The California Office of Traffic Safety has granted The Novato Police Department $120,000 for a year-long traffic enforcement program focusing on drunk driving patrols, red-light violations traffic citations.
The Novato Police will use the grant money to pay for LIDAR speed-detection devices, DUI saturation patrols and to enforce traffic regulations at certain problem intersections. LIDAR devices are taking the place of or supplementing radar devices in many jurisdictions in Marin County and throughout California. LIDAR uses a laser beam to detect the speed of moving vehicles. Marin County police agencies believe that LIDAR is more accurate than radar. The use of LIDAR is subject to the same officer training requirements and speed trap laws as the use of radar. In many instances if the citing officer cannot show that the use of LIDAR is justified based on a valid traffic and engineering survey a speeding ticket issued based on the use of LIDAR will be dismissed.
Novato’s traffic ticket and DUI grant enforcement runs through September 30, 2013 and will include 10 DUI saturation patrols and 10 distracted-driving patrols. Novato Police Officers will also conduct 10 traffic enforcement actions aimed at red-light running and excessive speed.