Tag Archives: radar

Defences to a Lidar speeding fine

Speeding fines based on Lidar or radar readings are difficult to defend, but not impossible, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

The Ducati-riding solicitor has previously provided our readers with tips on what to do when pulled over by police and defences to speeding fines based on a police officer’s estimate or “check speed”.

Check out his tips on defending a Lidar or radar speeding fine:

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled lidar
Chris on his Ducati at the track

Lidar readings

Lidar speed readings are potentially more accurate than “check speeds” and police estimates which were covered in my previous article.

So they need more careful analysis prior to any court hearing.

“LIDAR” stands for Light Detection and Ranging which means it uses pulsed lasers of light.

Police aim the hand-held Lidar device at an object and a laser beam of light bounces back and forth to measure changes in the distance over time.

It is the most accurate form of speed assessment.

Radar devices work the same way, but use radio waves instead of light.


However, like any measuring instrument, these can be compromised depending on calibration and manner of use.

Failure to produce a S137 Road Transport Act certificate at a hearing could call into question the reading obtained.

We also consider whether the device has been properly calibrated. The prosecution would have to produce a certificate signed by the police officer at the start and end of their shift certifying the device was tested over a measured prescribed distance of 25m and 50m.

Each Lidar has a prolaser testing book, which is completed and signed off when the tests are done.

Lidar use

LIDAR Low speed threshold a danger hidden demons lidar
LIDAR is used around the world

We also consider the use of the Lidar on a motorist.

  • Was there a clear line of sight for the officer during the duration of the test?
  • Was the required three-second observation and testing likely, based on available distance for the test and the alleged speed? For example if the maximum sighting distance from the officer is 30m and you are meant to be travelling at 30m/second they only have one second to conduct the test which is insufficient time.
  • Was there excessive movement of the unit?
  • Is there the potential for the laser to be reflected back from another surface?

Radar devices

If the radar device uses a Doppler beam, we again consider calibration.

However, there are other contentious issues with a Doppler beam as they are much wider than a Lidar beam.

The old Silver Eagle Radar used to have a beam of about 20x20m for every hundred metres of projection.

This creates confusion over which vehicle provided the speed reading.

I have run cases where a small vehicle such as a motorcycle was traveling in front of a speeding four-wheel drive and may not be the vehicle giving the speed reading.

Police always argue that if there are multiple vehicles in the beam then an error reading should show on the device but that is subject to question and scientific challenge.

We also consider whether there were multiple vehicles in the beam and whether there were many vehicles of a similar size. This raises the question of identity of the offending vehicle.

Use of mobile radars in areas where traffic isn’t sparse raises the issue of target identification.

Use guidelines

LIDAR radar speed gun pulled
LIDAR radar speed gun

Guidelines for the use of Lidar and radar have previously contained prohibitions such as at the bottom of a hill or within 50m of a change in speed zone sign.

Those restrictions on police have now been considerably eased in many jurisdictions, despite public criticism.

However that information may be relevant in a defence or in a plea of guilty.

Also, keep in mind that both these devices can be used in approaching or receding mode, which means they can hide in the bushes and activate the device once you have gone past them and shoot you from behind.

When defending these cases, especially the Lidar, some magistrates wish to have scientific evidence from the defence supporting the basis of the challenge to the instrument.


This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can bet contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda helmet radar monitors your rear

Honda has been busy recently applying for patents for a range of out-there inventions including this helmet that integrates with the bike and monitors for of an impending rear-ender.

The helmet features a rear-facing camera that monitors traffic behind the rider.

This information is sent to a processing unit which detects a fast-approaching vehicle and sends a visual warning to the rider via the motorcycle’s instruments.

Rear-ender crashes are among the most common involving motorcycles, so this could be a useful safety device.

Honda helmet radar monitors for rear ender
Honda helmet radar monitors for rear-enders

Bike radar monitors for crash

It is similar to systems already found in many cars. Now it appears to be coming to motorcycles.

Ducati has also identified this issue and will be the first next year to add front and rear radar sensors to its motorcycles to warn riders of dangers.

Ducati and Audi demonstraties V2X radar monitors
Ducati and Audi demonstrate radar technology

Kawasaki will also add radar systems to their bikes to detect imminent collisions and warn riders. However it will go further by also applying automatic braking.

Suzuki has taken a different approach with a radar deflector that makes the motorcycle more “visible” to the sensors in surrounding hi-tech vehicles.

Helmet system

Instead of containing the radar technology to the bike like these companies, Honda has decided to integrate the helmet into their system.

This could be due to the higher radar placement which might make detection easier.

It’s not the first patent application from Honda that features a helmet.

They recently applied for an invention that recognises your face when you put your helmet on and acts as a remote key fob to switch on your motorcycle.

honda helmet key fob radar monitors
Honda’s helmet key fob patent drawing

There are several problems with integrating such technology into a helmet.

It makes the helmet heavier, more expensive, limits the choice of helmet that can be used with the bike, and, since helmets should be changed every five years, it would be obsolete long before the motorcycle.

Other recent Honda patents have included a rider air-conditioner, a “climate seat” that blows hot or cool air, a leaning trike and a hydrogen-powered motorcycle.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Kawasaki puts safety tech on radar

Kawasaki is the latest manufacturer to indicate they will add radar systems to their bikes to detect imminent collisions and either warn riders or intervene with automatic braking.

The Japanese manufacturer has filed patents for their system which uses front and rear radars and controls the brakes and throttle.

Kawasaki’s patent drawings of what looks like a Versys, show the front radar will detect the distance to vehicles and hazards and apply brakes and throttle.

The rear radar will sense fast-approaching vehicles and supply the rider with an alert, probably with a light, alarm or vibration, so the rider can take evasive action.

Radar systems

Kawasaki is not alone in developing these radar-activated automatic braking safety systems.

It is believe the tech will be in the next-generation Honda Goldwing, Ducati will add its front and rear radar and cornering ABS to its entire range in 2020 and KTM will add adaptive cruise control and blind spot alert systems to their range in 2021.

Suzuki is taking a different and more proactive stance on radar technology with a deflector to make motorcycles easier for hi-tech automated cars to detect them.

Ducati and Adi demonstraties V2X radar
Ducati and Audi demonstrate radar technology

Auto safety systems

These automatic or emergency braking systems have been endorsed in all new cars made in Europe from 2020. There is no word yet on mandatory introduction to motorcycles.

The decision is based on a joint study by Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP which concluded that automatic emergency brakes would lead to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes at low speeds.

European politicians have also voted on a raft of other mandatory safety technology in all new vehicles including “black box” recorders and even automated speed limiters.

The technology will only apply to new vehicles and there is no talk yet of applying them to motorcycles.

However, as more and more motorcycle companies join the push toward this automated technology, we have to wonder how soon it will be made mandatory in motorcycles.

Don’t think it won’t happen. ABS was mandated in cars years ago and it is now mandated in motorcycles in Australia, Europe, Japan, India, Brazil and Taiwan.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com