Does the SFPD write speeding tickets? I’ve never seen a radar gun in SF, and I wondered if they could write a speeding citation without radar, and if so, how many?

According to Sgt. Williams, the SFPD does use radar: all of their traffic bikes are equipped with built-in radar, and many police cars do indeed have radar guns inside. However, radar usage is not the SFPD’s sole method of determining if one is driving faster than the speed limit. Sgt. Williams says the SFPD uses a “variety of other ways” to give out speeding tickets; for example, if an officer is driving the speed limit and another vehicle passes him or her, he/she can tell (especially after using the “vehicle pacing” method, in which an officer trails a vehicle for an amount of time) that the driver is traveling faster than the speed limit. So, basically, the SFPD uses common sense.

For some reason, Sgt. Williams was very cagey regarding how often the SFPD uses radar – he would not give me a percentage or even a rough estimate of the number of radar-determined speeding tickets, but would only repeat that “it’s not [their] sole method.”

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  • irrelevance

    I can tell you they use the radar gun 100% of the time outside the Stockton tunnel.

  • irrelevance

    I can tell you they use the radar gun 100% of the time outside the Stockton tunnel.

  • kl2real

    A better question might be “Does the SFPD do anything useful at all?” Get in a car accident? Unless someone’s dead, don’t bother calling because they’re not coming out. Car broken into while parked on the street? Tough luck. Drug dealers milling the trade openly on the corner? The drive right past them. They’re only a little better at public service than Muni, which isn’t saying much at all.

  • kl2real

    A better question might be “Does the SFPD do anything useful at all?” Get in a car accident? Unless someone’s dead, don’t bother calling because they’re not coming out. Car broken into while parked on the street? Tough luck. Drug dealers milling the trade openly on the corner? The drive right past them. They’re only a little better at public service than Muni, which isn’t saying much at all.

  • John Murphy

    The speed limit on Eureka is 25 MPH. The typical speed is 40 MPH+ Not sure if the SFPD even knows where Eureka is…

  • John Murphy

    The speed limit on Eureka is 25 MPH. The typical speed is 40 MPH+ Not sure if the SFPD even knows where Eureka is…

  • cedichou

    I’ve seen a cop on a motorcycle checking speed in Noe Valley with his radar gun the other morning. But I guess that was the only time I noticed. I assume that if there are enough complaints, they’ll do a day of enforcement.

  • cedichou

    I’ve seen a cop on a motorcycle checking speed in Noe Valley with his radar gun the other morning. But I guess that was the only time I noticed. I assume that if there are enough complaints, they’ll do a day of enforcement.

  • Wil

    So they do a little bit more than the Guardian Angels. Speaking of which, have you had your walk-along yet?

  • Wil

    So they do a little bit more than the Guardian Angels. Speaking of which, have you had your walk-along yet?

  • Katie Baker

    Not yet (they are only patrolling on Saturdays at the moment, and I was out of town last weekend) but it’s the works!

  • Katie Baker

    Not yet (they are only patrolling on Saturdays at the moment, and I was out of town last weekend) but it’s the works!

  • Lionel Hutz

    There are probably several reasons for his evasive answer. First, I would venture a guess that the average SFPD cop is not qualified to use radar. Second, using radar in an urban environment is probably less effective than something like LIDAR.

  • Lionel Hutz

    There are probably several reasons for his evasive answer. First, I would venture a guess that the average SFPD cop is not qualified to use radar. Second, using radar in an urban environment is probably less effective than something like LIDAR.

  • bloomsm

    people have no idea what sfpd deals with all day. besides all the nasty shit (i.e., 75 murders a year, assaults, shootings), there’s weapons, muni, schools (gangbangers in middle schools; taggers; theft), the mentally disturbed and chronically addicted; stores like safeway that prosecute every shoplifter no matter how absurd (a bag of frozen peas; no, not kidding); events like critical mass, niners, giants, marches, protests, and arades. so do they come when your insured car gets broken into and someone steals your cd case? not so much. and btw, vice cops are out undercover every day doing buy-bust with dealers at 14th St. BART and in the TL.

    as for radar, of course it is used but why would they tell you where it will be? maybe you can get a cb radio and rat out smokey for the bandit. there’s cops that sit and wait for you to make an illegal left, and red light running details, and pedestrian right-of-way stings on Lincoln Ave. if you need better enforcement on your street, call the capt. of your district station or email him/her. they are all at sf.gov and meet with the community every month.l

  • bloomsm

    people have no idea what sfpd deals with all day. besides all the nasty shit (i.e., 75 murders a year, assaults, shootings), there’s weapons, muni, schools (gangbangers in middle schools; taggers; theft), the mentally disturbed and chronically addicted; stores like safeway that prosecute every shoplifter no matter how absurd (a bag of frozen peas; no, not kidding); events like critical mass, niners, giants, marches, protests, and arades. so do they come when your insured car gets broken into and someone steals your cd case? not so much. and btw, vice cops are out undercover every day doing buy-bust with dealers at 14th St. BART and in the TL.

    as for radar, of course it is used but why would they tell you where it will be? maybe you can get a cb radio and rat out smokey for the bandit. there’s cops that sit and wait for you to make an illegal left, and red light running details, and pedestrian right-of-way stings on Lincoln Ave. if you need better enforcement on your street, call the capt. of your district station or email him/her. they are all at sf.gov and meet with the community every month.l