Electronic Countermeasures

by John Lee [© your income tax dollars at the White House]

I hold it that, a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. --President Thomas Jefferson


The government's National Safety Board and the Federal Highway Administration found out over 35 years ago that motorists traveling 10 to 15 miles per hour above the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit were statistically safer and had 600% fewer crashes than drivers who obeyed the government's arbitrary speed limits. I wonder why the government does not advertise this fact to the citizens? I wonder why the corporate news media does not consider this interesting news? Could it be -- censorship?!

It is interesting that some local governments have faced class action lawsuits under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) laws for operating illegal speed traps. Until citizens and lawyers in every community perform this civic duty, illegal government speed traps will continue to destroy public safety. It would be great if ticket taxes were plowed back into improving highways danger zone -- modern guardrails, better roadsigns, freshly painted lines, reflector dots, instead of being misused for profiteering by bureaucrats wanting higher salaries. In the meantime, electronic counter measures can be utilized to protect one's self from illegal and unethical government surveilance.

Many people are afraid to stand up for themselves. That's the way their parents raised them. Any back-talk or assertiveness was continually punished, both verbally and/or physically. In school, government teachers threatened them mentally and physically for misbehaving, daydreaming or having fun. As an adult, the government threatens speeding tickets and jail time (or murder) for those who continue to be independent. Employers threaten non-hiring status, reprisals and mass firings to any who dare assert their civil rights. They have been brainwashed from years of powerful propaganda. The price intimidated and downtrodden people pay is a reduction in the quality of life, a constant fear of failure or ridicule, and lost opportunities. What those citizens gain is boredom, loneliness a false sense of security, and a feeling of living death. The choice is there for each citizen. It is a personal choice. Benefits must be weighed against the cost. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Citizens are not allowed to vote on speed limits, either on the national highways or in their local communities. Nor are they allowed to have citizen review boards to investigate police misconduct. Many times the artificially low speed limits appear to be more for the benefit of government police writing profitable traffic tickets, than for having anything to do with safety. If America just put a maximum speed limit on all roads of only 10 miles per hour, and if citizens actually drove at that speed (or below), there would probably be a lot less crashes. But in the real world, people drive at a speed they feel comfortable and safe with, regardless of any arbitrary government regulation. Some people might go so far as to call that Democracy. Even when speed limits are raised on rural stretches of interstate highway, lower allowed speeds in urban areas still allow police to gather lots of revenue. Even at night, when traffic is only a fraction of the density of rush hour, government-mandated speed limits remain low -- despite the obvious elimination of the so-called justification for having a lower speed due to higher traffic volume. This is the time when police exercise maximum aggression over alleged violation of traffic regulations.

In military applications, the government uses multimillion dollar electronic countermeasures (ECM) in order to allow its airborne vehicles to enter another country's borders, bypassing its radar defenses, for the express purpose of violently killing large numbers of people -- who oftentimes are unarmed civilians. American citizens who choose to use ECM equipment for personal use on the highway are doing so in order to merely arrive safely unaccosted at their destination. There are no scientific statistics that prove a link between ECM and increased risk of vehicle collisions, or even a link between ECM use and citizens who drive any faster than normal. In fact, scientific studies prove that citizens who use ECM devices have lower risk of crashing, and this gap will continue to increase now that construction zones and road hazards have electronic broadcasting devices that give radar detector owners advance warning of danger. As radar detector use has increased, so has highway safety. In fact, use of ECM (such as radar detectors) keeps drivers more alert to highway conditions, and thus save lives.

However, there are scientific statistics to prove government police radar transmitters cause cancer due to the high-power microwave radiation, especially to the cops who use them all day long. In military and civilian aviation, aircraft mechanics have been seriously injured or killed by inadvertant exposure to activated radar transmitters.

Back in the early 1970s, the speed limit on American Interstate highways was 75 miles per hour, and 85 miles per hour for toll roads. Gasoline sold for 30 cents per gallon, and railroads were buying diesel fuel at 11 cents a gallon.

In March 1973, the White House organized a meeting for America's petroleum -consuming industries, such as airlines, trucking companies, railroads, electricity generating utilities, and the Department of Defense. The meeting took place at the National Defense Transportation Association in Washington DC. A railroad representative named Fletcher Prouty has written about what occured there that day. Mr. Prouty had been a colonel in the Air Force, a jet pilot, and liason for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon with the Central Intelligence Agency (JFK). Others might recogognize him as "Colonel X" in Oliver Stone's hit documentary about New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, which was also titled JFK, (based on Prouty's book, On the Trail of the Assassins).

A White House spokesman warned the group that the world's supply of oil might run out before the year 2000, and that before the year was over, the industries should expect fuel prices to jump several times higher than the current price. Coincidentally, within months, the Arabs and Israelis were at war, and the Arabs created their infamous "oil embargo." Citizens waited in long lines to get their over-priced allotment of gas, as much as $2.00 per gallon. In 1974, the national government passed the National Highway Safety Act which forced all the states to cut their speed limits to 55 miles per hour, in order to "conserve" petroleum resources.

As we now know, much of this "energy crisis" was just a massive production designed to raise the price of petroleum from $1.00 per barrel (and falling) to $41.00 per barrel. It is interesting to note that only 4% of America's oil production came from Arab nations in 1968, and that figure had dropped to 3% by 1970, according to Jack Anderson in Fiasco. His book chronicled the presidential decisions and international government intrigue that profited the American oil corporations with tax loopholes and price hikes. Mr. Anderson is a Pulizter-Prize-winning author and journalist, with the dubious honor of being named as a potential kidnap victim for the convicted White House "Plumbers" (attempting to plug news leaks to the press) during Watergate. One of the convicted White House felons (a lawyer and former FBI agent) who commited these crimes once bit the head off a live rat, to prove his allegedly superior willpower -- now he's a conservative radio talk show host.

It is also interesting to note that after the fiery holocaust after Operation Desert Storm, U.S. Army special-forces troops guarded the flaming oil wells in Kuwait, in order to prevent firefighters from extinguishing the flames too quickly. Hundreds of flaming oil wells, blacking out the entire sky for several months, made quite a sight on international television, and gasoline prices rose once again. The veteran who relayed this little tid-bit of American military history now has a career in federal law enforcement. White House officials at that time were required to seek waivers from the government during the war, due to their extensive ownership of oil stocks (and oil companies) and oil well firefighting companies. It was very cost effective "advertising" for America's oil corporations, since the smoking oil wells belonged to another nation, and the multi-billion dollar war was paid for by the taxpayers. NBC's parent corporation, General Electric, siphoned off $2 billion of the taxpayers' hard-earned wages.

In The Crimes of a President, Israli Joel Bainerman writes: "While the American public believed that it was Middle Eastern oil sheikdoms who were deciding what price they would have to pay to fill up their cars, that was only the perception, the illusion. It was [the president's] secret agendas and political ambitions that were determining the price at the pumps."
One rationale for keeping America's speed limits so low is of course to conserve fuel. Yet, if this really were true, why not allow owners of the more fuel efficient vehicles to drive at a higher speed limit, as reward for their good sense? A modern small car can easily get three times better economy than some other heftier vehicles. If these citizens were given an extra ten miles per hour speed limit, how long do you think it would take for everyone to buy one? Likewise, motorcycles routinely get 50 to 100 miles per gallon, and take up less space on overcrowded highways, yet the government does nothing to promote their greater use. It almost makes one assume that the government does not really want the citizenry to use less fuel.

Besides, when underground petroleum does eventually run out, it can still be manufactured from farming sources (damaged crops, spoiled grain, fruit peelings, corn stalks, plant leaves, cheese production waste, household organic garbage -- there's certainly a limitless supply of that). It can even be made at home. Fuel alcohol is produced in a process similar to, but simpler than, moonshine whiskey. Unlike beverage alcohol, fuel alcohol does not require a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). When an engine is properly modified for running on alcohol, it will produce the same power but with fewer emissions--for many years, the Indianapolis 500 race involved cars producing nearly 1,000 horsepower from little 2.6 liter/162 cubic-inch engines running on methanol. During America's first Prohibition and economic Depression, fuel alcohol competed equally with gasoline, but the petroleum industry intentionally killed it off, by convincing the government to tax it at 40% (How to Make Your Own Alcohol Fuels, by Larry Carley).

In reality, there is unlimited energy available for public consumption, from many different sources, many of which are significantly cleaner for the environment than petroleum. For example, over 90% of the earth is molten rock heated by nuclear radiation (fission) from the earth's core . This unlimited energy can safely power steam turbines to generate electricity, which can be harnessed by modern electric vehicles that produce zero exhaust emissions -- and without the heinous pollution and outrageous expense of the government's current nuclear power plants. Solar (safe nuclear fusion) and wind energy are also in unlimited supply, and can be used to power electric vehicles.

What there really is a limited supply of is money, and there are certain people in this world who are willing to do anything to get more than their fair share. So what if they tell a lie to get hundreds of billions of easy dollars? Some people will do anything for a few billion bucks.

Anyway, I digress. The point is that protecting yourself from government B.S. is a useful survival skill; think of all the unfortunate Jewish-Germans (and other minorities) who failed to heed the obvious warning signs during the 1930s. They did not want to believe the obvious malevolence of their own government; their comfortable lives did not want to be disrupted. Their democratically elected government put 6 million defenseless citizens to death (plus 4 million Prisoners Of War), for the crime of simply being alive ("contempt of race"). Many of that fascist nation's most notorious war criminals found employment with the American government after World War II, in the "Cold" War against Communism. Anyway, in America today, a radar detector is a decent investment for every member of your family, to protect one's self from government intrusion. There is no need to feel guilty for taking care of yourself, and you might even be increasing your ability to pay attention to driving, and thus improve your safety. As the NHTSA points out, you are safer when you do not obey the government's arbitrary speed limits.

Speed limits themselves can be illegal. If a speed limit is lower than the 85th-Percentile speed as determined by a DOT engineer's traffic survey, the limit may be illegal. Some state highways must have speed limit signs installed in the correct places. Some cops move the signs around in order to set up illegal speed traps. Sign locations can be double-checked by the DOT for a fee of about $20, a small investment for anyone serious about retaining one's freedom to travel the USA (as is any financial investment in driving defense). This also includes all other types of signs and even traffic lights. Even if it installed properly, the proper paperwork may not have been completed in time. If it has not been properly approved, it cannot be legally used by cops for traffic tickets. Traffic lights are required to have the correct time delay for yellow lights. According to a traffic light engineer, many if not most of the government employees who maintain the lights' computers do an incompetent job and set the wrong time delays.

There is a misconception, promoted by the corporate news media (beholden to its automotive manufacturing and insurance industry clients), that the government is always right and the citizens are always wrong. Yet government radar machines are not perfect. For one thing, so-called speed measurement devices are operated by human beings, many of whom have limited training. There are no legal requirements that police officers understand science and technology. There is a huge difference between the scientifically proven fact that radar does work in a stationary laboratory environment, and how radar is operated in the real world of moving vehicles and environmental obstacles -- and illegal government quotas. The government police attempt to use perverted technology to pacify the motoring public into tax-paying submission. For those stubborn citizens who choose to put up an intelligent legal fight, the courts are forced to conceed that police radar is nothing more than junk science, and is no more accurate at determining speed than a human guestimate--and often times infinitely less accurate than a human guess. So-called speed measurement machines do not measure speed, they measure distance. In a rapidly changing, high speed environment, gross errors are possible, if not commonplace.

The NHTSA's Radar Operator's Training Manual states: "The best areas for radar operation are straight, level roadways." However, as most citizens have observed, cops rarely use radar in this manner, choosing instead to hide behind trees, over hills and around curves. Heavy traffic confuses the machine as to which vehicle is allegedly being measured. Metal buildings, light poles, metal signs and radio station antennas all disrupt an accurate measurement. Radar works "line of sight" only.

Police radar (Radio Detection And Ranging) machines are given predatory names like Stalker, Panther, Eagle, Falcon, Bee, Python, Interceptor, Ra-Gun and Speed Gun Magnum. Some of the common errors that occur during government radar prosecutions include:

    * electromagnetic interferance from other police radio equipment;
    * shadowing (a false calculation of the cop's speed);
    * batching (adding cop's speed to victim's speed);
    * bumping (same);
    * panning error (80 mph trees, etc.);
    * scanning error;
    * internal and external interferance (interior fans, power lines, rain, fog);
    * harmonic error (multiplying a victim's speed two or three times);
    * normal tolerances (5 miles per hour is common);
    * out of calibration (some courts ban the use of police laser because it cannot be calibrated);
    * human error (targeting the wrong vehicle);
    * intentional error (dialing in a preset alleged speed).

It is illegal for police to use hand-held units inside police vehicles since those units are proven to cause cancer, yet lazy cops often do so anyway. These units can easily add 10 miles per hour to a citizen's alleged speed when raised quickly, since they are measuring the rapidly changing distance from the cop's standing place to the targeted vehicle. Some scientific studies show a 30% error rate for radar prosecutions, not taking into account whether the speed limit itself is an illegal and unsafe speed trap, which the majority of speed limits are, nor taking into account that quotas are themselves illegal. Cops are required to clibrate thier machine immediately before and immediately after issuing a speeding citation, but this is almost never complied with honestly. Likewise, police speedometers are often not calibrated properly, and are affected by the tires' treadwear and air pressure. These are honest errors. It is also possible to dial up any speed a dishonest cop desires.

Photo radar is an unmanned radar machine that can photograph every vehicle that passes in front of it, invading the privacy of every citizen under its watchful eye. If a driver changes lanes, the radar can falsely read his speed as 10 MPH faster than reality due to cosign error. Photo radar is also clearly illegal, although some cites still use it since most citizens don't realize this fact, nor do most citizens have the financial ability to hire a lawyer to dispute the legality of a traffic ticket.

Frederick Grab, a deputy attorney general, pointed out in Los Angeles Lawyer magazine (December 1989) that: "The basic purpose of traffic law is to promote highway safety and not to raise revenue for local government. . . . As a result of my research nad experiences, I am convinced that photo-radar enforcement is unconstitutional on several grounds and results in an invidious and unjustifiable utilization of the Vehicle Code for an improper purpose, the raising of revenue for municipalities. . . . The legislature clearly is concerned with the potential hazards involved in mechanical enforcement of speed limits. Using the suggestive term 'speed trap,' the legislature has set forth fairly igorous standards to be applied to those forms of detection, including photo-radar, that may be utilized on the state's highways. Under this scheme, a speed trap, as defined, must be justified by a recent engineering study [within 5 years] justifying the posted limit; in the absence of such a study, law enforcement officials are incompetent to testify as to the violation. . . . Clearly, then, the legislature views possible abuses in connection with radar enforcement of the speed laws as serious and substantial.... The only conceivable reasons for using photographic radar equipment for the detection of speeding violations are (1) to permit the writing of a greater number of citations, and (2) to reduce the expense connected with traffic stops. . . . However, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that financial savings cannot justify an otherwise unconstitutional state action." (Payne v. Superior Court, 17 Cal.3d at 920, citing Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 633 (1969))"

Mr. Grab, upset over a $40 speeding ticket he had gotten, used his knowledge of the criminal law as a government prosecutor to dig into the illegality of photo radar. First of all, a crime is not a crime unless a citizen or police officer witnesses the citizen commit the alleged crime, at least when it comes to misdemeanor offenses. A machine is not a witness. This also prevents a citizen from explaining to an officer his personal justification for exceeding the speed limit, as occurs in other forms of traffic stops. This arbitrariness lacks due process (fairness). Second, service of the complaint comes through the mail rather than from a police officer (actually, the citation is not the complaint, which is usually omitted completely). In every American court, a summons is without power if it is not served in person, despite false threats that are made in the government's ticket-by-mail scam. In fact, many cities simply drop their prosecutions of citizens who choose to not show up in court. Mr. Grab attacked: "Where a prosecutorial agency impliedly acknowledges the serious jurisdictional problems inherent in such a procedure, the specter of tacit complicity in unlawful conduct presents itself. . . . [T]he existance of the policy will never come to light officially in the absence of a serious challenge to its validity, either through investigation or the filing of a class action lawsuit aimed at an injunction." A 1996 class action case in Sandy and West Valley City, Utah, was filed on behalf of 100,000 drivers ticketed by "PhotoCop." A 1994 class action lawsuit against moving radar was filed in North Hampton, Ohio, by citizens who also erected signs warning citizens of the speed trap.

A "dilligent citizen who smells a rat" must beware that simply pleading "not guilty" automatically waives his legal right to contest the unconstitutionality of the impersonal summons. In other words, he fell for the government's illegal bluff. Many governments refuse to use photo radar out of fear of civil lawsuits, perhaps even a RICO lawsuit seizing assets of the city for operating an ongoing criminal enterprise, as occurred in Seal Beach, California in 1990. As the prosecutor pointed out, "The practice is unlawful per se, both in terms of substance and enforcement, and should be discontinued through legislative action or, at the very least, through the intervention of the reviewing courts." At the first hint of a competent legal fight from Citizen Grab, the Pasedena D.A. immediated filed a motion to dismiss his prosecution, citing "the furtherance of justice."

How do police use radar?" Basically, cops can zap you coming or going, either when they are stationary or moving (assuming they have their switches set correctly). When approaching a cop in the oncoming lane, staying in the right hand lane can actually lower the radar reading, because of the greater angle of the radar beam (cosign angular effect). When approaching a cop parked on the same side of the road, staying in the fast lane can reduce the radar reading. Most detectors don't tell you which direction the signal is coming from, so a driver must stay alert and slow down for any strong signal. Slowing down rapidly can sometimes prevent a lock-on until reaching a more constant speed. Beware the tell-tale flashing of brake lights when passing a police car, as some cops will choose to make an illegal traffic stop based upon that (a horror story is mentioned in the chapter on civil rights). A full scale warning deserves rapid response, while a lower reading allows a gradual response. Various tests conducted by automotive magazines prove that government radar transmitters cannot lock onto a vehicle that is decellerating at a high rate.

There are several different frequencies of radar: X-band, K-band, KA-band, Wide and Superwide KA, and Laser, which is just an extra high radio frequency in the infrared range. Most modern detectors can pick up all types, and a better quality unit will do a good job filtering out false alarms from business security systems and other radar detectors.

X-band is the older type, usually giving plenty of warning, and is usually used by local police.

K-band is "instant-on" type, giving less warning: a driver must be quick on the brakes before the cop gets a lock-on signal. County police and big city police like to use the more expensive K-band equipment. Instant-on radar can be considered technically illegal since it prevents a cop from taking a "traffic history" to check for electromagnetic interferance. It also illegally prevents a cop from taking a "tracking history" to double check which vehicle is being measured. Handheld units can add 15 MPH to a driver's speed as the radar beam reflects off different parts of the vehicle.

KA-band is the newest radar, and is usually reserved for the elite state highway patrol. The bandwidth has been extended to make older radar detectors obsolete, allowing police to dip into a citizen's pocket before the citizen instead gets around to purchasing the latest radar gizmo. Sometimes highway patrols use illegally modified KA radars that transmit outside the allowed FCC frequencies ("off-tuned"), in an illegal attempt to cheat drivers using radar detectors (unless the citizen calls their bluff in court).

KA-band is also used for photo radar, which is sometimes used by governments to simply take a picture of citizens' license plates and do mass mailings of citations -- especially on busy urban highways. Highly invasive photo citations are proving controversial, since the photos are mailed to the citizen's residence, and the snapshot may include a passenger who is not the person's spouse, or nearby vehicles containing similar liasons. (The government has a long history of prosecuting -- or extorting -- sex crimes among consenting adults, so why should it draw the line here?)

Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is more difficult for police to use, and so it is rarely seen in use. It is not actually visible, like what most people think of lasers to be like. It uses a chain reaction of light bounced around inside a crystal until it has enough power to escape. Military soldiers who are targeted by laser rangefinders on the battlefield can literally be blinded by the laser beams, which burn the retina with concentrated infra-red heat, and must wear protective sunglasses. Supposedly, police laser beams are 1/10th the brightness of dangerous lasers (although schoolchildren are routinely expelled from government schools for one year for the crime of risking blindness with a $10 laser pointer). Radar detectors, of course, do not offer protection for alleged violation of traffic regulations other than speeding, so are not total protection. Cops must target a vehicle's license plate, so removal of the front plate (if legal to do so), or covering it with a laser-absorbing shield, can help protect oneself from government intrusion. Dark vehicles, such as black or red, are relatively non-relective to laser "light." Likewise vehicles without chrome trim. It cannot be used in a moving police vehicle, nor aimed through window glass, making it clumsy and unpopular among traffic cops.

Some highway patrols like laser, although many courts do not, since laser cannot be calibrated, cannot be aimed accurately, and can add 16 MPH to a driver's speed if the cop shoots the top of the car and then pans down to the grill. Fog on the lens, as occurs from normal condensation, distorts a laser signal. Rain, humidity, exhaust fumes and heatwaves can shorten its range to a maximum of 100 feet. Direct sunlight can destroy the laser. Halogen headlights confuse it.

The detectors' owner manuals give excellent advice on how to best use them, although they are often as complicated as a VCR. It is important to use them covertly, as mentioned previously, covering the warning lights and hiding both the unit and the power cord, in order to allow the option of talking the cop out of the ticket. VG-2 types will shut themselves off to prevent detection by police radar-detector detectors (RDD). Like television sets and computer systems, radar detector technology is constantly improving, necessitating upgrades every few years, before the stuff actually wears out. All detectors offer Safety Warning System (SWS) alert, created by the radar detector industry, which warns drivers of impending road hazards. The government has successfully used SWS transmitters to warn radar detector owners of road hazards since 1988, and have been certified by the FCC for national use since 1991. Some units just beep, some give a digital readout in words, and others will talk, listing which of the 60-odd hazards is about to confront the driver (see SWS in the Appendix). SWS is part of the government's 21st century plans for Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS). Soon, all cars will have these devices installed by manufacturers, and even switching on one's emergency flashers will trigger an in-car transmission warning to other vehicles nearby. Virginia and the District of Columbia (home of our cherished national politicians and police agencies) still allow police to confiscate citizens' radar detectors--being warned of road hazards and avoiding crashes is apparantly the last thing those governments want their docile citizens to do. State-of-the-art systems employ all of the above into a single compact and affordable unit.

If a citizen still requires motivation before investing $80 at their local department store, remember that insurance companies like GEICO give free radar equipment to American police, on condition that they be sure and write lots of tickets. (GEICO has also been identified by the Christic Institute for supplying bomb parts to U.S. government-financed terrorists blowing up "communist" airliners in South America, through the Florida-based National Intelligence Academy for international training of the world's secret police forces.) Laser units are especially expensive--everyone pays for them through higher insurance premiums. The purpose, of course, is to raise the rates their customers must pay for having a ticket on their record, and thus raise their corporate profits. GEICO even invested heavily in a company that manufactured the police units, according to the Radio Association Defending Airwave Rights (RADAR) in 1992. Think of that the next time you complain about your insurance bill costing too much. A speeding ticket can cost $200 in fines and court costs, and rising insurance rates can cost you much more than that. A single ticket can get your insurance cancelled, rquiring you to purchase a more expensive, high-risk policy, or to simply do without coverage (allowing insurance companies to sell wealthy motorists expensive "uninsured motorist coverage").

As a final insult, GEICO's TeeVee and print-media advertising campaigns are based upon the image that its customers are dangerous incompetants who need insurance merely to protect people from their own moronic behavior.

The latest gadget is similar to what the government uses in military aircraft for bombing missions (although costing millions of dollars less). It is called a radar scrambler. Some are available with radar detectors built in, and a few have money back guarantees if you get a ticket (other than DWI). "This [unit] renders the radar unable to display a speed reading. The radar is effectively disabled. The unit is a radar interferent," according to a senior electronic technical specialist with a state police organization. According to a state employee of an Environment and Conservation department, police radar is thus unable to attain a lock-on at a distance greater than 100 feet. These units conform to all FCC regulations, since they are not radar transmitters, but are reflective receivers. There is no dangerous radio frequency emmission to worry about. Like radar detectors, these scrambler units are now available from thousands of retail outlets.
Passive scramblers are not active jammers, which are technically illegal, although sometimes available. Jammers actually override police radar with a dialed in specific speed. Scramblers are useful against instant-on radar and laser, and protect a driver when his VG-2 cloaking device has switched his detector off. A scrambler gives a driver a few extra seconds to slow down, which can make all the difference.


Not all police use radar in their stalking of citizens. VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer And Recorder) is an overpriced "stop watch" that estimates average speed over a set distance. Cops do not need to be near the vehicle under observation. It does not require radar, and the best defense is keeping your eyes and "ears" open. VASCAR can also be easily abused by cops, simply by pressing the buttons at the wrong time. VASCAR, however, appears to be rarely used, except in California. Expensive taxpayer-funded aircraft (the "bear in the air") used to track traffic "criminals" prefer to use VASCAR. "Stopwatch error," occurs when the cop does not hit the start and stop buttons exactly on time, adding false speed to the victim's vehicle. The cop on the ground can misidentify the vehicle's identification, resulting in the wrong citizen being pulled over. Police prefer radar over VASCAR, since it requires less work. VASCAR can produce up to a 20% error rate, even when used by an "honest" cop.

Obviously, any police vehicle can pace another vehicle, simply by following immediately behind it--or by looking in his own rear view mirror at his "shadow."

Some police just make up an allegation of speeding, without even turning on their radar or pacing the vehicle -- it's just a bluff to get the citizen to commit contempt of cop, or to admit to a Prohibition crime. Attempt to sell the cop on having mercy, using the techniques mentioned previously.

Let's just recommend that drivers always scan their rear-view mirrors for overtaking traffic. On Interstate highways, it is against the law for slower drivers to impede faster drivers. That's why the government installs signs telling "slower traffic keep right". Cops love to fly through traffic while playing race car driver. An inattentive or inconsiderate driver blocking the fast lane -- and blocking a cop from his fun -- is often subject to a traffic ticket. Just maintain your situational awareness of the traffic around you, using eyes and electronic ears.

Another useful electronic gadget is the Citizens' Band radio. This was the American citizens' first effort at defending themselves from tyranny on the highways, and is just as useful today, though mainly on the Interstate. Many times it helps to know when a cop is hauling ass up behind you at over 100 miles per hour, on some secret (or personal) mission, and the radio helps you pull out of the way (and prevents one from jumping out of his skin in surprise). The radio, once you get accustomed to the occasional potty mouths and frustrated road ragers, can warn you of dangerous traffic jams up ahead, or deadly road hazards. It is indispensable for safe driving on the Interstate, especially at night. Although two-way radios greatly improve safety and driver courtesy, the government spent millions of tax dollars attempting to prevent citizens from making use of this lifesaver. Imagine the public outcry if the government were to attempt banning aircraft from using two-way communications? Or if the government banned telephones (as communist totalitarian governments prefer to do). If the government truly cared about public safety, it would legally require all autobile manufacturers to include inexpensive C.B. radios in new vehicles, like expensive airbags and seat belts. The worst part of the C.B. is the possibility of picking up a strong accent -- unless of course you have ambition to drawl. Use channel 19. Channel 9 can be useful in emergencies.

A final word about the C.B: cops listen, too. The state trooper who pulled me over for allegedly speeding (when he did not use radar and did not know the speed limit) and then charged me with DWI (for a %BAC less than 1/3rd the legal limit), "coincidentally" pulled in behind me a couple of months later, after the charge was reduced in court. I know he had recognized me from my visits to the police station to get my records. This occurred in a county which was outside of both his residence and his assigned patrol region. I was leaving a doctor's appointment, and he had his radar blasting on the crowded city street, where all drivers were traveling well above the posted limit. I allowed him to pass me, and confirmed his patrol car license number. After he pulled off, I warned traffic that a "lying bastard" was headed their way. I still felt pretty angry. It is probably wisest that one not do that on the C.B.

Cellular telephones are excellent for emergency use, such as notifying emergency services of crashes, or for calling for help after a mechanical breakdown. A C.B. radio still offers coverage outside of cell phone range, though the telephone is best if available. It is a good idea to phone a message anytime you are pulled over by a cop, giving the time and location. One of the things cops are actually good for is coming to the rescue of a 911 caller in immediate danger (cops love to make arrests). A robbery or rape victim, while not immediately saved by calling the cops, might at least stand a better chance of having the police catch the culprits. A local female motorist was victimized by a "blue light rapist," after she made the mistake of pulling over for a fraudulent "unmarked police car." She called 911 on her cell phone while fleeing from her attackers. She was still assaulted and raped. (Only security precautions and self defense protect a citizen from violent assault, rather than cell phones or police. Unmarked police cars ought to be banned from use against motorists--in Florida, several citizens were murdered after they had pulled over for a serial killer(s) flashing a blue light.) Cell phones are an expensive investment, but quite useful. You might even carry it with you, and phone your attorney even if not allowed use of the police phone. Of course, that's a little risky. There's not much your attorney can do for you if police don't allow him to meet with you (except arrange bail). A mobile antenna will extend the phone's range, and power adapter will prevent the battery from ever running low. A hands-free remote microphone is also very beneficial. Pulling off the road to place a call or to receive a call is always recommended, unless one is a passenger rather than a driver. Millions of 911 cellular calls are made in the USA every year.

Police scanners are popular, though not really useful for avoiding speed traps, since police don't advertise their location (and their secret codes vary from town to town). However, a strong signal can possibly give some warning that a local traffic cop is operating a speed trap nearby. C.B. radios are best for finding their hiding places on the Interstate, especially at night. Scanners are also very useful for listening to emergency weather reports, a feature appreciated by anyone who has ever survived an attack by severe weather. One vehicle-installed scanner has a feature that sounds a warning whenever state police transmit within a three mile range (activating in-car "repeaters" of every state cop in the area). The problem is that state police don't use their radios much, and use cellular telephones and digital computers more now. Handheld units can serve recreational double-duty for listening to aviation pilot-to-ground transmissions and auto racing driver-to-pit crew chatter. Listening to police reports of traffic stops is depressing, simply because of the sheer number, and the gleeful voices of the cops discussing the driving records of hapless citizens. Scrambled voices indicate drug cops getting ready to swoop down on another victim of non-corporate drug Prohibition. Large cities are spending millions of tax dollars on police communications systems that change frequencies between transmission and reception, requiring bulky "trunk-tracking" scanners to follow both sides of a conversation.

Laws regulating their use in motor vehicles vary from town to town (scanners are illegal in only half a dozen states), though it appears to be considered contempt of cop if it appears to have been used to spy on police, rather than for mere curiosity. Technically, it is legal to eavesdrop on police frequencies so long as one does not "disclose" what was overheard to a third party. Federal law does prohibit using such information to help commit crimes. Scanning the radio eather is, however, a popular and serious hobby for many thousands of people, similar to Ham radio operations. Scanning magazines offer frequncy lists and police voice code decipher lists. High tech rigs can be found to fit any budget, and are often used in private investigations and political blackmail. Use comsec (communications security) every time you use a cordless or cellular phone. You can count on someone -- maybe even the government -- listening in. Unless you enjoy being an anonymous exhibitionist.
Owning a $20 microcassette tape recorder, and keeping it handy in your car (and keeping its batteries fresh), is probably the wisest and most inexpensive investment you can make. You never know, it might even make you rich. People say the darndest things, especially when they don't imagine in their wildest dreams that anyone else will ever hear it. It is easy for some people to stick one's foot in one's ego. Use the recorder as mentioned previously. (They are also invaluable in the workplace, if you should ever run into a ruthless boss or back-stabbing coworker.) A tape recording will make a believer out of even the most cynical of attorneys, and embolden them to work hard on your behalf. Cynical attorneys no longer care about the guilt or innocence of their clients/bosses, and are so accustomed to being lied to by everyone concerned that fighting for an "innocent" citizen is a rare luxury for them. This is especially true for criminal defense attorneys. Criminal court judges are also burned out, preferring to assume guilt until innocence is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Judges tend to be extremely conservative citizens, preferring to side with corporations and governments over the rights of individuals. However, they are also human, perhaps a human with a guilty conscience, and a tape recording of police abuses can turn a staunch conservative into a civil libertarian in a matter of seconds.

Covert use is probably best for discovering criminal abuses, while obvious use might irritate the officer (contempt of cop) and invite the kind of special attention that is the last thing you want. Overt use would also make it more difficult to negotiate to escape without a ticket. If the cop ever discovers your hidden recorder, don't panic. It would probably just scare the hell out of him, anyway. Calmly request to keep either the tape or both tape and recorder. A crooked cop might even be so paranoid that he would fear he was being investigated by another government agency. Using the recorder visibly from the beginning of the stop might frighten any cop enough to settle on a verbal "warning". No cop wants to face in intelligent and well-prepared citizen in a courtroom environment. Such anti-testilying efforts might get the cop fired from his job. There are literally millions of other citizens the cop can pick on, so why risk it?

A tape recorder can also prove useful in combination with a scanner, when police communications confess illegal activites such as harassment via surveilance. Generally such spying is applied to anyone perceived as a "easy mark", such as someone known to police as having a prior traffic-crime conviction (judges boost the cash penalties for extra convictions) or suspected of carrying drugs (vehicle, cash and drug forfeitures are extremely profitable for cops). Journalists and politicians are routinely surveiled in order to discover "crimes" and extortion information. Traffic violence and other criminality by police are also possibilities. For example, this author was nearly sideswiped by an overtaking police car at high-speed that was 2-feet inside the author's lane. When the author turned on his scanner, the cop was jabbering in a manic fashion about the author's hometown which was outside both the cop's jurisdiction and present location. Documentation of police harassment can prove profitably for many reasons, not least of which is a civil prosecution of the police for violation of civil rights. Courts virtually require some kind of audio and/or video evidence in order for a citizen to win against government employees committing crimes.

In addition to an audio recorder, the prudent thing to do is to always carry a pocket camera while driving. In the event of an accidental crash, it can prove valuable in court. It is also useful for traffic stops by police. It can perfectly mark the exact point of the stop, which is critical for fighting a ticket in court. It can record speed limit signs and such after a stop is over when the driver circles back around for another pass. Cops often lie about speed limits and road signs, and often make stops outside their jurisdiction. It's cheap insurance.

For those who seek the ultimate in legal defense from a false allegation of DWI might wish to invest in a hidden miniature video camera. They are not just for private detectives anymore. This is what "Dateline NBC" used to catch the Louisiana cops commiting their crimes. These covert spy cameras are now very affordable, with a total system investment of around $200 (less than some radar detectors). Citizens are using them for all kinds of important personal surveilance, such as keeping a watchful eye on babysitters suspected of child abuse (it is really amazing and very shocking to watch an obsessed child abuser in brutal action). Positioning the tiny camera out the rear window can record any field sobriety test results. You know what they say, you aren't really paranoid if they really are out to get you! "Dateline" also used a second camera pointing forward, proving conformity with the speed limit, and thus lack of probable cause. Minature cameras can also be worn as pens, buttons or eyeglasses, using a belt-mounted recorder. However, a cheap and simple audio tape recorder can accomplish virtually the same result, for a tiny fraction of the investment, and is much more portable. Professional cop hunters put these covert video cameras to profitable use.

Some people choose to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in guns and hunting paraphenalia, tracking down weak and defenseless animals. Think how much more difficult, dangerous, challenging and rewarding it would be to hunt down and prosecute a crooked cop, using the latest in high tech surveilance techniques. Policing the police. Copping the cops. It's not entrapment, just living one's life, waiting for a false traffic stop. It would serve a valuable public service. Think of the "trophy": news headlines and a big boost to your bank account. Just kidding. Remember that "Rodney" Glenn King earned millions off a single videotapoe, and put several cops behind bars.

A final word on electronic equipment; keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid damaging the circuitry, and keeping it out of sight will help prevent theft. Mounting high on the left corner of the windsheild accomplishes this (keep the cord tucked under the plastic window trim), as well as extending the units range over hills. The lights can be hidden from rear and side view by using black tape to shroud the light bulbs, or by pulling the visor down a little at night. Learing all the technical capabilities of such electronic devices can be as intimidating as programming a VCR, but is well worth the effort.
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