Chronic speeders will soon have a new weapon against The Law: a --board detector that purportedly can warn drivers if police are stalking them with their newest gadget, a laser gun.
The leading manufacturer of laser guns, however, claims that a detector will be useless against its device.
Cincinnati Microwave Inc. says that it will begin delivering its $99 laser detector in June.
Laser guns are used against speeders by an estimated 50 police departments nationwide. (The laser guns are not being used by the Baltimore City Police Department or the Maryland State Police, according to spokesmen for those agencies.) Proponents say the laser gun is more accurate than radar, especially in heavy traffic conditions, because its beam is narrower than radar's -- about 3 feet wide at 1,000 feet from the gun, compared with 300 to 400 feet wide for radar. That makes it less likely for an officer to confuse two vehicles.
And, proponents say, the laser's narrower beam makes a laser detector largely ineffective in warning a motorist in time to slow down. By the time the detector beeps a warning, they say, speed likely will have already been measured.