The Oregon Department of Transportation said tailgating has become the leading factor in crashes in the state. But police can now pinpoint the distance between cars using an upgraded laser, typically used to measure speed, according to The Associated Press
. The technology has been used for years in Hong Kong, Australia and Europe but wasn’t available until recently in the United States.
Police target the first car’s bumper and then the second car’s, measuring the traveling speed and distance between the cars. The upgrade costs $600 and $700 per laser, according to the company that creates them.
Oregon was the first to use the tool, starting its trial last year. Arizona, New Mexico and Tennessee followed Oregon’s lead, launching trials in their states within the past year. A Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office sergeant heard about it being used overseas and approached the company about trialing it in the United States, The Associated Press
Oregon has roughly 4,000 convictions a year of drivers who follow too closely. No information was available on how many had been made with the new laser. The laser is made by Colorado-based Laser Technology Inc., which said it is rolling the product out slowly to allow for proper training and introduction to the courts.