LIDAR Ticket--Proper use of equipment question

So, I got a ticket going 36 in a 25 zone. Came around a blind corner and couldn’t drop my speed fast enough from the 45 MPH intial zone to the 25 MPH zone. Very nice officer ticketed me. However, he was so happy he caught me, he said, “I just barely got you on the edge of the lidar.”

Now, I thought that to ticket me he had to take a speed measurement, on the straight in the center of the car. However, when he said, he ‘got me on the edge of the lidar’, that could mean:
a. He caught me coming around the corner.
b. He was not ready with his equipment and therefore, therefore, it might legally count as invalid.

I can’t find the rules for Virginia about the restrictions on set up and engagement with the radar. Access to those would help.

I’m interested in the rules about setting up the LIDAR stop appropriately, not in how LIDAR works.

Any ideas?

I will contest the ticket. BTW, it is a federal ticket.

If he caught you coming around the corner, the registered speed would be lower then the actual speed. It’s called cosine error. It is to your advantage. The highest possible speed registered is head on from the gun to the target.

As for “the edge”, the LIDAR beam is not a red dot like many people think. The LTI gun uses three laser diodes to project a beam. At the gun’s certified distance limit the beam is about 4 feet wide for the older versions and somewhat narrower for their top end models.


You have the option of admitting your error and just accepting the ticket. Going 10 mph over a 25 limit is hugely serious. Hitting a person at 36 v 25 makes a massive difference to survivability.
I’d take it as a learning opportunity and try not to speed in those situations again.

It’s a bit odd to say something like that to a violator. If it were me I’d ask him what he meant during cross examination. I’d also file a motion for discovery of all his laser training records, units maintenance records, etc… It might might reveal what you’re looking for. In my state you have 10 business days from issue of the ticket to file the motion. YMMV.This is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer, yadda yadda yadda. What agency issued the cite? Were you on a military base or VA hospital or something?

This could be what the officer meant, it’s just odd to say it to the future defendant. I find it hard to demonstrate an obvious cosine error on an LTI as it’s quick to just display an error message. I haven’t used a microwave radar in a long, long time. We still have a Kustom handheld stored somewhere. I honestly think it’s from the late 70’s but it goes in and passes calibration service every year.

Meh. Around here judges won’t convict at anything less than 13 over. So the chances of even getting pulled over for a warning at 11 over are low. And speed limits aren’t about survivability of someone you hit, but controlability of the vehicle so you don’t hit them in the first place. And revenue. They’re about raising revenue. Which is why they tend to be lower than they should be in most areas of the U.S… Just saying.

You know the rules, you know the consequences of breaking the rules, you break the rules, maybe you should just man up and pay the price… just saying.

Virginia…let me guess…a ticket on the national parkway…governed by the national park service.

You know you were speeding. If the citing officer shows up for hearing, the odds are not in your favor. If you look at this as a civics lesson, then you may find it valuable. I don’t know how you value your personal time, but you may end up feeling it was a waste of your time.

Read the OP. He didn’t knowingly break any rules. He didn’t get slowed down enough by the time he got to the next speed zone. So basically everything you just said is wrong.


If it really was a corner so blind that he couldn’t see the new limit sign then he was going too fast for the corner. I’d also suggest that if he really believed it was not possible to slow down in time for the sign he’d be going at it from that angle rather than trying to find fault with the use of the LIDAR.

I don’t care that he was speeding. Most of us speed sometimes. Some of us speed most of the time. It happens. But if you get caught, you get caught. Suck it up and move on.

Going to court can be a civics lesson in itself and quite interesting.

I write speeding cites 5 days a week. But I would never shame someone about wanting their day in court no matter how obviously guilty they are.

I got a speeding ticket while riding my moto through a national park. I was passing at the time of the ticket and was ready to fight it. However, when I learned what it took to fight a federal ticket, I paid the man.

When the officer is on the stand, hand him a piece of paper and ask him to read aloud the third sentence. The printing on the page is very fine print. When the officer struggles to read the sentence, scream, “AhhHaa!, the defense rests”.

If there is any objection to your trick, move for an immediate mistrial and change of venue.

I am not a lawyer.

Apparently speed “traps”, like the OP’s scenario seems to be, are common in Virginia. According to a quick search and this law office’s take on speed traps:

Thank you for the interesting discussion. I’m the OP and I found it very valuable.