Can Police Use a Laser Speed Gun In the Rain?

It’s an often asked question: Can police officers use a laser (LIDAR) speed gun to give you a speeding ticket in the rain? Some people are told that officers can’t write tickets in the rain, or that they simply don’t want to get wet!

Others might, somewhat logically, conclude that the officer’s gun could not work in the rain due to the rain droplets. We’re here to put the question to rest!

Yes, police officers can use laser guns in the rain, snow, and fog. They can, and will, target speeders while standing in the rain, sitting in their vehicle, and possibly while shooting through their windshield.

See More: Can Police Use Laser From Inside Their Car?

Still No Obstacle for LIDAR
Still No Obstacle for LIDAR

Laser gun manufacturers have approached the issue of ra
in and snow (inclement weather in general) in different ways, but all allow the guns to be used in bad weather one way or another. While the guns can function in bad weather, they may take longer to get a speed reading, or have a hard time generating speed reading in general.

The following laser guns even have a certain ‘Weather’ mode that will help the gun function in less-than-optimal circumstances. This is not a comprehensive list, just a select few provided to give you an idea of how the manufacturers have approached the problem:

  • Laser Atlanta SpeedLaser: The LA SpeedLaser has an ‘Obstructed Mode’ that will not produce speed reading errors below a range of 1,000 feet. However, at ranges over 1,000 feet, Obstructed Mode could provide inaccurate readings. Source: LaserAtlanta
  • Kustom Signals ProLaser III: The PLIII, as it is know in the laser jammer community, is one of the most widely used laser guns. The PLIII has a ‘Weather’ mode that will reject all readings at less than 250 feet. Rain droplets at this distance cause refraction, the spreading of light through the water, and make it harder for the gun’s light to return for a speed reading. Source: ProLaser III Manual
  • LTI UltraLyte LR-B: The LR-B, one of the best performing laser guns on the market, employs the a Weather Filter mode similar to the PLIII. The minimum distance is increased to 250 feet to keep refraction from affecting a speed reading. Source: LTI UltraLyte LR-B Manual

Overall, many police officers will take the rain as a sign that it’s not the day for catching speeders. Many people slow down to the speed limit, or an even lower speed, and speeding isn’t advised in the rain.

The rain, however, is not a deterrent for a dedicated law enforcement officer, so stay dry and stay safe!

Related: The Laser Jammer Buyer’s Guide