Ever seen a white box on the back of a police car? Well, if you live in the US and have been pulled over by law enforcement before, then chances are that they were doing some kind of speed measurement. In this article, we will be going through what these devices do, how they work, and why it is important for drivers to know about them.
So, what are those white boxes on the back of a police car? The short answer is antennas. The first one is an arrow stick, often called ‘the arrow’, which is used to help direct the pursuit. The second box houses a camera that can read license plates.
If you notice, most police vehicles have antennas strapped to the rear. While these may occasionally be used for a squad car to squad car communication or even a camera readout of a license plate, they will almost always be an arrow stick. If you’ve ever seen the Blues Brothers and the epic street chase scene at the end, you’ll note that there are several cars being pursued and they all have arrows.
Almost every police vehicle has a two-way radio as well. We may not hear it very often but we probably see it at least once a day when we look in our rearview mirror to see a cop car behind us. Radio signals don’t just go straight, though. A radio antenna sends a signal out at a 90 degree angle from the emitter.
Police vehicles have two antennas – one to send out and one to receive – which gives them better range on their radios as well as better reception on their scanners for monitoring citizens’ movements.
Scanners are a staple of police vehicles and can be used to monitor citizens. While this may seem like a violation of our right to privacy, the Supreme Court has found that it isn’t because we give up those rights when we go outside and into society. As long as we know the police may use scanners to listen in on our conversations (and we do), then there is no issue with them using them.
The last antenna is for the GPS (no, not the kind you use in your car). These systems help police patrol efficiently and effectively as well as give incident reports to support any arrests or tickets they make.
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What are the 4 boxes on the trunk of police cars?
Two of the boxes are cellular modems (for computers in the car to communicate with the HQ), and two of the boxes are transceivers (to establish radio contact between two cars). Police also use them to transmit video from their cars back to HQ. It all depends on what kind of setup they have installed in each individual car.
Do police cars have a black box?
Yes, police cars are equipped with event data recorders (EDR). These boxes track information like speed and brake use. However, they are not the same as the “black boxes” found in aircraft.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), EDRs began appearing in new cars in the mid-1980s. At first, they were only used to track the car’s behavior in the event of an airbag deployment, but over time they’ve evolved into “black boxes.”
Can police cars check your speed?
Police cars can do a radar or LIDAR speed check. They can also use a VASCAR system, which is a device that calculates the time it takes for an officer to travel between two points. This is done with two poles that are placed on either side of the road.
Does every police car have ANPR?
The police are not obliged to fit ANPR cameras into all their vehicles, but the technology is becoming increasingly popular due to its huge advantages. Many police forces are now considering rolling out ANPR more widely across their fleets including cars and motorbikes.
How do ANPR cameras work?
Automatic number plate recognition uses optical character recognition technology to determine the letters and numbers on passing vehicles, helping to capture wanted cars or car criminals. Police staff is notified of the match in real-time so they can initiate a pursuit or intercept the vehicle.
ANPR cameras have to be capable of reading numbers at high speeds, including vehicles moving in opposite directions. The cameras interface with the police computer to create a live map of number plate readings.
How many cameras does a cop car have?
The typical police car will have 5 cameras:
- Front License Plate Camera
- Rear License Plate Camera
- A camera which records the cabin of the police car
- Dashboard Camera which records events that occur in front of the car
- Front/Rear facing camera on a mobile device carried by each cop, such as a smartphone or tablet. Sometimes these are mounted to the dashboard, sometimes not.
Police cars are equipped with a variety of surveillance and monitoring equipment. . These systems help police patrol efficiently and effectively as well as give incident reports to support any arrests or tickets they make.
Police also use them to transmit video from their cars back to HQ. It all depends on what kind of setup they have installed in each individual car.