Do police target red cars/trucks? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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New York Hunter
06-02-2011, 15:52
I saw this on a different site. I was looking at Dodge Charger Police Cruisers (just killing time!) and I came across a link with the below information. I'm not a LEO.

Question-
I've heard this rumor that if you drive a red car you are a lot more likely to get caught speeding, or any driving infraction for that matter.

Answer-
Police don't profile the car color, however RADAR does. I know it sounds stupid but if you are in a group of cars and RADAR will clock the red car first provided it's really shiny. RADAR waves bounce off it's target and returns. If you are in a semi radar will get it because it's the larger object with the large grill. If you drive a black car that is dull and has no squared area's the radar will have trouble detecting it, just like those of a stealth aircraft. In short Red Cars do get stopped more and I feel that is the reason why.

Now I drive a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab SLT 4x4, Hemi, auto, tow pkg 3.92's the whole nine yards. . . . .in Flame Red. I've never been pulled over. That being said, if I'm driving on the highway and the speed limit is 65 MPH, I set my cruise at about 68 MPH. I make it a point not to go more then 5 MPH over the posted speed limit. I know 5 MPH over is still going over the speed limit, but it's usually the flow of traffic and more often then not, I stack cars up behind me. I just don't go any faster then that whether I'm driving my red Ram, or in my green '78 Camaro with the new SBC 385 stroker motor we built for it and installed last summer.

I've never had a speeding ticket or any other moving violation or any points on my drivers licence in my 20 years of driving (16 to 36) and plan on keeping it that way. The cruise control on my truck works at 25 MPH, and I'll set it while driving through the city, small towns and villages ect. I don't wear my seat belt because it's the law, I wear it because I don't want to smash my head, face, chest on the steering wheel, dash or windshield.

Anyway's, is the above information true, does radar really pick up red better then other colors or is it BS?

Thanks, NYH! :supergrin:

nikerret
06-02-2011, 16:59
I work midnight shift. I only turn on dark colored vehicles, at first.

scottydl
06-02-2011, 16:59
BS (That's the short answer) It's an urban legend.

Radar readings are based on solid surface reflection, for which color is irrelevant in the practical sense. Larger items (a big truck driving amongst a bunch of compact cars) may be more identifiable by radar, but even that doesn't necessarily make it any more justifiable in the legal sense. Lidar (laser) is a whole different technology, that is designed to target and identify the speed of a specific vehicle regardless of other vehicles that are around it.

ultra45
06-02-2011, 17:25
Never mind...

Bruce M
06-02-2011, 17:48
... I've never been pulled over. That being said, if I'm driving on the highway and the speed limit is 65 MPH, I set my cruise at about 68 MPH. ..

! :supergrin:

I am going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that driving only a few over has way more to do with it, than does the vehicle color. In my limited experience with a handheld radar gun, vehicle color is about as important a factor as is the fiberglass body of a Vette. Or whatever the heck a Saturn body was.

Kegs
06-02-2011, 17:55
What you need is a brighter, more orangey red with a giant billboard across the top of it that says "HEY LOOK, I'M SPEEDING!".

I drive a late model gray colored honda accord and drive 100 everywhere and never get pulled over.

FiremanMike
06-02-2011, 18:31
It is absolutely true, that is how radar works. The secret that no one wants to admit is that pink cars with purple stripes are invisible to radar, is has to do with the faulty 738mhz band inherent in all currently used radar units..

Patchman
06-02-2011, 18:41
I do remember a study several years ago where the researchers went through a ton of speeding tickets and concluded the most often cited cars were coloured red. And the type of car was sports cars.

Assuming the study was in fact valid, etc..., this is almost like the 'chicken or the egg' question. Do people who have a propensity to enjoy speed tend to buy red sports cars, or do red sports cars tend to make people drive faster?

Morris
06-02-2011, 18:50
Ask my spouse.

Who drives a red car.

Who got her first speeding ticket in years driving her new red car. Along with her first red light camera ticket in her red car. :rofl:

Yeah, we profile the red cars. And leadfooted spouses.

scottydl
06-02-2011, 19:19
Here's all the proof you need... listen to the words, and I mean REALLY listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS70tCPP-_4

USAFE7
06-02-2011, 19:53
I've got tickets in every color cars come in.....come to think of it.....I have one I need to pay next week.:embarassed:

DWARREN123
06-02-2011, 20:01
Most folks pick up certain colors better than others. This might be the reason it seems so.

Unistat
06-02-2011, 20:23
LMAO @ Black=Stealth. Too bad Lockheed-Martin invested all those millions of dollars and decades of research to come up with a stealth design. They could have just gone with black auto paint and called it done.

kc8ykd
06-02-2011, 21:48
LMAO @ Black=Stealth. Too bad Lockheed-Martin invested all those millions of dollars and decades of research to come up with a stealth design. They could have just gone with black auto paint and called it done.

actually, they use those yellow NOS stickers on the F22 to achieve supercuise.

don't tell anyone tho..we don't want that technology to fall into the wrong hands.

Hack
06-02-2011, 22:09
:rofl::rofl::rofl: Plum stupid. The only thing that people do concerning their red cars is look at them. If they put a lidar on it and you are over speed limit, guess what you are going to get? Whatever is coming to you.:wavey:

Steve in PA
06-02-2011, 22:47
We can't use RADAR (being mere locals), so color doesn't matter!

TBO
06-02-2011, 23:10
"It's baaaaaack...."

DaBigBR
06-03-2011, 01:04
Correlation does not equal causality.

Do police profile red cars or are people that drive like idiots more likely to prefer bright colors?

Kadetklapp
06-03-2011, 06:43
It seems in my locale, most of my speeders violate after dark. During the day time they cruise within the bounds, but the sun sets and it's Talladega suddenly.

So, it doesn't matter to me because I can't freaking see them until the pass under the streetlight I"m sitting under.

golls17
06-03-2011, 07:30
I haven't been on many traffic stops yet, but I do know for sure not a single one of them was red. A lot of the time, by the time I knew I would be stopping the car, we still didn't know what color it was until it passed us.

ETA: Now that I think about it, the ONE time I've been stopped for speeding (years ago), it was in a red car. Maybe there's truth to it, after all?

Hack
06-03-2011, 08:55
I haven't been stopped in a red car that was sporty. But, I have been stopped in a red car. Just not ticketed.:supergrin:

Unistat
06-03-2011, 09:10
It's a well known fact that cops hate the color red. It sends them into a rage just like with bulls. In fact any color bothers cops, thats why cruisers are painted black & white.

That's why cops don't get along with fire fighters. If only the FD wouldn't paint their trucks red, everybody would be happier.

Hack
06-03-2011, 09:22
It's a well known fact that cops hate the color red. It sends them into a rage just like with bulls. In fact any color bothers cops, thats why cruisers are painted black & white.

That's why cops don't get along with fire fighters. If only the FD wouldn't paint their trucks red, everybody would be happier.

Don't mention red. Especially bright red. Don't do it!:rofl:

Morris
06-03-2011, 11:36
Speaking of which, why do most hoseheads buy red vehicles? :)

nikerret
06-03-2011, 17:50
Speaking of which, why do most hoseheads buy red vehicles? :)

So they will wash it with the garden hose.

New York Hunter
06-03-2011, 21:17
I work midnight shift. I only turn on dark colored vehicles, at first.
BS (That's the short answer) It's an urban legend.

Radar readings are based on solid surface reflection, for which color is irrelevant in the practical sense. Larger items (a big truck driving amongst a bunch of compact cars) may be more identifiable by radar, but even that doesn't necessarily make it any more justifiable in the legal sense. Lidar (laser) is a whole different technology, that is designed to target and identify the speed of a specific vehicle regardless of other vehicles that are around it.
I am going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that driving only a few over has way more to do with it, than does the vehicle color. In my limited experience with a handheld radar gun, vehicle color is about as important a factor as is the fiberglass body of a Vette. Or whatever the heck a Saturn body was.
I do remember a study several years ago where the researchers went through a ton of speeding tickets and concluded the most often cited cars were coloured red. And the type of car was sports cars.

Assuming the study was in fact valid, etc..., this is almost like the 'chicken or the egg' question. Do people who have a propensity to enjoy speed tend to buy red sports cars, or do red sports cars tend to make people drive faster?
Most folks pick up certain colors better than others. This might be the reason it seems so.
It seems in my locale, most of my speeders violate after dark. During the day time they cruise within the bounds, but the sun sets and it's Talladega suddenly.

So, it doesn't matter to me because I can't freaking see them until the pass under the streetlight I"m sitting under.
Ask a question, get an answer. Thanks guys! :supergrin:

New York Hunter
06-03-2011, 21:19
Here's all the proof you need... listen to the words, and I mean REALLY listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS70tCPP-_4
Prince fan. . . . .interesting. :wow:

New York Hunter
06-03-2011, 21:21
We can't use RADAR (being mere locals), so color doesn't matter!
Why can't you use RADAR??

OldCurlyWolf
06-03-2011, 21:25
Why can't use use RADAR??

It is a law in PA that only certain LEA's are allowed to use radar. One is the PA State Police/Highway Patrol. I do not know the rest, if any.

janice6
06-03-2011, 21:31
It is absolutely true, that is how radar works. The secret that no one wants to admit is that pink cars with purple stripes are invisible to radar, is has to do with the faulty 738mhz band inherent in all currently used radar units..

milliHertz? Yes, I know it's a funny.

New York Hunter
06-03-2011, 21:48
Correlation does not equal causality.
Do police profile red cars or are people that drive like idiots more likely to prefer bright colors?
It's a well known fact that cops hate the color red. It sends them into a rage just like with bulls. In fact any color bothers cops, thats why cruisers are painted black & white.
That's why cops don't get along with fire fighters. If only the FD wouldn't paint their trucks red, everybody would be happier.
I guess I should have phrazed my question as "Does RADAR pick up red colored vehicles over other colored vehicles"? Instead of "Do police target red cars/trucks?"

Also, red doesn't send bulls into a rage, they're colored blind like all cattle. Part of the reason Matadors uses a red cape/muleta is to hide the blood from the already bleeding bull, another reason is tradition. Gotta love the History Channel. :supergrin:

New York Hunter
06-03-2011, 21:57
It is a law in PA that only certain LEA's are allowed to use radar. One is the PA State Police/Highway Patrol. I do not know the rest, if any.
Interesting. I'll still set my cruise at 68 or so when driving on I81, I80, I83, I380 ect. through the Keystone! ;)

Panzergrenadier1979
06-03-2011, 23:14
We can't use RADAR (being mere locals), so color doesn't matter!

This. :steamed:

trdvet
06-03-2011, 23:49
This. :steamed:

I always thought PA was weird with the whole local LEO/radar thing.

Police10-42
06-04-2011, 00:23
I don't target red cars. I target speeders. That being said, Speed has no color, or ethnicity, or race, religion, sexual preference, hell you name it. Yep, I profile... I Profile speeders.

TBO
06-04-2011, 00:26
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtofbxmlv8Y&feature=player_embedded

trdvet
06-04-2011, 00:39
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtofbxmlv8Y&feature=player_embedded

Ol' Vernon is a sex offender and a horrible rider.

http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=57147

http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/CallImage?imgID=1163273

New York Hunter
06-04-2011, 01:40
I don't target red cars. I target speeders. That being said, Speed has no color, or ethnicity, or race, religion, sexual preference, hell you name it. Yep, I profile... I Profile speeders.
Great job Sir! :patriot:

New York Hunter
06-04-2011, 01:47
I don't drive a motorcycle. The way I see it there are two types of motorcycle drivers. Those that have had a bad crash, and those that are going to have a bad crash. JMHO, I know close to a dozen motorcycle drivers that have had really bad crashes. . . . .most fatal. A lot of good guys. :sad:

lawman800
06-04-2011, 03:02
Most of the cars I stop are not red. I don't see many red cars where I work because mainly hoopties and ghetto rides don't come in red or the red has faded to a nice rust. However, I noticed most of the cars I stop do run stop signs or have loud exhausts.

DaBigBR
06-04-2011, 04:03
I guess I should have phrazed my question as "Does RADAR pick up red colored vehicles over other colored vehicles"? Instead of "Do police target red cars/trucks?"

No.

The RADAR sends a radio signal out and measures the frequency (doppler) shift in the returned (reflected) signal. The radar is constantly receiving returns from everything out there that will reflect the signal. If there is no frequency shift, the item is not moving (e.g. a wall or a parked car or a sign). If there is a frequency shift the object is moving, specifically it is moving relative to the RADAR antenna (therefore RADAR does not see perpindicular traffic as moving). With tens, hundreds, or thousands of returned signals, the RADAR device displays the strongest signal at any given time. The three big factors in determining what makes up the strongest signal are:

-Distance
-Mass
-Frequency Shift (speed)

Ergo, a large far away target may have a stronger signal than a close target at higher speed (such as a motorcycle doing 100 and a semi behind it doing 65 - the motorcycle is faster and closer, but the truck is more reflective).

The key to proper speed enforcement with RADAR (or LIDAR for that matter) is establishment of a proper tracking history. One of the first steps in establishing a proper tracking history is visually estimating the speed of the target vehicle. This visual esimation usually takes place before the RADAR is even turned on (if the car doesn't appear to be speeding, why bother with the RADAR?). The officer in the video linked above actually testifies to his visual estimation of the speed.

http://bbsimg.ngfiles.com/4/22776000/ngbbs4dc8c03337221.gif

lawman800
06-04-2011, 15:55
In English, radar sends out a wave which bounces off something and comes back to the sending mechanism which calculates how fast the waves bounce back and calculates from that the speed at which the objct is moving.

Or... it's more complicated than we need to care about but it doesn't matter what color it is as long as the radar waves can bounce off it.

New York Hunter
06-04-2011, 20:47
Ol' Vernon is a sex offender and a horrible rider.

http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=57147

http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/CallImage?imgID=1163273

WOW. . . . .can't a few of you LEO in Broward County, FL run him over. . . . .say maybe 5 or 6 times. :steamed:

DaBigBR
06-04-2011, 22:42
In English, radar sends out a wave which bounces off something and comes back to the sending mechanism which calculates how fast the waves bounce back and calculates from that the speed at which the objct is moving.

Or... it's more complicated than we need to care about but it doesn't matter what color it is as long as the radar waves can bounce off it.

Not trying to pick, but not really. The RADAR "beam" (if you will) travels at the speed of light and is made up of radio waves. When the waves are reflected back, they are either compressed (approaching target) or decompressed (receding target). The RADAR measures the frequency shift (e.g. the change in frequency) and calculates the speed based upon the frequency shift. There is no effective change in the speed of the RADAR wave itself.

The best analogy I have heard is to compare it to a train whistle. As the train approaches, the whistle sounds very high pitched, but after the train passes, it sounds lower pitched. This would be an example of the compression/decompression of the waves.

lawman800
06-04-2011, 23:05
The Doppler effect is what you are referring to.

redneck1861
06-07-2011, 12:10
That study really does not mean anything. People driving sports cars are more likely to speed than someone driving a Buick. Also Red is probably the most common color of sports cars.

jpa
06-07-2011, 14:15
It seems in my locale, most of my speeders violate after dark. During the day time they cruise within the bounds, but the sun sets and it's Talladega suddenly.

So, it doesn't matter to me because I can't freaking see them until the pass under the streetlight I"m sitting under.

How do you develop a tracking history and visually estimate the speed if you can't see the car? Do you find the headlights work just as well as seeing the whole car?

Speaking of which, why do most hoseheads buy red vehicles? :)

So they can buy those lameass license plate frames that say "My other car is a fire truck!"


To the OP it absolutely is not true. I drive a red car. Hell, I drive a red sports car. The key is not to drive the red sports car like an a-hole. The only tickets I've ever gotten were in a 93 Silver Ford Escort Station wagon and a 04 Silver Chevy Trailblazer.

My car (stock photo but close enough)
http://www.automedia.com/New_Cars/infiniti_g_2006_photos_Coupe_Exterior_2006-Infiniti-G35-ext-1.jpg

golls17
06-08-2011, 06:59
I made my first traffic stop ever today. The car was red...

Panzergrenadier1979
06-08-2011, 08:16
I made my first traffic stop ever today. The car was red...

:rock:

From now on, try to only pull over red cars with out-of-state tags. :cool:

Keep the conspiracy theory alive.....

lawman800
06-08-2011, 08:47
I make sure to pull over a red car within 1 hour of SOW. If I pull over a non-red car, I kick it loose, like throwing back a fish that is too small. I try to keep about 50/50 red versus all other colors so I don't get accused of pulling over only red cars.

Panzergrenadier1979
06-08-2011, 09:49
If the motorists is irate and complains to you that they were just driving with the flow of traffic, calmly point out to them they were the only one in operation of a red vehicle.

They will completely understand; If they ask for your name and badge number it's because they will want to call your chief and tell him what a great job of serving a protecting you're doing. :supergrin:

old_pigpen
06-08-2011, 17:00
Color blind officers don't target red cars, they target gray ones! :supergrin:

lawman800
06-09-2011, 00:35
If the motorists is irate and complains to you that they were just driving with the flow of traffic, calmly point out to them they were the only one in operation of a red vehicle.

They will completely understand; If they ask for your name and badge number it's because they will want to call your chief and tell him what a great job of serving a protecting you're doing. :supergrin:

But you still have to wear your hat and make your appointment first.