Prepare to be DOPPLERED!
These new radar units have been installed in all 90 of Laval's police cars, making Laval the first city of its size to equip its entire fleet with Doppler radar technology.
The units are installed on top of the dashboard directly behind the steering wheel, allowing the police officer to glance easily at the unit's readout while driving.
"This is the biggest advantage of the new Doppler radars," explained Constable Nathalie Lorrain, spokesperson for the LPD. "They can be used while the car is in motion. No longer does a police officer have to be parked by the side of the road with a handheld radar to detect excessive speeds. The Doppler radars operate while the officers are patrolling."
The new speed measurement devices are based on the not-so-new science developed by Christian Doppler in 1842. Using the Doppler Effect, Doppler radars measure the velocity of moving objects by reading frequencies of electromagnetic radiation waves.
Making the shift to Doppler radar requires police officers to undergo a 5 day in-house training process, which most of the force has already completed. Like the siren and the lights, the Doppler radar is now standard equipment for all Laval police cars. Thus equipped, police officers are now able to monitor the roads for excessive speeds seven days per week and 24 hours per day.
"The emphasis is on road security and public safety," stated Lorrain. "Our goal is to make our roads safer and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries caused by drivers who are speeding." Drivers who are caught exceeding the speed limits on Laval roads are subject to heavy fines and demerit point penalties, depending on the severity of the violation.
The Doppler radars have been in use since the end of January and have already successfully nabbed 3 drivers at highly excessive speeds, including one fellow tagged doing 135 km/hr on Chomedey Blvd, where the limit is 50 km/hr. The price tag of that heavy foot was almost $1500 and the loss of 18 demerit points. The driver's license was immediately suspended, and his next license will be slapped with a 6 point deduction.
The addition of Doppler radars to their fleet of police cars is the latest step in the Laval Police force's ongoing campaign to make Laval roads safer. During the past 3 years, their efforts have also included a publicity campaign aimed at pedestrians, increased road blocks during non-holiday periods, and the hiring of extra personnel.
Statistics indicate their efforts are worthwhile.
In 2010, the number of road deaths in Laval was 10. In 2011, the number had dropped to 5. In 2012, there were 4 deaths on Laval roads.
"We've seen a significant decrease in the number of fatalities on Laval roads in the past three years," Lorrain added. "Obviously, our goal is to ultimately reduce that number to zero.
Caption for tableau: A heavy foot on the gas pedal can lead to heavy penalties and far-reaching consequences.