Highway patrolmen getting radar to help combat speeders
1954 Throughout the state come Monday morning Texas highway patrolmen will be handing out speeding tickets - aided by radar.
Patrolmen of the Lubbock Highway Patrol division will join other officers in using the radar "transceiver" to stop speeders on area highways.
The instrument, called the Electo-Matic Radar Speed Meter, manufactured by the Automatic Signal Division of Eastern Industries, Inc., was shipped here recently to be used permanently in the South Plains area. It will be set to work in this manner:
Two patrol cars, one equipped with radar to spot offenders and the other to stop violators, will be employed.
The radar vehicle, a plain, unmarked patrol cruiser, will be parked beside the highway. It will be manned by two officers, one to operate the radar set and the other to handle radio communication and keep an eye on approaching automobiles.
Several hundred yards down the highway the second cruiser, also manned by two officers, will park. However, the second car will display a large Texas Highway Patrol sign on its side and will be parked on the highway shoulder, broadside to traffic.
If the radar speed meter indicates an approaching vehicle is over the speed limit, the radar-equipped car will inform the second car by radio and an officer from the marked cruiser will step out and flag the violator to a stop.
Signs informing motorists that radar speed checking is in effect have been placed on most South Plains highways and many other highways in Texas also bear the warning signs.
"Those radar signs and the signs of an occasional patrol cruiser has a great psychological effect on drivers," said Sgt. R.W. Howie. "And when we were testing the radar set two months ago, we discovered that drivers seldom offer an argument when they're told a radar set caught them speeding."
Radar speed checking doesn't mean an increase in the number of speeding tickets to be handed out, according to Capt. E.L. Posey, in charge of the Lubbock Highway Patrol division. Rather, it will mean a more accurate check of the motorist's speed.
"It'll be cheaper to catch speeders when the radar method is used," Sgt. Howie said. "Using the old method of tailing' a violator we sometimes have to drive 30 miles to catch a determined driver in a fast car, and we probably average 10 to 15 miles on most violators.
However, the Highway Patrol will continue using the old method of tailing speeders because the one meter will not substitute for patrol cruisers driving regularly over area highways.