Stories of the Highway Patrol
USAREUR GETS RADAR CHECK DEVICES
and some photos in this story were taken from a
previously published (1956)
Members of-the military police test new radar equipment with which they will check speeds and conduct traffic surveys throughout USAREUR. On the left they record a truck entering the speed zone while at right they chart traffic progress. The equipment can record speeds up to 100 mph.
MP's Test Newest Equipment To Control Traffic Flow
HEIDELBERG, Germany, March 14, 1956. The first traffic radar units in Europe are being tested this week by the USAREUR Provost Marshal division. Current plans call for the units to be utilized in making traffic density surveys, traffic speed surveys, and for checking speeds of military vehicles in USAREUR. The Provost Marshal, Col. John N. Howell, pointed out that all military vehicles have set speed limits.
The MP's in Europe have received four of these units to assist them in their accident prevention work. Each area command in Germany will receive one of the units. MP's who operate these units will first receive special training at the Provost Marshal division. Col. Howell also stated that the units have already demonstrated their worth.
The radar speed units themselves are small boxes approximately 13 X 12 X 7 inches. Each unit is attached to a mechanical recorder box that automatically charts the speed of vehicles in the area. The radar unit shows the exact speed of the vehicle entering its scope. Accurate to within 2 mph, and can show speeds from zero to 100 mph The unit has an operating range of approximately 175 feet, and the second a moving vehicle enters its path, its speed is instantaneously recorded on the meter attached to the radar box.
Col. Howell stated “In the past, traffic surveys were made by MP's standing on street corners mechanically tabulating the number of vehicles passing any given point. With the new radar units, however, the flow of vehicles will be graphically and exactly recorded by this unit. Lt’s virtually foolproof''. We believe that this radar speed unit will play an important part in assisting us in our work of traffic safety. The radar units are the same type utilized by many law enforcement agencies in the US.
The Army's :radar cop'' received an enthusiastic reception by German police chiefs throughout the SACOM area. Wuerttemberg state officials were also present during a demonstration on the autobahn near Stuttgart. Another advantage as explained by Capt O. D. Oglesby, Detachment C Commander, is that the offender is confronted with graphic evidence that he was speeding. You can argue with a cop, but it is next to senseless to try arguing with a machine. This demonstration was staged at the request of the Germans in connection with the new speed limits being considered by the Bundestag.
Drivers Caught With Foot Down As Radar Nets Speed Offenders.
Drivers in the Stuttgart area are now taking it a little easier behind the wheel as the result of a couple of days work by the Highway Patrol's Radar Squad. Although “guard house lawyers'' everywhere boast that “radar will never catch them”, claiming that they are much too smart to be caught by a simple little machine. Sgt Nealey demonstrated that the “simple little machine”, is not so simple.
Sgt. Nealey and Pfc Michael (Mike) Ashley are the “eyes” chaperons. On their travels around the SACOM area they will be assisted by locally stationed Highway Patrolmen. Sgt Herman H. Hughes and Sgt James Burge worked with Nealey and Ashley in the Stuttgart area.
During the first hour of operation in Stuttgart, 17 vehicles were stopped for speeding. The radar check was located in a 50 kilometer zone inside the city limits. The 17 vehicles included 10 military and 7 civilian vehicles. Although the majority of those caught during the check were of the opinion that it was a speed trap, the records showed that all were exceeding the legal speed limit. All vehicles were allowed a reasonably margin.
Sgt. J. Phipps and Sgt W. Flanagan, Det B (south of Karlsruhe).
This story previously appeared in Volume # 3, Issue # 3, June-July 2000 of "The White Mice"