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Speed Measuring Instruments

Working Group 1.31

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The working group issues type-examination certificates for the traffic measurement devices covered by the German "Mess- und Eichgesetz" (Measurement and Verification Act) after the devices have successfully passed a stringent series of tests. The group cooperates with the Opens external link in new windowWorking Group 8.51 "Metrological Software" in questions of software testing and security.

Information on the technical requirements, as they are valid now, can be found Opens external link in new windowhere. For devices type approved in the past you can find the requirements that were valid back then, Opens external link in new windowat this link.

Another area of activity is research on traffic measurement devices, in particular the development of innovative sensors for the measurement of vehicle speed. This includes highly precise reference measurement systems for the type testing of traffic speed cameras.

A large fraction of the daily work is taken up by giving testimony or other official statements on technical questions to judges, technical experts, lawyers and ordinary citizens or the elaboration of higher-level expert reports. This includes the explanation of technical questions in connection with courts proceedings, mostly regarding speeding charges. In this way the working group is providing an important contribution to fairness in traffic monitoring, in that nobody has to fear that there could be a faulty measurement leading to his being falsely accused of speeding.

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Research/Development

Research and development in the working group on the one hand concern practical questions in connection with traffic monitoring devices. Oftentimes, the working group can profit from the special capabilities offered by its use of two stationary reference measurement installations, one along an overland highway, another along a heavily traveled freeway (Autobahn). One example is a cooperative research project together with Munich Technical University on the question of whether unusual positioning of the apparatus can lead to faulty measurements.

Mobile reference measurement systems substantially expand the spectrum of possibilities because devices can be tested along any type of road, including in curves, on slopes or even on special test courses like the Aldenhoven Testing Center of the RWTH Aachen.

On the other hand, comprehensive projects deal with innovative concepts for traffic measurement systems. One example is the use of satellite navigation systems for the monitoring and enforcement of speed and distance (“tail-gating”); this is done in cooperation with the Police Academy of the federal state of Hassia. Another example is a pilot study of the measurement of the average speed of a vehicle that has passed through a longer stretch of road (“section control”). This trial is performed on a federal highway in the state of Lower Saxony, in cooperation with the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and of Sports. Apart from the type testing for conformity assessment of the system PTB underpins the trial scientifically, for instance to obtain data about drivers’ behavior with and without the new type of traffic enforcement. The results will play an important role when decisions need to be made whether to expand the section control method to other areas and federal states. It will also be an important step in building trust in this method with German motorists.

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Services

The working group tests the following devices covered by the German Measurement and Verification Act (“Mess- und Eichgesetz”) and issues type-examination certificates for those devices that pass the tests:

•    Velocity measurement devices

    •    Radar devices
    •    Distance-vs-time measurement devices using
        -    Light barriers,
        -    Pressure sensors or
        -    Induction loops
    •    Hand-held laser speed guns
    •    Laser scanners
•    Satellite based velocity measurement devices
      
- Section Control
       - Moving Control
•   
Traffic monitoring devices
•    Velocity measurement devices in vehicles -vehicle mounted video cameras-
•   
Red light cameras
•    Video stopwatches and hand stopwatches (only if used for official measurements)
•    Taximeters and odometers

Information on the technical requirements, as they are valid now, can be found here. For devices type approved in the past you can find the requirements that were valid back then, at this link.

A large fraction of the daily work is taken up by giving testimony or other official statements on technical questions to judges, technical experts, lawyers and ordinary citizens. Here you can find the answers to frequently asked technical questions (in German only).

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Information

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