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I make grown adults cry!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a curious question...

I've been having a recurrant eye problem for the last year and a half. The long and the short of it is that I'm having the same area of my cornea in my left eye "erode" in several distinct craters. It's happened four times now, with each time requiring a couple of weeks wearing a contact lens bandage and being blind for a bit. As per my normal bad luck, it always happens right at the worst time(It never rains when I'm blind! I'm considering posting up here when it happens, so people will know they can plan to do lots of riding. For a large fee, I'm even willing to allow people to jam a thumb in my eye to ensure a rain free two week vacation).

A couple of opthamologists have looked at it and they can see what's happened, but are at a loss to explain it. To paraphrase them both, "Eyes don't do this without some kind of trauma".

I was chatting with my Dad today and while he was researching for one of his cases(He's a criminal lawyer)he was reading over the RCMP laser policies. He noted that they are prohibited from using the lasers on motorcycle riders, likely due to the obvious eyesight risks in aiming a laser at a human being. He wants me to ask my doctor next time I see him about the possibility of this being laser damage.

Anybody have any insights or thoughts on this?
 

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I would confirm that the RCMP are not able to use Laser detectors on motorcycles, as the laser can just as easily go through the windshield of a car and do the same damage.
 

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Posing with conviction
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That's a real drag Boydfish. Glad you brought it up. Never occurred to me that those laser guns those splendid individuals of the law enforcement variety use could damage our eyes.

I wonder if there is a kind of protective eyewear we can use to prevent us from being nailed in the eye by the police?

When you say prohibited what does that mean? If they use them on us will they get thrown in the slammer for 20 years? Is there a law against them using it on motorcycles?
 

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I make grown adults cry!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wonder if there is a kind of protective eyewear we can use to prevent us from being nailed in the eye by the police?
I'd suspect that if there was, it would not be useful for riding due to the amount of darkening required.

When you say prohibited what does that mean? If they use them on us will they get thrown in the slammer for 20 years? Is there a law against them using it on motorcycles?
No, no law against it. It's just an internal RCMP policy. Like most government policy, it's meant to protect them from lawsuits. Since it's RCMP policy and the RCMP never breaks rules, they can safely say that thier own internal investigations will confirm your eye damage was caused by...sunspots, yeah, that's it...sunspots.
 

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Really sorry to hear about your eye. It started a very interesting thread though. Please keep us updated.
 

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Does your chain hang low?
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and while he was researching for one of his cases(He's a criminal lawyer)

[..]

Anybody have any insights or thoughts on this?
Do you really think a handheld laser unit could be aimed accurately enough to hold the beam's energy (oh yeah, it's a pulsed beam and not constant) long enough to damage tissue within a 5mm opening that's moving? Tell Dad to pay a physicist for a few hours of his time for educational purposes (question... how dangerous is a Class I laser?). Do you think it could be done on several separate occasions to you (you'd have to have the worst luck of anyone)? Do you think any police officer is stupid enough to use your visor as the laser target?

Any police policy along these lines is an ass-covering policy for those 1 in a million situations and probably related more to the warning label on the device than any real chance of injury.

Lawyers... :rolleyes:
 

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DELTA-ONE
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Out of curiosity:

- Does your occupation require you to wear protective eye-wear on the job? (Metal grinding, sandblasting etc...)

- Do you ride with your visor open?

- Do you currently wear contacts?

I had something sort of like that happen. A piece of debris got lodged under one of my contacts and I kept rubbing it as it was irritating. Thanks to that, I had some scratches and slightly blurry stop in my vision for a little while. Hurt like a bitch too!
 

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I make grown adults cry!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you really think a handheld laser unit could be aimed accurately enough to hold the beam's energy (oh yeah, it's a pulsed beam and not constant) long enough to damage tissue within a 5mm opening that's moving?
Not on purpose. Stupid people are capable of nearly anything, however.

Do you think it could be done on several separate occasions to you (you'd have to have the worst luck of anyone)?
No, you're misunderstanding: I'm not suggesting a insane cop is wandering the street managing to ping my left eye repeatedly. The cratering is in the same part of my eye repeatedly. The cornea heals over, then after a varying duration, the affected area erodes/falls out. Stated another way, it is a case where for some reason, a single area of one eye has suddenly had the cornea damaged rather profoundly.

Do you think any police officer is stupid enough to use your visor as the laser target?
Bluntly put, yes. Police are human beings and thus, by definition, are capable of profoundly stupid behaviour. As well, considering the lawyer you're criticizing retired as Staff Sergeant with 20+ years in the RCMP, including time as a SCS NCO, if he feels they're capable of that kind of dumb, I'd give it a degree of credence.
 

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I make grown adults cry!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
- Does your occupation require you to wear protective eye-wear on the job? (Metal grinding, sandblasting etc...)
Hah! No, I work in an office. The docs covered all of that.

- Do you ride with your visor open?
Visor open under 60kph, but mainly even then, a half closed. I always wear glasses under the visor.

- Do you currently wear contacts?
Nope. 20/20 vision, except when parts of my eye have fallen out.
 

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I work with lasers for machine vision applications and I think it's unlikely the police laser units could cause your symptons for the following reasons:

1. High powered lasers have very specific safety regulations. So if police laser was powerful enough to hurt your eyes they wouldn't be allowed to be out shining it at everyone.

2. Laser's spread out with distance so the farther away you are the less you're exposed. Generally as far as laser go I think they'd tag you a fair distance, so even if it was powerful enough to hurt your eyes at close distance it'd be fine if he's pointing it down the highway.

3. I've seen people ignore every safety rule with lasers and have never heard of anyone having serious eye issues from it.

4. I *think* laser damage is more to the retina rather than the cornea

You can do a search on the internet as their's lots of information on lasers. For example I found this:

Are there any specific symptoms of laser eye injuries?

* Exposure to the invisible carbon dioxide laser beam (10,600 nm) can be detected by a burning pain at the site of exposure on the cornea or sclera.
* Exposure to a visible laser beam can be detected by a bright color flash of the emitted wavelength and an after-image of its complementary color (e.g., a green 532 nm laser light would produce a green flash followed by a red after-image).
* When the retina is affected, there may be difficulty in detecting blue or green colors secondary to cone damage, and pigmentation of the retina may be detected.
* Exposure to the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser beam (1064 nm) is especially hazardous and may initially go undetected because the beam is invisible and the retina lacks pain sensory nerves. Photoacoustic retinal damage may be associated with an audible "pop" at the time of exposure. Visual disorientation due to retinal damage may not be apparent to the operator until considerable thermal damage has occurred.
 

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You're all wasting your time .... Police "LASER" is NOT a "LASER BEAM"... it wont damage your eyes and it's not harmful. Just as "Laser" is an acronym, "Laser" when reffering to police laser is the lazy man's term for the real name, which is "lidar"... police "laser" is really just a focused beam of infra red light. it is not a "laser" beam. This is why police "laser" can be picked up effectively by laser detectors... the beam is about 2' across (going by memory) so it has some width which is what gives you a fighting chance in picking it up with a detector.

good luck with your eyes. the cops arent shooting lasers at you.
 

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Does your chain hang low?
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Bluntly put, yes. Police are human beings and thus, by definition, are capable of profoundly stupid behaviour. As well, considering the lawyer you're criticizing retired as Staff Sergeant with 20+ years in the RCMP, including time as a SCS NCO, if he feels they're capable of that kind of dumb, I'd give it a degree of credence.
Yeah I gotta retract that statement... after posting I remembered some of the complete boneheads that I formerly worked with in my 6 years experience with law enforcement.
 

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I make grown adults cry!
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good info people, I wasn't too informed and now....I knows more!
 

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Master of Puppets
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You're all wasting your time .... Police "LASER" is NOT a "LASER BEAM"... it wont damage your eyes and it's not harmful. Just as "Laser" is an acronym, "Laser" when reffering to police laser is the lazy man's term for the real name, which is "lidar"... police "laser" is really just a focused beam of infra red light. it is not a "laser" beam. This is why police "laser" can be picked up effectively by laser detectors... the beam is about 2' across (going by memory) so it has some width which is what gives you a fighting chance in picking it up with a detector.

good luck with your eyes. the cops arent shooting lasers at you.
Um, Fish, what do you think laser is, if it isn't a "focused beam of light?" Lidar simply means "light detection and ranging" and yes, the cops are shooting lasers at you (it does not need to be visible light to be a laser). They are, however, classified as eye safe. With all the hungry lawyers do you think they would risk a lawsuit if there was even the most remote chance that the laser could cause an accident?
 

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also Adiabatic how many times have you seen the officer's hand holding the devices? Are they so accurate that there is no way they can hit the eyes of the driver? I have been hit with a pointer laser before, by a child for a split second, and my eye reacted instantanoiusly.
 
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