How you got that speeding ticket - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How you got that speeding ticket

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PASCO, WA- It's a sight no one wants to see in their rear view mirror, but if it does happen it's typically the same response. Sergeant Brad Gregory with the Pasco Police tell us when he walks up to the driver side window the majority of drivers all say, "I wasn't speeding. I mean I get up there and it's usually, why did you stop me?". 

So if you do find yourself with a speeding ticket you are most likely going to question the validity of it. We followed Pasco Police as they patrolled the streets looking for speeding drivers but it actually starts before they begin their routes. Sergeant Gregory told us there are two types of tests they run in order to catch speeders, radar and lidar. Before each shift, they must run functionality tests to make sure the systems are working properly. He tells us for the dashboard radar, "I just have to make sure the calibration is right, we do that with tuning forks. One is 20 miles per hour and one of them is 50 miles per hour". 

For the lidar or laser test, they test it using the range setting on the laser gun. They check it outside 75 feet from an object and then again at 50 feet from the object. After both tests are completely checked and pass, they hit the road. 

Sergeant Gregory tells us you don't have to be parked in order to catch a driver speeding. Using the dashboard radar you can look for target speed and audio doppler. He says, "that tells me I've got cars moving faster or slower depending on the audio doppler". He also says if you're driving and someone is coming up behind really fast, he can change it to rear radar and get their speed. He also can get the speed on a car going the opposite direction. 

When a patrol car is parked they're most likely using the lidar gun, it's more accurate and specific when checking vehicle speeds, Gregory said, "if i point the lidar at your car it's not a big beam that picks up two or three cars, it's a dot". 

The most popular speeding zone where many tickets are often given out are school zones. Sergeant Gregory told us he once gave 20 tickets out in one day in a school zone. 

In order to avoid that speeding ticket, slow down and drive cautiously for your safety and the safety of others sharing the road with you.