Speed Measurement Devices

The Michigan State Police purchase and use both radar (microwave) and laser (infrared) speed measurement devices in their speed measurement enforcement activities.

State of Michigan contracts for the purchase of radar and laser speed measurement devices are secured for the department through the Michigan Department of Management and Budget.  

 

Radar Speed Enforcement

The Michigan State Police currently use a variety of radar devices including single and dual antenna units, same direction mode radar and direction sensing radar.

 

Lidar (Laser) Speed Enforcement

The Michigan State Police use a variety of Laser devices. Laser uses infrared light pulses and is able to be lane- and car-selective because of its small beam width.  This makes the device very valuable in high traffic areas.

 

Certification Standard

Per MCOLES standards that took effect on January 1, 2010, speed measurement operators (includes both RADAR and LIDAR) must:

1. Be licensed as a law enforcement officer in the State of Michigan.
2. Satisfactorily complete a 24 hour speed measurement class, which includes a written examination and a demonstration of performance.
3. Maintain 100 hours of speed measurement enforcement per year (records to be maintained by the agency).
4. Recertify as a speed measurement operator once every 5 years through updates, testing, or demonstrated proficiency.

 

The Michigan Court of Appeals in People vs. Ferency 133 MICH. APP 526 - 1984 ruled that in order to avoid any violation of due process rights of a defendant in a speeding case involving "moving" radar, seven guidelines must be met in order to allow into evidence speed readings from a radar speed measurement device:
 

1. The officer operating the device has adequate training and experience in its operation.
2. The radar device was in proper working condition and properly installed in the patrol vehicle at the time of the issuance of the citation.
3. The radar device was used in an area where road conditions are such that there is a minimum possibility of distortion (spurious readings).
4. The input speed of the patrol vehicle was verified. This also means that the speedometer of the patrol vehicle was independently calibrated.
5.

The speedmeter (radar) is retested at the end of the shift in the same manner that it was tested prior to the shift and that the speedmeter (radar) be serviced by the manufacturer or other professional as recommended.

6.

The radar operator is able to establish that the target vehicle was within the operational area of the beam at the time the reading was displayed.

7.

The particular unit has been certified for use by an agency with some demonstrable expertise in the area.


Although the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in PEOPLE vs. FERENCY deals with the adjudication of a case involving traffic radar, the ruling can be applied to cases involving laser speed measurement devices. The guidelines for adjudicating speeding cases involving laser speed measurement devices:

1. The officer operating the laser speed measurement device must have adequate training and experience.
 2. The laser device must be verified in the same manner at the beginning and end of the shift to ensure that it is in proper working condition, and the device must be serviced by the manufacturer or other professional as recommended.
 3.

The officer using the laser device must be able to testify that a down-the-road speed reading was obtained at a distance that was within the operational range of the device.

 4. The target vehicle must be properly identified.
 5.

The laser device must be in proper working condition at the time the speed measurement reading is obtained. Additionally, across-the-road laser devices must be properly positioned and aligned.