Lasered But Not Toasted

Here in the State of Maryland, the local authorities have a reputation; they’re MERCILESS! I commute on I95 near Baltimore, where Ka band is as common as the smokestacks that define our city’s skyline. The state budget thrives under the ticket machine.

Solo encounters with Lidar are usually fatal. But for a responsible driver who goes with the flow, laser warning has a real benefit.

I was cruising towards the Bay Bridge at mid-day, medium traffic, average speed of 65-68 mph. A white van moves past me, just one more decision in the driver’s mind, surely not a memorable one. I watch as he goes. As we near the toll both, he’s approximately 300 yards out. That’s when I get a laser warning, loud and clear.

Thinking I’m toast, I drop below traffic flow to the posted limit. But the zap wasn’t for me. V1 has picked up the Lidar beam for the van in front of me. The van is exactly between me and the zapper (from a patrol car a solid QUARTER MILE away!), yet V1 saw him coming.

About 15 secs later, it’s my turn to run the gauntlet. Turns out to be a crew of a half-dozen, training junior officers. Thanks to V1’s keen eye, they probably read my speed at 52mph. I watch as a rookie takes a shot at a car behind me. In the mirror, I see the pursuit car start to roll. It’s not for me.

Thanks V1!

Sebastian Sassi
Rosedale, Maryland