8-5 Speed Measuring Devices

Effective: 9/20/2013

Review Date: 11/1/2016



It is the policy of the VCUPD that all speed measuring devices shall be operated only by officers who have successfully completed a department‐approved speed measuring device (SMD) course. Speed measuring devices will be set up, tested, operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers' specifications and Virginia state law. The SMD will be removed from use if the operator is not a certified speed measuring device operator. The purpose of this directive is to establish the policy and procedure for the VCUPD in which all speed measuring devices (SMD) used for enforcement shall be tested and properly utilized to ensure compliance with traffic regulations and enhance public safety. In addition, this policy will establish the minimum training requirements necessary for certification of an officer as a speed measuring device operator.


Accountability Statement

All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any violations of policy are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.



SMD equipment shall be tested for accuracy in accordance with VA Code §46.2‐882. Accuracy tests shall be conducted at the beginning and ending of each shift and at any other time the operator deems necessary.

  1. Speed Measuring Device Specifications:
    1. The VCUPD utilizes Virginia State Police approved speed measuring devices.
  2. Documentation:
    1. A certified copy of the Speed Measuring Device Report Certification Form (TR9) must be maintained by the SMD operator and taken to court. The TR9 form will be taken to any court in which the SMD was used to make a charge. A copy of the certificate of tuning fork accuracy sheet and the TR9 form, which must be notarized and stapled together, shall be used in court.
    2. The original certificate of tuning fork accuracy is on file in the Traffic Unit. Tuning forks must be calibrated every six months.
    3. A certified speedometer calibration sheet is required in court when a summons is issued in the moving mode to show that the police vehicle used to test the speed‐measuring device set was properly calibrated. Documentation for accuracy tests of the speed measuring device, as well as the calibration of the police vehicle, shall be maintained by the officer.
  3. Proper Care and Maintenance: Officers shall adhere to the guidelines on the proper care and maintenance of the department's speed measuring device equipment as follows:
    1. All speed measuring device equipment used by the VCUPD must be approved by the supervisor of the Traffic Unit.
    2. SMD equipment may not be handled or operated by anyone other than speed measuring device certified personnel. When at all possible, if a SMD‐equipped vehicle is the only vehicle available for patrol, a SMD certified officer shall use that unit. Arrangements shall be made as soon as possible for a SMD certified officer, who is operating a non‐SMD equipped unit, to be assigned to a vehicle equipped with a SMD. If practical, the SMD equipment shall be removed by a certified SMD operator and placed in a non‐SMD equipped unit.
    3. Officers are not permitted to perform repairs or maintenance to SMD equipment. Officers are not permitted to exchange or trade SMD equipment. Officers shall have a certified radar instructor/technician check and replace defective fuses.
    4. If a defect is noted or maintenance is required on any speed measuring equipment, the officer shall notify the Traffic Unit supervisor in writing. The officer shall include the date, time and type of defect or malfunction. The Traffic Unit supervisor shall then notify the Support Services Commander to obtain permission to have the unit repaired.
      1. Maintenance and repairs to all SMD equipment will be performed by the approved speed measuring device maintenance contractor every six months or whenever necessary.
      2. If major repairs are required, the SMD equipment shall be returned to the authorized repair facility for repair and calibration.
      3. All maintenance records of repairs and certifications shall be maintained by the supervisor of the Traffic Unit or designee.
      4. When removing SMD equipment from a police vehicle, it shall be directly secured within its carrying case. This shall be done anytime SMD equipment is to be transported from one location to another.
    5. SMD equipment will not be operated in conditions in which it will be exposed to water (rain, snow, mist, etc.) unless the equipment is waterproof.
  4. Training Standards: The training standards listed below will ensure that officers selected as SMD operators will receive the training necessary to establish a high degree of proficiency. Officers selected as SMD operators will be required to meet training requirements outlined in this policy as follows:
    1. Each officer will attend a minimum of 40 hours of formal training including at least eight hours of field training (four hours day and four hours night).
    2. SMD training shall be performed by certified instructors.
    3. During the training period, the officer will be required to demonstrate his/her ability to properly set up, test and operate the SMD equipment and pass a written examination.
    4. All records pertaining to SMD training shall be housed at the Training Academy.
    5. Upon completion of the training, the officer shall be certified as a SMD operator and shall be authorized to operate equipment on the department’s approved SMD list. This certification will remain in effect until December 31 of the third calendar year of issuance.
    6. Each officer that has received certification as a SMD will attend a recertification class, as required by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, to maintain eligibility to operate the SMD. The recertification class will consist of four hours of instruction and a written examination. Each officer will be required to successfully pass the written examination. If the operator does not achieve a passing grade, he/she must attend an additional training session. If they do not successfully pass this session, the officer must attend a basic SMD operator’s school.



  1. Speed Measuring Device Report Certification Form (TR9)
  2. Tuning Fork Accuracy Form