Drone radar is a speed enforcement method that has been used for many years. However, it does not actually measure a vehicle’s speed or result in a police officer writing up a ticket for a driver. The drone radar method works more as a warning or deterrent for motorists who have installed radar detectors in their vehicles to warn them that police are in the area looking for speeders.
Drone radar is sometimes mounted on moving vehicles, but is generally installed on highway signs, stoplights, or highway work vehicles. They can be found in school zones, on arrow boards, on ambulances and fire and Department of Transportation trucks, in residential neighborhoods, mounted on school buses, and strung along particularly dangerous sections of highways.
Drone radar devices are unmanned and trigger motorists’ radar detectors on purpose. The device causes a radar detector’s alarm to sound, causing the driver to believe that there is law enforcement nearby. Consequently, the drivers slow their speed. However, as soon as drivers realize that drone radar is in use, its success rate is reduced.
Since there are no legal consequences associated with drone radar, the method is often criticized, and its effectiveness is questioned. The method has also been scrutinized because it has long been suspected of causing health problems, though no research study has been able to prove this.
Some believe that radar drone is a cancer risk. Since most cancer studies require long-term research, we may not know what health risks, if any, drone radar may cause for at least another 20 years.
Radar drones work by transmitting on K or KA bands. The Federal Communications Commission and the United States Department of Transportation prohibit radar drones from transmitting on the X band. The FCC reserves the use of the X band for other operations, such as automatic door openers, burglar alarms, truck braking systems, train navigation, etc.
However, New Jersey is the only state in which using the X band for radar drones is permitted. The problem with using the X band is that when an alert comes across a radar detector on this band, it could be any number of other things transmitting the signal. Therefore, the driver must realize that it is a false alarm and should be ignored.