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ECC to Offer Speed Enforcement Training

Edgecombe Community College plans to offer its first class in Speed Measuring Instrument Training for law enforcement officers in early 2022.

Edgecombe Community College is adding Speed Measuring Instrument Training to its law enforcement certification programs.

“I was getting a lot of requests from local agencies wanting us to offer this,” says Bernie Taylor, coordinator of law enforcement training at the college.

The new program covers both initial certification and recertification for law enforcement officers.

Speed enforcement is a tool used to prevent drivers from exceeding the posted speed limit. According to the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019, killing 9,478 people, or an average of 25 a day.

“Over the years, it’s been shown that speed increases the likelihood of personal injury and death,” Taylor explains.

“An increase in speed decreases your reaction time, which lessens your ability for any kind of defensive measures you might need to take.”

The state of North Carolina requires students to complete 30 hours of training to receive the initial certification in speed measuring. Taylor says most community colleges, including ECC, build 48 hours of instruction into their programs.

Forty-six hours will be dedicated to classroom and motor skills road testing, plus two hours to take the state examination. After passing the state test, officers are required to ride with a certified officer for 12 hours before they’re allowed to write tickets.

Local agencies typically use three methods for speed enforcement: radar, LiDAR, and time/distance. Radar is the standard method used, and it works by reflecting off the largest and closest of a group of vehicles.

LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, has been in place since the 1990s, and it emits a beam that targets a specific vehicle.

All certifications are valid for three years. Once officers are certified, the recertification process at ECC takes two days and includes 14 hours of classroom training and two hours to take the state test. Additional ride time is not required for recertification, according to Taylor.

“I started getting calls about this program right before the pandemic hit, so launching a new program during COVID-19 might not be ideal,” he says. “But we’re moving forward, and we hope to have our first class at the beginning of 2022.”

To learn more about Speed Measuring Instrument Training at ECC, please contact Bernie Taylor at or (252) 618-6613.