‟ of CD4026 illuminate the proper segment of the 7-segment displays (DIS1 through DIS4) used for representing the decimal digits „0‟ through „9‟ .Resistor R16 through R19 limit the current across DIS1 through DIS4, respectively.

Figure 2 –Circuit of power supply

The AC main is stepped down by transformer X1 to deliver the secondary output of 15 volts. Before operation. it is advisable to use an external 12V battery . Resets the circuit by pressing switch S2.Fig. Install the two laser transmitters (such as laser torches) on the other side of the highway exactly opposite to the LDRs such that laser light falls directly on the LDRs. above shows the circuit of the power supply. where mains 230V AC is not available. if yes apply power supply to the circuit by flipping switch S3 to „on‟. Resets the circuit by pressing switch S2. When the vehicle crosses the second laser light. LDR1 will trigger IC1. filtered by capacitor C15 bypass regulated 12V supply. Chapter 3 Construction and Working Assemble the circuit on a PCB. use long wires for connecting the two LDRs. The output of IC1 goes high for the time set cross 100 meters with the selected speed (60 kmph) and LED1 glows during for period. separate batteries may be used. In mobile application of the circuit. so the display shows „0000‟. using a multimeter check whether the power supply output is correct. so that you can take them out of the PCB and install on one side of the highway. 100 meters apart. The transformer output is rectified by a bridge rectifier comprising diodes D3 through D6. Switch S3 is used as the „on‟/‟off‟ switch. the output of IC2 goes high and LED2 glows for this period. so the display on the LDRs. 500 mA.For activating the lasers used in conjunction with LDR1 and LDR2. In the circuit. When any vehicle crosses the first laser light. . 60 kmph) for the highway. select the speed limit (say. Capacitor C15 bypasses any ripple in the regulated output. Using switch S1.

The best-known devices of these types are the LDR (light dependent resistor). Chapter 5 Components 5. It means that the vehicle has crossed the speed limit (and simultaneously the buzzer sounds).1 LDR : Electronic optosensors are devices that alter their electrical characteristics. The counter starts counting when the first laser beam is intercepted and stops when the second laser beam is intercepted. in the presence of visible or invisible light. The ICs should be soldered carefully. and the phototransistor . It is better to use IC bases and plug in the ICs later. The solder to IC pin should not be dry or loose. house the LDRs is black tube pointing to wards the light sources. the photodiode. Reset the circuit for monitoring the speed of the next vehicle. if the display count is less than „600‟.Piezobuzzer PZ1 sounds an alarm if the vehicle crosses the distance between the laser set-ups at more than the selected speed (lesser period than preset period). Chapter 4 Precautions To make sure that ambient light dose not falls on LDRs. For 60 kmph speed setting. The time taken by vehicle to cross both the laser beams is displayed on the 7-segment display. with timer frequency set at 100 Hz.

transistors. Suitable holes are punched in the PCB for mounting the components. Two terminals are fixed while the third one is connected to a moveable tap which slides along the resistive element. taking tens or hundreds of milliseconds to respond to sudden changes in light level. and readily available devices. and IC‟s.and dark. changing the resistance between ends tap terminal Variable resistance are also called as potentiometer 5. The device consists of a pair of metal film contacts separated by a snake-like track of cadmium sulphide film. similar to those of a conventional resistor. On the other side of the PCB electric components are mounted like resistors. LDRs are sensitive. tubes. These are three terminal devices.activated switches and alarms. light beam alarms. Their only significant defect is that they are fairly slow acting. The structure is housed in a clear plastic or resin case. This resistance is very high under dark conditions and low under bright conditions. 5.LDR operation relies on the fact that the conductive resistance of a film of cadmium sulphide (Cds) varies with the intensity of light falling on the face of the film. to provide free access to external light. transformers. with in a pre determined range.3 PCB : A printed circuit board properly known as PCB is a piece of plastic electronic circuit consisting of copper or special photo engraving process prints silver –conducting path. They have good power and voltage handling capabilities. inexpensive. designed to provide the maximum possible contact area with the two metal films. and reflective smoke alarms etc. . Useful practical LDR applications include light. diodes.2 Variable resistance : Variable resisters are those resisters in which resistance value can be varied. capacitors. which are connected to the conducting paths by soldering.

5. visible or infrared. .e. The Ohm is denoted by Greek letter Omega (). They are available according to the numbers of pins of IC‟s used.5 Resistors : The circuit elements which offers an opposition to electric current flowing in a circuit is known as resister and its value of resistance is expressed in ohms. On releasing button the connection must be break down. 5. and can be near-ultraviolet. 5.6 Capacitors : The capacitors are the most widely used passive element next to resistors.7 Push to ON Switch : They are used for makes the connection only when switch is pressed. they help us to remove or put IC‟s on PCB with very easy push or pull action. 5.8 IC Base : They are for mounting of IC‟s on PCB i. Capacitor is made up of two parallel plates separated by insulating materials called as dielectric. Capacitance is defined as the ability of capacitor to store charge. 5. The color of the emitted light depends on the chemical composition of the semiconducting material used.4 LED : A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits incoherent monochromatic light when electrically biased in the forward direction.

52 cm pin rows it also has a decimal point on the lower right hand side.005%/°C Timing From µSec to Hours Turn off Time Less Than 2µSec . These display devices are used in application where the viewer is within 6 m of display. 5. With an astable operation. This type of LED fits into standard dip sockets with 1.9 Seven segment LED Display : LTS543 is common cathode 7. the frequency and duty cycle are accurately controlled by two external resistors and one capacitor Features : • • • • • High Current Drive Capability (200mA) Adjustable Duty Cycle Temperature Stability of 0.10 NE 555 : Description The NE555 is a highly stable controller capable of producing accurate timing pulses. the time delay is controlled by one external resistor and one capacitor. With a monostable operation.segment LED display.5.

Internal diagram .Internal Block Diagram Figure 3.

1RA*C. C1 begins to discharge and the timer output converts to low. off and timer become charging external causes output high the to by the capacitor C1 and setting the flip-flop output at the same time. VC1 increases exponentially with the time constant t=RA*C and reaches 2Vcc/3 at td=1.Application Information : Monostable Operation : Figure 4 illustrates a monostable circuit. In other words. When the applied voltage to the capacitor C1 reaches 2Vcc/3. When the trigger pulse voltage applied to the #2 pin falls below Vcc/3 while the timer output is low. Figure 4-Monostable circuit The voltage across the external capacitor C1. turning the discharging Tr. . the comparator on the trigger terminal resets the flip-flop. the time constant RAC controls the output pulse width. capacitor C1 is charged through resistor RA. the timer generates a fixed pulse whenever the trigger voltage falls below Vcc/3. At this time. the longer it takes for the VC1 to reach 2Vcc/3. In this mode. The greater the time constant RAC. the timer's flip-flop the internal turns discharging Tr. Hence. on.

turns off and the VC1 increases by exponential function with the time constant (RA + RB) x C. for a normal operation. although the output remains unaffected even if a different trigger pulse is applied while the output is high. Astable Operation : In the astable operation. resetting the F/F and causing the timer output to become low. That is. When the timer output is high. Figure 2 shows the time constant relationship based on RA and C. the timer operating in the monostable repeats the above process. It must be noted that. This in turn turns on the discharging Tr. operating as a multi vibrator. it may be affected and the waveform does not operate properly if the trigger pulse voltage at the end of the output pulse remains at below Vcc/3.In this way. its internal discharging Tr. and the C1 discharges through the discharging channel formed by RB and the discharging Tr. When the VC1. the trigger pulse voltage needs to maintain a minimum of Vcc/3 before the timer output turns low. the comparator output on the trigger terminal becomes high. reaches 2Vcc/3. or the threshold voltage. . Figure 5-Astable circuit . the trigger terminal and the threshold terminal are connected so that a self-trigger is formed.

The output stage of timer depends on the amplitude on external trigger pulses applied to this pin. which is called floating supply load. load current flows of output terminal. The discharging Tr. There are two ways to connect the load to this terminal . The explanations of terminals coming out of the timer IC is as follows: Pin 1: Ground terminal: It is a common ground terminal.When the VC1 falls below Vcc/3. therefore floating supply load is also known as “normally on load”. which is responsible for transition of flip flop from set to reset. Pin 2: Trigger terminal: This pin is an inverting input to comparator. Normally its level remains low and only during timing interval it goes high. there is on current i. the section where the timer output is high is the time it takes for the VC1 to rise from Vcc/3 to 2Vcc/3. Pin 4: Reset terminal: To disable or reset the timer a negative pulse is applied at this pin due to which it is called reset terminal. current only flows during low state of output and during high state of output and during high state of output. when output is off.e. All the voltages measured with respect to this terminal. Pin 5: Control voltage terminal: Function of the control voltage terminal is to control the threshold and trigger level and that is why this terminal is called control terminal . load current flows through load into output terminal therefore this current is known as sink current while in case of grounded load. In the above process. Science in case of floating supply load. load current is on. Therefore it is called source current. Since in the case of floating supply load. and the section where the timer output is low is the time it takes for the VC1 to drop from 2Vcc/3 to Vcc/3. Pin 3: Out put terminal: Output of timer is available as this pin. the comparator output on the trigger terminal becomes high and the timer output becomes high again. turns off and the VC1 rises again.One is to connect the load between pin-3 and pin-8.

Due to such a large range of Vcc from +5 V existing digital logic supplier. the capacitor charges at a rate of determined by the external resistor and capacitor.It is called as discharge terminal because when a transistor saturates . IC 555 timer finds very useful application in many other projects such as:         Precision timing.This either the external voltage or a potentiometer connected at this pin can also be used to modulate the output waveform. Pulse shaping.. Infrared remote control timer. Pin 6: Threshold terminal: It is a non –inverting terminal of comparator. Time delay generator. Missing pulse generator. Frequency division. capacitor discharges through the transistor is in cutoff. Thus the amplitude of the voltage at threshold terminal is responsible for the set of flip flop. Pin 7: Discharge terminal : At this pin . .01 microfarad capacitor to bypass noise and ripple voltage from the power supply so as to minimize their effect on threshold voltage. linear IC supplies and automatic on dry cell batteries can power 555.collector of a transistor is connected internally and mostly a capacitor is connected externally between this terminal and ground . Traffic light control. it should be connect to ground through a 0. Pin 8: Supply terminal: A supply voltage Vcc of +5 V is applied to this pin with respect to ground. sequential timing. which compares the voltage applied at this terminal with a reference voltage of 2Vcc/3. When this pin is not used for the above purpose. Pulse generator.

5. Diode 4007 is a rectifying diode used in bridge rectifier. they can deliver over 1A output current. Features : • Output Current up to 1A • Output Voltages of 12V • Thermal Overload Protection • Short Circuit Protection • Output Transistor Safe Operating Area Protection . making them useful in a wide range of applications. Whenever the logical level at their anode is 1 they switch on and provide a positive pulse to the circuit connected to them. Each type employs internal current limiting. Although designed primarily as fixed voltage regulators. 5. these devices can be used with external components to obtain adjustable voltages and currents. thermal shut down and safe operating area protection. If adequate heat sinking is provided.11 Diode 1N4148 (Small-Signal Diode) And 1N4007 : Diode 4148 performs switching operation here. making it essentially indestructible.12 IC 7812 3-Terminal 1A Positive Voltage Regulator : Description The LM7812 three terminal positive regulators are available in the TO-220/D-PAK package and with several fixed output voltages.

They have equal source and sink current capabilities and conform to standard B series output drive.13 IC CD4011 Quad 2-Input NAND Buffered B Series Gate : General Description The CD4011BC quad gates are monolithic complementary MOS (CMOS) integrated circuits constructed with N. The devices also have buffered outputs which improve transfer characteristics by .Internal Block Diagram : Figure 5.and P-channel enhancement mode transistors.Internal block diagram of IC 7812 5.

range Connection Diagrams Figure 6-Connection diagram of IC CD4011 .providing very high gain. Features     Low power TTL 5V–10V–15V parametric ratings Symmetrical output characteristics Max input leakage 1A at 15V over full temperature. All inputs are protected against static discharge with diodes to VDD and VSS.

. f. Input is CLOCK INHIBIT. The cycle every ten CLOCK INPUT cycles and it is used to clock the succeeding decade directly in a multidecade counting chain. Additional inputs and outputs for the CD c. common outputs are CARRY OUT and the seven decoded outputs (a.5. b. d. These devices are particularly advantageous in display applications where low power dissipation and/or low package counts are important. The 7-segment outputs go high only when the DISPLAY ENABLE IN is high. c. A high RESET signal clears the decade counter to its zero count. Counter advancement via the clock line is inhibited when the CLOCK INHIBIT signal is high. The CLOCK INHIBIT signal can be used as a negative-edge clock if the clock line is held high.14 IC CD4026 : CD 4026 consist of a 5-stage Johnson decade counter and an output decoder which converts the Johnson code to a 7-segment decode output for driving one stage in a numerical display. g) illuminate the proper segments in a seven segment display device used for representing the decimal numbers 0 to 9. f. g). The seven decoded outputs (a. thus assuring proper counting sequence. Antilock gating is provided on the JOHNSON counter. d. 4026 include DISPLAY ENABLE input and DISPLAY ENABLE and UNGATED "CSEGMENT" outputs. e. The counter is advanced one count at the positive clock signal transition if the CLOCK INHIBIT signal is low. The CARRY-OUT (Cout) signal completes. e. b.

R4 R2. R6. R11. R14 R3. 7 segment display Resistors: R1. D2 D3-D6 LED1 LED2. R5. LED3 DIS1-DIS4 NE555 timer CD4026 decade counter/7segment decoder NAND gate 7812 12 V regulator 1N4148 switching diode 1N4007 rectifier diode Green LED Red LED LTS543 common-cathode. R10.Chapter 6 List of components Semiconductors: IC1-IC5 IC6-IC9 IC10-CD4011 IC11 D1. R7. R15 10-kilo-ohm 470-ohm 470-kilo-ohm 1-kilo-ohm 100-kilo-ohm . R13. R8. R16-R19 R9 R12.

C15 C5 C7 C9 C10 C12 C14 Miscellaneous: X1 100-kilo-ohm preset 20-kilo-ohm preset 100µF.VR1. VR2 VR3 Capacitors: C1 C2. 500mA secondary transformer PZ1 LDR1.2µF ceramic disk 1µF. C13. C6 C8. 25v electrolytic 0. C4.47µF. C11 C3. 25v electrolytic 1000µF. 25v electrolytic 47µF.01µF ceramic disk 0. 25v electrolytic 0. LDR2 S1 S2 S3 Piezobuzzer Light Dependent Resistors Double side single through switch Push-to-on switch On/Off switch Pointed laser light .1µF ceramic disk 10µF. 25v electrolytic 0. 35v electrolytic 230V AC primary to 0-15V.

Circuit diagram of speed checker for highways .Chapter 7 Circuit Diagram Figure 7.

.Chapter 8 Layout Design Figure 8-Actual size.single side PCB layout.

Figure 9-Component layout for the PCB .

4 . ultimate acceptance. who recorded the time at which the vehicle passedhim and then computed its speed for the mile. assumingsurvival through legal challenges. the officer telephoned the third policeofficer. the hidden police officer telephoned the time to the secondpolice officer." the text of which characterized radar as being "as invisible as the Thought Police in Orwell's chiller [1 9841. New York. the introduction of a new and innovative speed enforcement technology often generated a negative reaction. If the vehicle wasexceeding the speed limit. subsequentnegative public reaction and resistance. " 1 The use of radar was also challenged as being unconstitutional. Time Magazine ran an article headlined "Big Brother Is Driving. When radar was first introduced in the 1950's. Time-Distance Method The use of the first known method of speed enforcement dates back to 1902 in Westchester County. This system wascomposed of three dummy tree trunks set up on the roadside at 1-mile intervals. The public's distrust of the use of high technology by enforcement officials is often evidenced by claims that the technology is simply another attempt by "Big Brother" to invade their lives. As a speeding vehicle passed the firsttrunk. A police officer with a stopwatch and a telephonewas concealed in each trunk. The "tree trunk" method was subject to hearsayobjections in court because officers had to testify regarding the time statements of other officers since there was no way to observethe vehicle over the entire distance. who proceeded to stop the vehicle by lowering a poleacross the road.2 The history of speed enforcement is replete with examples of new enforcement techniques.Chapter 9 History of speed checker technology In the past. and finally.

5 Severalmethods of speed enforcement employ the time-distance principle. but the technique remains much the same. The stopwatch was scaled to reflectthe speed of the vehicle.A police officer was positioned so as to observe both tubes. Time&stance measurements are computed by measuringthe time taken to traverse a distance of known length. which was stopped when thevehicle hit the second tube. and two-way radios between patrol cars or aircraft have replaced thetelephone system. 'The tubeswere connected to two switches. and the officer's testimony as to hisobservation of the speeding vehicle and the accuracy of the instru-ment was admissible in most courts. VASCAR is a computerized system that mechanically computes the speed of acar by measuring the distance between two fixed markers and the time traveled. thereby giving the observing police officer a quick. and when a vehicle approached. On contact with the tires of the vehicle.9 The most recent technique employing time-distance measurements is the visual average speed computer and recorder (VASCAR). and a reset button.This is an early example of the time-distance method of speedenforcement." their use has been prohibited in at least 2 states: California and Washington. he flipped the switch to activate thefirst tube.8 The speedwatch is believed to have beenaccurate to within 2 mph. which were in turn connected to acontrol panel containing a stopwatch." but by 1970. only 1 state used a time-distance device. a switch. 10 In 1947.was one of the first "electric timers" to employ the time-&stancprinciples This device consisted of two rubber tubes that werestretched across a street at a known distance apart. 13 .Pavement markings or mirror boxes that are observed by policeofficers with a stopwatch have replaced dummy tree trunks. also referred to as the Prather speed device. the switch inthe first tube started the stopwatch. easily readable speed determination. 34 states were employing at least one-the majority using VASCAR or aerial surveillance.12 Because time-distance devices have been categorized as "speed traps.6 The speedwatch.

The tachographcontained a clock with a paper dial attached to the driveshaft or transmission of the truck. and size as well as its speed. 17 Tachograph The tachograph." police radar is not technically radar. Police radar transmits microwaves at a set frequency. Police radar operates according to the scientific principle known as the Doppler effect: the frequency of sound waves (or microwaves) being emitted by or reflected off of an object will vary in direct relation to the speed of the object itself.15 A largepercentage of states used unmarked cars. The Doppler effect is noticeable in everyday life in the rising and falling of a car horn's pitch as the car approaches and passes. 20 percent of the states re-quired pacing before apprehension of a speeding driver.20 Radar Police radar was introduced in the late 1940's and early 1950's. was a speed enforcement method used by truckingcompanies to control the speed of truck drivers. direction. 16 Because pacing depends on the accuracy of the pacing vehicle's speedometer."14 Police officers paced a speeding vehicle byfollowing it for a specified distance and observing the speedometerof the police vehicle to calculate the average speed of the pacedvehicle over the distance. and/or motorcycles as pacing vehicles. Although generally referred to as "radar. In 1947.Pacing Another widely used method of speed enforcement in the 1940's was "pacing. True radar has the ability to measure an object's distance.however. 18 The chart produced by this device was used to corroborate the testimony of the arresting officer. identifiable only bydecals. it was often admitted into evidence to prove the innocence of the implicated driver. but police radar measures only speed. . manystates adopted the use of calibrated speedometers and regulationsdefining the frequency at which speedometers must be calibrated.19 ironically. also referred to as a tactograph ortachometer. The dial recorded the speed of the truck at any given time.

as they invariably do whenever a new scientific technique becomes useful in enforcement. This shift in the original frequency. The license number of the speeding . The unit can photograph the driver's face and the front license plate if deployed to photograph oncoming traffic or the rear license plate if deployed to photograph receding traffic. thereby eliminating the need for expert testimony. courts required that an expert witness testify as to radar's accuracy and re. Photo-radar equipment combines a camera and radar with electronic controls to detect and photograph a speeding vehicle.28 Cases raising the issue of a citizen's constitutional right against self incrimination have likewise been unsuccessful.26 A Pennsylvania due process claim based on the alleged instantaneousness of the machine's determination and the potential for error was likewise denied.24 The defendant in the case argued that the provision was tantamount to his being presumed guilty25.liability. However. the court held that the defendant was still presumed innocent under such a standard. the frequency of the returning microwaves shifts because the vehicle is in motion.S. the Doppler shift. which converts the signal into a measurement of the vehicle's speed. An early hurdle encountered by police radar (hereinafter called "radar") was evidentiary in nature. testimony as to the accuracy of the particular machine used to detect the violation is still required.23 The Virginia statute providing that radar evidence constitutes prima facie evidence of speeding was found to be constitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.29 Law enforcement's latest innovative technology for the enforcement of speed laws is photo-radar.22 However.When the microwaves are reflected off of a vehicle. is measured by the radar device. Constitution.27 In denying the claim. Before judicial notice was taken of the underlying principle involved.21 The Virginia Supreme Court was among the first courts to take judicial notice of radar's underlying principle. the court noted the complete absence of cases holding the use of radar for speed measurement to be unconstitutional. Constitutional questions have also arisen in radar cases.

it is not the first speed detection device to use a camera. The radar used in photo-radar equipment operates on the same Doppler principle as the radar used by the police. making it impossible to identify the driver. In 1910. eyewitness testimony because it did not rely on the "fluctuations of human agencies.34 Orbis operated much like an advanced Prather speed device that employed a camera. took a picture of the rear license plate only. it encountered a unique form of resistance. the unattended use of the photo-traffic camera (FotoPatrol) was prohibited in New York because of the difficulty in identifying the driver of the vehicle.30 The photo speed recorder consisted of a camera. The court was unwilling to adopt the presumption that the driver was the registered owner of the vehicle. .Patrol device. and prohibited the use of Foto-Patrol unless it was staffed by an attending officer available to stop and identify the driver on the spot.vehicle is extracted from the picture. This photographic evidence was held admissible by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.35 The contacts the vehicle ran over were 72 inches apart and connected to a computer that triggered the camera. However.36 When Orbis was introduced.32 The Foto. that took pictures of a speeding vehicle at measured time intervals. The speed of the vehicle was determined by a mathematical calculation based on the reduction in size of the vehicle in the photograph as it moved farther away from the camera. and a citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. in 1955.37 To avoid being recognized. Although photo-radar is a relatively new technology in the United States. absent any corroborating evidence. a device known as a photo speed recorder was used in Massachusetts. people would speed by the Orbis machine wearing a Halloween . synchronized with a stopwatch.33 The problem of driver identification was resolved by the Orbis In (Orbis) system introduced in the late 1960's. a camera mounted on the side of the road activated by an electronic impulse when passed by a vehicle traveling in excess of a predetermined speed. and the scientific approach was judged more reliable than. which was set up to capture the vehicle's front license plate and the driver's face if the vehicle's speed exceeded a preset limit.

S. and if it is able to withstand the initial legal challenges. There is evidence that the public may support photo-radar use in residential settings. California. Radar detectors. However. but not in Maryland.41 It is uncertain whether photo-radar will be accepted by the public. especially if photo-radar is used on the Beltway. Arizona.mask. painting the fan blades with aluminum paint. and attaching hanging chains to the undercarriage of the car. . In Pasadena. if photo-radar is proven to be accurate. However. because of a statute that prohibits those over 16 years of age from wearing a mask in public. However. which are illegal in Virginia. One example of a popular form of resistance to speed detection technology is the use of a radar detector.39 Orbis was abandoned for administrative reasons. drivers have often undertaken efforts to thwart the technology's effectiveness. then it should gain acceptance as an effective tool in speed enforcement. if not all. Department of Transportation indicated that the device was probably constitutional. Previous speed enforcement techniques usually gained acceptance if the technology proved accurate and if they survived the initial constitutional and evidentiary challenges. 38. and Paradise Valley. noninterstate roadways. and a study prepared for the U.Such a tactic would be illegal in Virginia.42 sound a warning to the driver when they detect the microwave signal emitted by the radar unit. a majority of respondents in public opinion polls have been in favor of photo-\ radar use. where photo-radar has been used in residential settings on local. of these methods of resistance.40 Research did not identify any cases that successfully challenged Orbis on legal grounds. This will not likely be the case in Virginia and Maryland.44 There is even a 160-page book entitled Beating the Radar Rap. Drivers have also tried using other methods to avoid being caught speeding by radar.43 These methods included using transmitters designed to disrupt the radar signal. one must interpret these findings in light of the fact that more than 90 percent of those cited for speeding in these two locations are nonresidents. putting nuts and bolts in the hubcaps. even after a technology gains acceptance.45 Photo-radar will no doubt encounter many.

and to avoid disrupting the traffic flow at the study sites.S. A final objective was to make recommendations concerning the use of photo-radar on types of highways other than urban expressways should photo-radar use on interstate highways prove infeasible. Thus. The researchers assessed the technical and operational feasibility of the different types of equipment but did not evaluate the effectiveness of the use of photo-radar in reducing travel speed or the number of speedrelated crashes since it was not possible to give citations during the demonstration period. high-speed expressways. the feasibility of using photo-radar was largely determined by the results of performance testing on site. such as the Beltway. and efficiency required for use on the Beltway in accordance with the U. legal system. the impact of traffic characteristics on accuracy and reliability was examined. no special signing . the most important information concerning the performance of the various devices came from actual demonstrations on the Beltway and other high-speed interstate highways in Virginia and Maryland. In addition. reliability. However. In order to avoid creating a hazardous environment for the manufacturers and the study team.Chapter 10 Purpose and Scope The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using photo-radar technology on high-volume. A secondary objective was to compare and contrast the performance of several brands of photo-radar devices to determine whether they meet the minimum levels of accuracy. rather than by manufacturers' claims or nonempirical demonstrations in Europe and the United States. The scope of this project was rather limited. Information concerning the various brands of photo-radar equipment and their capabilities was obtained from manufacturers' sales literature and was corroborated by the results of several site visits.

BACKGROUND Many people approach the use and evaluation of photo-radar as if it were a new and uniquely invasive technology. Multanova. and electronic controlsall of which have been used either together or separately in enforcement and the prosecution of offenses for many years. no fully coordinated media campaign was employed.was used. media coverage was limited to a press conference on the second Tuesday of each demonstration period. In addition. A further limitation on the scope of the study was that Multanova.radar equipment is simply the combination of several pieces of previously existing equipment-camera. declined to participate in the demonstrations in Virginia and Maryland. one of the major manufacturers. the manufacturers were given the opportunity to take as many . During each 2-week study period. In fact. five manufacturers of photo-radar equipment demonstrated their device on interstate highways in Virginia and Maryland for 2 weeks each. A sixth. reliability. Chapter 11 Site Description Site Demonstrations During the summer of 1990. and efficiency of Multanova's equipment. Thus. Thus. it is an important to consider the use of photo-radar in the context of (1) the history of speed enforcement technology. was invited to participate in the demonstrations. Therefore. but declined. and (2) the history of photoradar technology. The validity and reliability of these older forms of speed enforcement technology had to be proved to both the police and the courts prior to general acceptance. there are insufficient data from which to draw conclusions concerning the accuracy. photo. radar. Many steps were taken to ensure a fair and equitable analysis of each company.

pictures as they wished. and whether all of the equipment's functions were working at the time of the demonstrations. there were some differences in the manufacturers' experience in operating their device. these were based on the manufacturers' schedules. In order to prevent biasing of the desired information. the film was developed by a local commercial laboratory. however. All demonstrations were conducted with the manufacturers or their agents operating the equipment under the constant supervision of the research team. the same types of demonstrations were performed for each type of equipment at the same sites. no one manufacturer had an advantage over the others. some conditions under which all of the manufacturers operated that may have affected the performance of their device. Whenever possible.Manufacturers were also encouraged to take photographs using their equipment in as many ways as possible so that each capability of the equipment could be evaluated. when local processing was unavailable for unusual film types or unusual canister sizes. In these instances. their familiarity with the equipment. who collected the data for all tests. since all manufacturers operated under the same conditions. on the same workdays. Site Selection A major objective of this study was to determine how the prevailing traffic and geometric conditions at a given site affect the accuracy of the speeds recorded and the clarity of the . thus. and at approximately the same time of day. The performance of each piece of equipment was evaluated after several tests were conducted at the preselected sites. such as the suitability of permanent loop stations (and. the study sites) for taking perfect photographs. However. For the most part. other arrangements were made. There were. Although the same tests were run for all pieces of equipment. using their choice of photographic equipment and film.

These operational requirements. This added an approximate width of one lane to the distance between the equipment and the target vehicles. Unfortunately. each piece of equipment had to be set rather far back from the roadway in order to ensure the safety of the public and the study team. at this site. these locations were not necessarily the best for photography. and since it would be virtually impossible to collect speeds and volumes accurately at high-volume locations without loops. were equivalent for all manufacturers. The ideal location for collecting the information to evaluate this effectiveness would be where accurate volume and speed data could be collected and where light conditions are nearly ideal for photography. their agents. vehiclemounted units may in some cases have been projecting the radar beam over compact cars and shooting photographs at an angle. In addition. thereby giving none an advantage over the others. the conditions at several of the sites necessitated that equipment be set up in concentrations that may not have been ideal for photo-radar operation. Since the photographs could be taken at the loop sensor locations. for instance. although not ideal for the use of photo-radar. The final criterion was that the site be a two-. The next requirement was that the site provide safe conditions for manufacturers. Factors taken into consideration in evaluating how safe a particular location was included the availability of adequate site distance and adequate space away from the edge of the pavement for vehicles and equipment. or four-lane interstate highway with suitable vertical and horizontal -alignments. it was decided that the first criterion for selecting a site would be the availability of loop sensors at the site. due to the high volumes and high speeds at these sites. three-. and those involved in collecting the data. at the I-495 site in Virginia. In Northern Virginia. The only sites at which speed and volume data could be collected were at sites where loop sensors were permanently installed. Also.resulting photographs. The sites selected were therefore not necessarily the most ideal locations for photo-radar equipment with respect to the quality of the photographs taken but were the most suitable . Thus. there was a significant drop from the roadway to the shoulder that resulted in vehicle-mounted equipment being tilted by up to 5 degrees.

To determine which manufacturers produce the highest quality and most usable photographs. according to the field notes taken by the supervising technician. however. For example. and the lighting conditions at Site 2 were not perfect for photography in the afternoon. The traffic pattern was therefore not affected at any of the study sites. Unfortunately. the equipment must be used in such a manner as to produce clear pictures of speeding vehicles and. whereas conditions seemed better in the afternoon at Sites 3 and 5. six sites were selected based on the enumerated criteria. it was not necessary to use any special traffic control. These were. Similarly. an analysis of each photograph produced during the 2-week field demonstration period was conducted. their driver. Chapter 12 Utility In order for a photo-radar program to run successfully. Site Description After considerable field evaluation of different sites with loop detectors. Due to the large number of photographs taken . the ambient lighting conditions were not perfect for photography throughout the day at each site. Table 2 shows the locations of the test sites and the traffic and geometric characteristics at each site. they served as a good means of comparing the photographic capability between brands of equipment. if necessary. subjective judgments made at study sites. because of the angle of the sun. Because of the safety criterion used for locating the study sites. the lighting conditions at Sites 4 and 6 seemed better in the morning than in the afternoon. it is quite likely that the photographs taken did not represent the best quality that could be obtained by the equipment. Site 1 was not ideal for photography during the morning hours but seemed to be much better in the afternoon.if all selection criteria were considered. however. Thus. rather than empirically based findings.

problems of equipment.during each test period (more than 7. date the film was exposed 4. or problems with computer information strip picture) 7. time the film was exposed 5. mode (stationary vs. overcast. the full evaluation of the photographs took about 5 weeks. problems with equipment itself and setup of equipment.600 total) and the careful scrutiny given each photograph. receding) 8. nighttime. equipment itself. or raining) . direction of traffic photographed (oncoming vs. problems with. problems. The specific variables used in the evaluation of each photograph were: 1.. location where the film was exposed 6.e.e. mobile) 9. manufacturer's name 2. weather conditions when film was exposed (i. roll identification number 3. Detailed information concerning each photograph taken was entered into a computerized data set as the photograph was being viewed.. conditions under which the film was exposed (i. bright sun hazy sun.

too far away. based on possible criteria for photo-radar cases These criteria included (1) whether the license plate and the state . location of the vehicle in the picture (i. whether it was possible to determine which vehicle w speeding (In cases where two or more vehicles we photographed. or poor film exposure) 17. in center o frame. view obstructed.e. glare. plate. out of range left.. van/small truck.e. whether prints or negatives were evaluated 11. large truck or bus) 13. If a method wa specified and it identified a vehicle in the photograph. whether the driver was identifiable as compared to a standar photograph 18. in right third of frame. reflectorization.") Information from each vehicle photographed was then analyze to determine what percentage of a manufacturer's pictures could b in court. receding traffic or poor film exposure) 19. passenger car.. number of vehicles in the frame 12. reason the vehicle's license plate(s) could not be read (i. a method was needed to determine which vehicle had triggered the photo-radar photograph. this variable was coded as a "yes. reason the driver could not be identified (i. whether the license plate could be read 16. in left third of frame. rain.10.. lane in which the vehicle was traveling 14. rain. no vehicle in frame. too far away. view obstructed. out of frame.e.e. type of vehicle (i. glare out of frame. or out of range right) 15.

a practice that is difficult and . (2) whether the driver could be identified (3) whether the vehicle's speed was clearly stated.of issue were readable. The tests were carried out at Sites 1. photographic standards for overall utility of the photographs were set. The prints were viewed without any enhancements except magnification. against which each manufacturer's photographs were compared. In cases where there were two or more vehicles in the beam. a video-based viewing system. This clear plastic overlay outlined where in the photograph the radar beam fell. The effect of such factors as weather and distance from the camera on photographic quality was also evaluated. each site would have its own template. These standard photographs appear in Appendix A. and (4) whether the speeding vehicle could be identified in multi-vehicle photographs. Other manufacturers stated that their unit would take a picture but that such a picture would obviously not be used in a prosecution. An additional manufacturer stated that each template must be drawn based on the speed data for the particular site. Several of the photographs were enlarged to determine whether higherquality photographs could be produced for use in court. In addition. Thus. The vehicle over which the template's radar beam falls is the speeding vehicle. 2. Accuracy of Recorded Speeds The objectives of this test were to determine the relative accuracy of the speeds recorded by each piece of equipment and determine whether the accuracy was significantly affected by the prevailing traffic and geometric conditions. at the start of the evaluation. several manufacturers provided a template. some manufacturers claimed that their unit would not take a picture. allowed for the adjustment of contrast and focus and enabled the analyst to magnify specific portions of the negative. In order to determine which vehicle in a multi-vehicle photograph was speeding. The FOTOVEK U. The negatives were evaluated by use of a viewer capable of changing a negative to a positive image. Two types of film were evaluated: prints and negatives. and 3. No attempt was made to conduct these tests on the Beltway because it required isolation of the test vehicles from other vehicles.

at least five runs were made on each lane by each vehicle for speeds of 40. were used in this test. (It was not feasible to perform this test at speeds higher than 65 mph because of the existing maximum speed limit. a Plymouth Minivan. A driver was then selected for each vehicle and specifically trained to drive that vehicle at the required constant speed as the vehicle traversed the loops at a given site. a Chevrolet Cavalier. The speedometer of each vehicle was calibrated prior to testing. This facilitated the clear-cut identification of the speed of the vehicle as computed by a Streeter-Amet counter connected to the loops and comparison with police radar. loop speeds for several of the 20 or more runs were off by more than 1 mph and were recalibrated by VDOT personnel. The lane in which the test vehicle was driven was also recorded. The threshold speed of the photo-radar was set at 30 mph . maintaining the constant speed as the vehicle traversed the loops. and 65 mph. high-speed traffic. Three test vehicles.) For each run. and a larger Ford Aerostar Van. In a few cases. The relative accuracy of the photo-radar equipment was determined by comparing loop speeds to photo-radar speeds. The training required that numerous runs be made by each driver until he or she could isolate the target vehicle from other traffic and could attain the required velocity at a location about 150 feet from the loops.could be unsafe in high-volume. the speed of the test vehicle was recorded using standard police radar and was compared to the speed computed by the Streeter-Amet counter. the test to determine the accuracy of the photo-radar equipment in recording the speed of an individual vehicle was conducted. Having ascertained that the vehicle's speed as measured by police radar and that computed by a Streeter-Amet counter were within 1 mph of each other. Prior to each test. This was achieved by having each test driver isolate his or her vehicle from other vehicles on the highway and then drive the test vehicle at a given speed across the loops while being monitored by standard police radar. The next stage was to ascertain whether the speeds recorded by the loops were accurate. 50. 55. Each driver comfortably demonstrated his or her ability to meet the test requirements.

55. the speed at which the test vehicle was driven. Each test vehicle was then driven at a constant speed through the test that the speed of each vehicle passing through its beam could be recorded and its photograph taken. the speeds recorded by both the counter and the photo-radar equipment were obtained at the same location and at the same time and. rather than the researcher using a stopwatch to determine the average speed of the vehicle over a stipulated distance. The accuracy of the photo-radar equipment was determined from the variation between speed recordings produced by the loops and those produced by the photo-radar equipment. and the speed computed by the photo. This is a much preferred and more accurate method than comparing the instantaneous speeds measured by the photo-radar equipment with "average" speeds calculated by timing the vehicles over the measured distance since the vehicle's speed would vary over the distance preceding the photo-radar equipment. The lane in which the test vehicle was driven was also recorded. The speed recorded by each piece of equipment was then compared with the actual vehicle speed as obtained at the loops by the Streeter-Axnet counter. isolating it from the other vehicles. thus. the type of test vehicle. Model Minimum Performance Specifications for Police Traffic Radar Devices. D. Technical Report No.radar equipment were recorded. . May 1989). The testing was carried out under speed test conditions as specified in the federal minimum performance specifications for testing equipment accuracy with respect to temperature and supply voltage (NHTSA. However. Washington.. 50. For every run. were instantaneous (or nearly instantaneous) measurements.C. DOT HS 807-415. the speed recorded by the Streeter-Amet counter. The test was run for speeds of 40. a nearly instantaneous speed reading was recorded by both the Streeter-Amet counter located at the loops and the photo-radar equipment being evaluated. Thus. and 65 mph for each lane and for each vehicle.

g. Concurrent speed data were also collected at the loops using the Streeter Amet counter.Effect of Vehicle Clustering on Accuracy of Speed Measurements The objective of this test was to determine the accuracy of the speed recorded by the photo-radar equipment when vehicles were being driven in tandem across the loops. This test was. with either the front of the vehicles being on an approximately straight line when traversing the loops or with each succeeding vehicle slightly offset behind the preceding vehicle. In this test. This variation in the test interval was necessary so that an adequate number of speed violators could be photographed by the photo-radar equipment. from which the number of vehicles . The thresholds were also set so that photographs of speeding vehicles could be taken continuously for at least 3 minutes before the roll of film had to be changed. At each site. depending on the threshold speed. vehicle operating speeds. At sites with a high volume and high operating speed (e. The photo-radar operation was then initiated and allowed to continue for a given time period. 5-minute intervals were generally used since it took about 5 minutes to generate 36 photographs (standard film canister size) without interruption. This required careful driving on the part of the study team. a repeat of the speed accuracy test but with the test vehicles in a paired configuration. the test vehicles were driven in different lanes. Percentage of Usable Photographs of Vehicles Exceeding Threshold Speed This test was conducted at all sites when accuracy testing was not underway. The speeds identified at the loops and by the photo-radar equipment were then recorded and compared. and number of exposures available in the film canister. ranging from 3 to 15\ minutes. the photo-radar equipment being tested was properly positioned and set at a threshold speed that ensured that all speeding vehicles traveling on the interstate were counted.. The test interval was increased to 10 or 15 minutes when a larger number of exposures was available or when volume was low. traffic flow. therefore. I-495). The results of this test indicate to what extent the arrival of two or more vehicles within the radar beam of a piece of photo-radar equipment affects the accuracy of the speed recorded.

4. the recorded speed. therefore. The speeds obtained at the loop sensors by the Streeter.exceeding the speed limit for the same test period was determined. The location was marked. and the driver's face could be clearly identified (as a percentage of the total number o exceeding the threshold speed).Amet counter were then compared with those recorded by the photoradar devices. Each piece of equipment was. After the equipment was installed at the test site. Two figures were then computed: (1) the number of photographs in which a vehicle's license plate number and recorded speed could be clearly identified (as a percentage of the total number of vehicles exceeding the threshold speed). manufactured by Dynascan Corporation. The radar detector used was a Cobra Trapshooter. a test vehicle with the radar detector installed was driven slowly toward the equipment until the microwave radiation from the equipment being tested was detectable. It was anticipated that equipment might be unintentionally misaligned by untrained police officers. The speed accuracy test was then repeated.sured. 6. Each test run was repeated at least five times. . Misalignment Flexibility (Cosine Effect) The objective of this test was to determine the extent to which misalignment of the photo-radar equipment affected the speed recorded by the equipment. Model RD2100. Illinois. Ease of Detection by Radar Detectors This test determined the maximum distance at which a commercially available radar detector could detect the presence of the photo-radar equipment being tested. and 8 degrees. set up in the operational mode but intentionally misaligned from the manufacturer's recommendation by 2. and the maximum detectable range for each manufacturer's photoradar recorded. Chicago. and the distance from the equipment was mea. and (2) the number of photographs in which a vehicle's license plate number.

However. Then citations and warning letters are given. but the minimal media attention given as a result of the Tuesday press conferences may have alerted drivers to the presence of the equipment for testing. one of the objectives of its use.There are two possible effects a radar detector could have on the effectiveness of photoradar use. This publicity took the form of newspaper articles and television and radio interviews in which the principle of photo-radar was described and the reasons for conducting the demonstration were explained. drivers may avoid citation by slowing down at the photo-radar site and then speeding up once they have passed the site. . On the other hand. radar detection of photo-radar equipment would. however. Effect of Photo-Radar on Speed Characteristics Speed data were collected at each site at least 1 month before the field demonstration and again during the demonstration. reduce speeds at the site. No citations or warnings were given during the test period. such as the mean and 85th percentile speeds. it was decided that they should continue so the units could be evaluated under real-world conditions. Thus. it is likely that the impact of photo-radar on speed characteristics. made quite clear to the public that no citations would be given based on speeds observed and recorded during the demonstration. the use of standard radar during the testing may have affected the speed characteristics at that site. police consistently worked radar during the demonstration at Site 6 in Maryland. by knowing where photo-radar devices are located. radar detectors could reduce the effectiveness of photo-radar in reducing speeds on other sections of the roadway. As an additional confounding factor. will be different from that reported in this study. The researchers are of the opinion that the true impact of photo-radar on speed characteristics could not be ascertained from these results. in itself. It was. Since this was their standard procedure. First.

Chapter 13 View of Project Figure 10-Glimpse of project .

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