Abilene PD looking to purchase LiDAR guns to more accurately track speeders

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Police Department’s traffic officers could be adding new tools to their belts to help crack down on speeding.

Currently officers use doppler radar to track speeders, but after receiving a $22,000 grant from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, they would like to purchase the most accurate radar tool: the LiDAR gun. 

Traffic officer Scooter Thompson says speed is the number one traffic violation citizens want to see enforced. 

“We are out there enforcing speed limits and making sure everybody drives reasonably,” said Thompson. 

APD is hoping to purchase nine new LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, guns. 

“So, this is the old stalker radar that we use, it operates off of technologies from the doppler principal, and this is our new LiDAR unit that works off of the light or laser technology,” said Thompson. 

The technology provides officers with more accurate readings of traffic speeds. 

“There’s a red retina display inside, and the basic principle of it is you just put this red display on the target, and then if the target is moving towards you or moving away from you, it’s going to give you the speeds that they are traveling and also the distance away,” said Thompson. 

Thompson says they never want to pull over the wrong driver. 

“This is a much, much better tool for us to be extremely accurate and pull over the correct violators,” said Thompson.

Which is why these radar guns help them make the best stop possible. 

“Anything we can do to be more accurate with our decision making, I think is important,” said Thompson. 

Thompson encourages drivers to go the speed limit, since he says speeding is the largest contributor to dangerous collisions. 

The Abilene City Council will vote this Thursday to allow APD to use the funds for the LiDAR guns. 

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