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Can You Beat a Speed Camera?

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red light camera traffic monitor photo

They are waiting for you
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker

Speed cameras lie in wait for you where you least expect it, and sometimes they catch you at the worst possible time, like when you’re really trying to shave a few minutes off of your commute because you hit the snooze button one too many times.

Is it possible, though, to actually beat a speed camera? We all know we don’t have time to slow down. Thanks to the University of Leicester’s Master of Physics program, we know the exact speed you’ll have to reach to blur out your license plate. But you are not going to like the answer one bit.

The students researched how fast a car would have to move to make license plates unreadable by using the Doppler Effect for their calculations. If you don’t remember the Doppler Effect from your science classes, it deals with the way our perception changes based on the movement of an object. A great example is how the sound of an ambulance siren changes as it moves by the listener.

Based on the work done by the students, who are way smarter than us, a car would have to be traveling at a speed of 119 million miles per hour to blur their license plate and make it unreadable. That is one-sixth the speed of light. Looks like you’re going to have to take your lead foot off of the pedal, unless you have access to light speed technology. In that case, NASA would probably like to talk to you.

News Source: Car & Driver