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Lidar is the second most common technology employed in the United States by law enforcement agencies for vehicle speed enforcement.  Almost every legal jurisdiction in the US accepts lidar based speed measurements for evidentiary purposes in speed enforcement cases in traffic court.  Consequently, the performance of these devices must be sufficient to assure the courts’ confidence in using these devices.  This assurance comes from 1) compliance to traffic enforcement device performance requirements as defined by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation, 2) scheduled calibration by testing labs, and 3) routine calibration by the lidar operator.

The STG established a new technical committee, TC 41, within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), to support the development of internationally-recognized documentary standards (  To support the tests and measurments associated with the standards, NIST is researching designs for a robust lidar speed simulator that may be used by manufacturers and test laboratories.

Hand-held lidar unit used in vehicle speed enforcement


Established, in 2016, technical committee within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to develop documentary performance standards.  Established lidar working group and initiated development of a lidar documentary standard in 2017.


To the IEEE TC41:

To the NHTSA re: speeding:


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation

International Association of Chiefs of Police

Created May 4, 2017, Updated August 15, 2023