The Republican newspaper from Springfield, MA has a nice article about police laser. Several police officers are interviewed about LIDAR, so it's interesting to see a police officer's perspective. Here are a few quotes:
Northampton police officer Michael J. Allard has never lost an appeal when a speeder has been caught with lidar, a laser-based high-tech method for catching speeders.
Allard, who writes hundreds of tickets each year, said one woman he stopped for speeding ... came to court prepared with extensive Internet research, which she presented to the Northampton District Court clerk magistrate.
"Basically, I was challenged on the device, and I won," he said.
First of all, it struck me that this officer seemed almost suprised that someone came in prepared and lost. This just shows the normal value of such "extensive Internet research". Secondly, this guy loves laser. He feels like he finally has something that speeders can't stop:
"If a lidar detector goes off, it means you've had it," Allard said.
The beam of the laser is so narrow, unlike the wide band of the radar, that it makes it very easy to hit a specific target, even if it is in a crowd of fast-moving vehicles. It can even be used on a jogger or bicycle rider.
"I shoot the license plate or the grill. I'm looking for the best reflective surface," Allard said.
In a way, he's right. Normal radar detectors simply cannot be trusted to protect you against police laser. The laser beam usually has to hit your radar / laser detector before it will produce an alert, and that usually means he's already gotten your speed.
Fortunately, there are devices like laser jammers and Laser Veil available to offer some defense to the motorist.
Laser jammers actually block the laser gun from getting the speed of your vehicle. Unlike passive radar jammers, laser jammers have been proven to work great. The Blinder HP-905 Compact Laser Jammer has been shown to jam all laser guns in use by police.
Laser Veil is a great alternative if you aren't willing to spend $350 and up for a jammer. It also works great along side a jammer, improving its performance. Laser Veil works to make those "reflective surfaces" that officer Allard was talking about less reflective. It is a translucent paint like substance that you apply to the reflective areas of your car. If your car isn't reflective, the laser gun has a harder time getting your speed. This gives you time to react to your radar / laser detector's alert, before you've gotten a ticket.
If you live in or travel through states where police use laser, be careful! And definitely consider protecting yourself with Veil, or a jammer.