Speeding and Aircraft

Measuring rate of speed by aircraft involves the use of a fixed-wing airplane in the air, with police cruisers working on the ground. Police use lines painted on the road to set out a course, the distance of which is measured beforehand. When a vehicle drives this section of the road, a stopwatch is activated in the plane and runs until the vehicle crosses the finish line at the end of the course. If the target vehicle is found to be speeding, the plane broadcasts this information via radio to the patrol cars on the ground, who verify the vehicle's speed and issue them a speeding ticket.

In this method, speed is calculated using the formula of distance of the course divided by the time it took the vehicle to travel that distance. This can provide grounds to argue speeding tickets in court if the timing was not done properly. If the pilot's reaction time in starting the stopwatch is delayed at all, then it will result in a higher rate of speed than the driver was actually going. The shorter the distance of the course being utilized, the more likely that there will be a timing error on the part of the aircraft, the consequences of which could be an incorrect speed reading and thus an incorrect speeding ticket.