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Dayton police began using DragonEye Speed Lidar devices in October. Officers have used the lidar guns mainly on the highways, including Interstate 75 and U.S. 35.
Dayton police have been using lidar technology since the early 1990s.
But the department’s six new hand-held lidar guns for the first time allow police to take photos of speeding vehicles so officers don’t have to conduct a traffic stop to issue a citation.
That’s a benefit because it can be difficult and dangerous for police to try to catch up to speeding vehicles and conduct a traffic stop on busy roadways, Ward said.
“When an officer doesn’t have to pull out, it’s safer for the violator, safer for the officer, so we’re not stopping on I-75 in downtown in the middle of rush hour,” he said.
In October, police mailed out more than 1,200 warnings for vehicles caught speeding using hand-held lidar devices, according to police data.
In November, after the warning period ended, police issued about 950 citations, which are sent to the registered owners of the vehicle recorded speeding on camera.
The city’s fixed automated red light and speed cameras are being installed near or at five high-crash intersections.
Camera sites were chosen based on data showing vehicle crash locations and types.
The fixed red light camera sites are:
West Third Street and James H. McGee Boulevard
Linden Avenue and Smithville Road
The speed-detection camera sites are:
North Gettysburg Avenue near Fairbanks Avenue
North Main Street near Siebenthaler Avenue
Keowee Street between East Third and Fifth streets
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The mobile speed trailers likely will be moved around, but police expect to announce where they will be stationed, Ward said. The trailers are expected to be moved every couple of months or so — or possibly in even longer durations — depending on what impact they have on driving behaviors, officials said.
But the laser photo devices will be deployed in high-traffic areas or places that have been a source of citizen or officer complaints, Ward said.
One limitation of the devices is that they cannot be used at night, since they do not have a flash, Ward said.