Traffic lights with embedded gadgets, a suspicious steel booth on a highway platform, cameras behind porticos… I’m sure you’ve sometimes noticed the presence of these devices when you’re traveling by car. Fear not, because they are the so-called “false” radars, that is, they are other devices whose function is quite different from that of photographing and capturing a traffic violation.
Surely on more than one occasion you have been startled when you were traveling by car when you saw something strange and that caught your attention within the infrastructure of a city or a highway. The first thing you think is: “wow, another radar!” Well, fear not because they are not really radars.
These “fake” radars are actually another type of device with a very different function. The problem is that its design and placement can be misleading due to its resemblance to real radars. Below, we show you the most common examples of these “fake” radars.
Index of contents
#1 Speed warnings
They are devices that are usually placed at the entrance to certain cities or residential areas. In these cases, the speed limit is usually 50, 30 or 20 km/h, depending on the case, so capturing the speed of a vehicle is a warning that it may be traveling above the established limit.
#2 Cabins on the sides of a road
Their shape, placement, and even the material with which these cabins are built are practically identical to those of the cabins that actually keep a radar inside. The significant fact that makes it possible to differentiate some booths from others is the lack of a hole or hole through which the camera lens would find the light to capture the offence. Therefore, this first case of “false radar” would correspond to a closed cabin, although it is true that many of these cabins are placed in a certain place for a future installation of a real radar, for which reason Traffic operators would have to go to install the radar with its corresponding photographic equipment and, therefore, make a series of holes on the outside of the cabin.
#3 Cameras on top of lampposts, walkways, porticos…
These cameras are the most confusing. To really see where the fixed radars are located, the DGT website itself provides a list of radars (Where are all the radars), so many of these cameras that we are talking about do not correspond to the real radars, but which are traffic capture/counting cameras, that is, they record the number of vehicles that pass through a certain road at a certain kilometer point.
#4 Photovoltaic cells on streetlights
There are many lampposts in cities and various roads that are equipped with small photovoltaic cells. They can be confused with a radar, but they really fulfill a very different function as a power supply for the streetlight to illuminate when daylight disappears.
#5 Weather stations
The most usual of this type of devices is that they are placed on both sides of the road. Its shapes can also be misleading and can be installed on a portico, a vertical sign and even on lampposts. One of the hallmarks of these weather stations is that they are equipped with small solar panels, which allow them to capture solar energy and transform it into electricity so that it can be used to function.
#6 License plate readers
License plate readers are also part of the infrastructure of many highways. Most often, they are placed meters before crossing a toll road. The same thing happens at the entrance to a paid airport car park, since they are used to read the license plate and record the exact time the vehicle in question entered the car park.
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