Can You Outrun A Speed Camera? Science Says Yes

Can You Outrun A Speed Camera? Science Says Yes

It goes without saying the dumbest method one could employ to avoid a speeding fine is to drive faster, but from a purely theoretical point of view, could you outrun these mechanical cyclopes, given a high enough velocity? Students from the UK’s University of Leicester believe so, but the momentum required is far beyond the capabilities of your humble Datsun 120Y.

According to the students’ November 2013 paper, entitled “Red-shifted Speed Cameras”, it is possible to give your average speed camera the slip… if you can travel at 0.178c.

Yes, that is almost one-fifth the speed of light.

The science behind the figure is based on the Doppler effect — the “change in frequency of a wave … as viewed by a stationary observer, as the source moves past the observer”. A Ferrari 458 Italia was used as the vehicle to base the calculations on, as well as the minimum frequency the human eye (and the camera) can perceive. Turns out this is 430THz, otherwise known as “red”.

If you could hit 0.178c in your Daddo, your license plate would be invisible to the camera’s sensor, freeing you of any monetary (and most likely earthly) burden. As to the practicality of obtaining such a pace, well, I think it’s in everyone’s best interests if you just obey the speed limit instead.


Image: DaveBleasdale / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0