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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