In today’s modern society the police force has several different options available to them when trying to catch people who are not following the law to an exact amount. The tool most widely used for this is the radar gun. The detector is used to catch drivers that are going over the posted speed limit on the road in which they are traveling.
The legality of this (or maybe the constitutionality of it) is a slippery topic, and it can certainly be called into question, but it does not change the fact that these devices are being used in mass numbers across the United States.
Whether it is a cop car sneakily parked behind large tree branches so he can catch unsuspecting drivers, speed cameras posted throughout our interstates, and even aircraft enforced speed limits. You can be sure that somebody out there is looking to catch drivers speeding to bolster their precincts bottom line.
But it’s not all bad for us as drivers; we do have a device that’s sole purpose is expressly meant to counter balance the over the top measures our police force uses to catch us speeding. This lovely device is called the “Radar Detector.”
Radar detectors have been in use since the 1970’s, and they do exactly what the name for them suggest they would do: detect radar guns. But to understand why they work, which ones work best, and how to utilize them to their fullest potential; you first need to know how these radar guns’ work.
The radar guns used by the police are handheld Doppler radar units that measure the speed of objects that they are being pointed at (these can also be mounted on objects such as vehicles or poles on the side of the road).
They work by sending out a narrow radio transmission (for accuracy), and once that transfer hits its intended target, it sends back the transmission and utilizes the Doppler effect to determine what speed the vehicle is traveling at.
Due to the limitations that come with small radar units, the police force has strayed away from using radar guns and switched to the use of LIDAR guns, beginning in the early 2000’s. This is the reason you may have heard complaints from radar detector owners of not getting sufficient warning before having their speed detected.
Subsequently, the radar detector industry has been forced to come up with more innovative ways to be more efficient in this state of electronic warfare between our civilians and the government.
Out of necessity radar detector manufacturers have begun to develop more sophisticated devices to counter act the new technologies that are being introduced by the police force. For instance, they have implemented 360-degree measurements to be able to detect traps coming from all directions.
Recent technology has allowed today’s radar detectors to be able to operate without being detected by the police (this is an absolute must if you are in a state that deems radar detectors illegal). This technology is called VG-2 protection.
VG-2 is the system that police use to determine who is utilizing radar detecting technology in their vehicles. It works by measuring the fluctuation in frequencies of radio waves to determine whether or not a radar detector is currently in use.
Often this technology is referred to as radar detector detectors (we will stick to calling it VG-2 for the sake of simplicity).
The way companies like Cobra and Escort utilize a technology that can determine when the VG-2 system is being used. When detecting police radar detector detectors, your radar detector will turn itself off (you should now be able to see why it’s easier to use the term VG-2).
This is called stealth VG-2, and its purpose is to give you the warning and then shut down so that it cannot be registered as being in use.
There are also some units that provide “invisible detection” these are costlier than stealth protectors but they are shielded RDD (radar detector detectors), so they continue operating without the threat of being discovered, providing more consistent protection and giving you more confidence while driving.
Today, many devices are beginning to come equipped with GPS. This is a powerful tool for helping the driver to avoid speeding tickets.
The GPS capability allows the unit to remember areas that you have been in the past where radar detection was being used, it can also alert you when you when the vehicles ahead of you have drastically reduced in speed (often indicating speed traps) so you can react accordingly.
Another great way GPS is utilized in these units is to send an audible warning when you are going much faster than the speed limit or the vehicles around you. This is perfect for drivers who don’t always recognize just how fast they are going (looking at you muscle car owners).
GPS also can adjust sensitivity relative to the speed you are traveling so that it won’t detect radars when it is unnecessary.
The newest addition to radar detectors is the ability to be paired with your smart phone. This is maybe the single best addition because it allows users to network with each other, giving real time updates of where there are speed traps.
Remember those days when we would communicate with other drivers by flashing our lights when there was an upcoming speed trap? It works just like that, except now you can alert more people.
Radar detectors have almost become a necessity for today’s driver. Speed traps are becoming increasingly more widespread, and with the advent of drones, the police force doesn’t even have to man these traps anymore.
It may seem to some that if you follow the laws, then you will be okay, but maybe that isn’t the right way to think of it. The more technology improves, the more the government uses it for the purpose of controlling the civilian population.
Radar detectors are one of the only ways we can take back some of our privacy. If the police want to catch us speeding, let’s make them work for it.
These days there are speed traps set up all over the roads. Whether its highways or parkways, heck I’ve even come across speed traps in residential areas.
While utilizing this sneaky practice in residential areas and school zones is completely warranted and understandable (of course we want to keep our kids safe), the overwhelming consensus is that the idea of them is underhanded and the only thing they are there for is so that cops can write more tickets. It’s a disgusting practice really.
Luckily there is a way to detect these traps before a police officer is even able to register the speed of your vehicle on his radar gun. The “radar detector” is a handy little device that can recognize when radar is in the vicinity and give you an audible warning so that you can act accordingly.
There are several different brands of radar detectors out there, each having their own strengths and weaknesses, today we will go over three of the best ones on the market and help you decide which is best for you.
This product has quite an impressive list of features that are sure to give you the security needed to know that you are not being targeted by an officer and his radar gun.
Some of these features may not make much sense to you immediately so let’s go through some of them in more detail.
A terrific product from a reputable company, this Escort radar detector is sure to please its owner. Check out some of its features
This is an extremely high end radar detector that is able to give you an extraordinary level of protection. It can be optimized if you buy the upgrades for it.
The product that stands up to testing the best is the “Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector”. This is the best on the list for a variety of reasons and the most important of them is the ability to detect radars.
The entire reason you get a radar detector is for just that, detecting radar, and the Beltronics outperformed the other two in this area.
Also, the upgrade feature on this product makes it a purchase that will be able to last you for several years down the road. The ability to update firmware means that it will be able to keep up with the radar detection technology for several years, making this a good investment.
The ultra-bright matrix display is super easy to read in sunlight, meaning this device is useful at all times. But even if you are unable to see the display, it has over 50 warning and commands that will come through the speaker of the radar detector.
If you are in the market for a new radar detector, this Beltronics one is certain to be a life saver for you.
When someone begins to decide whether or not they should get a radar detector they generally start with one all-important question.
Of course, as with anything else in this nation, there are several different factors that decide whether or not it is legal for you to have a radar detector. Let’s get into some of the contributing factors.
The good news here is that radar detectors are legal in almost all states, except Virginia. This is to say that operating a radar detecting device in any capacity, whether it be active or active, in the state of Virginia is illegal.
The reason for this is not readily available, but it is important to note that Virginia has stringent driving laws.
However, if your detector was not powered on, nor was it readily available for use then you will not be found guilty of operating a radar detector.
So if you are driving through the state of Virginia, making sure your device is powered off and out of reach while there will keep you from having the headache of having to deal with the inflated out of state ticket prices.
If you do get caught using a radar detector in Virginia, the consequences are not too severe (that does not mean to disregard the law). There will be a fine that, combined with court costs, will start at below 100 dollars.
They do not incur any demerit points (points taken from your license that can eventually result in suspension), but the officer can confiscate the device for “evidence” if he deems it necessary. After the trial, you will receive your device back from the courts.
Radar detectors are also illegal in all commercial vehicles. When operating a commercial vehicle, it is forbidden to use radar detectors in any form.
The reasons for this come in several different forms. Number one, it is against DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations. Getting caught with one of these in a commercial vehicle carries with it tremendous repercussions, to include high fines as well as disciplinary action taken against you by your company.
Another reason it has been made illegal to use radar detectors in commercial vehicles is that evidence was showing that truck drivers were using radar detectors to go much faster than the speed limit without fear of being penalized.
Traveling at high speeds is dangerous (that is why we have speed limit laws in the first place), especially if you are a massive vehicle carrying a large payload.
Traffic accidents that involve large trucks and buses carry a much greater risk of personal injury than smaller vehicles do. Therefore, using radar detectors while operating them has been deemed illegal.
The CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) website gives a list of repercussions for violating traffic laws while operating commercially owned vehicles, the penalty for doing so is said to be 5 points off of your record. More points can be taken as well.
Furthermore, once you have been found guilty of having a radar detector in your vehicle, the fines are steep and can continue to climb depending on your cargo, and the payload of the vehicle.
Again this is mainly due to the size and weight of the vehicle and the dangers that it poses when involved in accidents. This was a law that was established in 1993 that stated no commercial vehicles and no vehicle over 18 thousand pounds were permitted to use radar detectors.
The bill was even supported by major trucking companies, giving further evidence that it was a good law to enact.
The law came about when a study that was conducted in 1992 revealed that roughly 40-percent of truck drivers in the eastern states carried radar detectors in their vehicles and that half of the drivers who continually transported hazardous materials in their vehicles utilized the technology.
As a side note: Illinois, New York, and New Jersey have their laws concerning the use of radar detectors. If you live or operate large vehicles in any of these states, it would be beneficial to look into their laws.
Again, the penalties here are not very strict. The main reason for that is because the federal government has limited powers on what it can and cannot require of personally owned vehicles (this is a good thing of course).
If you do get stopped for using one of these devices, then you will likely be given a “fix it ticket” which is a ticket that states you need to remove the device. You could also incur fines and court fees.
Even if you are in a state that allows for the use of radar detectors, you will not be permitted to have them out while on a military base. Being that military bases are the property of the Federal Government, they are subject to federal rules (this is because the federal law supersedes the states law).
If you have one attached to your vehicle when entering the base, you will be asked to remove the device and put it out of reach. Therefore, typically, there is no penalty for having a radar detector, but If you refuse to follow the command, you will not be permitted on the base.
If you choose to put the detector back up while on base, well, why in the world would you do such a thing? Your punishment can vary in severity, and in some cases, you may no longer be allowed to enter the premises of that particular base.
It is always a good idea to keep up with the laws in your area or the areas you frequent most. Laws are always being updated and amended, so what is true today may not be true tomorrow.
As of now, the majority of the population can legally operate radar detectors. And of course, that is a good thing.
It’s well worth it to get a radar detector. You want to be ticket-free. Tickets get expensive and can potentially get you in serious trouble – if you get too many.
Making the investment of a radar detector can save you money in the long term. But if you don’t have a lot of money to shop for a radar detector right now, it can seem out of your price range.
Wondering how to shop for a radar detector on a limited budget?
Don’t worry: there are ways to shop for a radar detector, even if you don’t have much money. Use this guide to help you find a radar detector that works for you.
There’s no point in buying a radar detector that’s not going to do the job. Look online for detailed, insightful reviews of the detector you’re thinking about buying.
Radar detectors that have been tested by customers and found to be reliable will be your best bet. See what other users have said about the detector before you buy one.
Detectors that are reviewed by well-known sources are likely to be very reliable. However, keep in mind that there are many models out there that may not have been named in a major magazine or website yet, but that still work very well.
Some people will pay more for things like ease of usability. If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of simplicity, you can save a lot when you shop for a radar detector.
Don’t worry about advanced customization options if you don’t need them.
You do have to balance this against functionality, though. Some adjustment features allow you to reduce false alarms. Some models have things like built-in GPS, which lets you lock out certain false alarm areas.
It’s up to you what features are worth the extra money. But generally speaking, a simpler radar detector with fewer options will cost less.
Don’t just buy a radar detector at the first site you find it on. Look around to see if any other online retailers sell the same model at a lower price point.
You may even want to check brick-and-mortar stores near you to compare options thoroughly. Low-cost stores like Walmart and Target carry radar detectors, as well as online retailers like Amazon.
If you find one you like in a store, do a quick online search to make sure it’s not being sold cheaper somewhere else.
While comparing prices, you may find that the same model is being sold at a lower price at another store. Rather than traveling to buy it elsewhere, check to see if the store you’re at does a price match.
If they will match the price of another store, you can save yourself both time and money.
You should always shop for a radar detector that has a warranty. Keep your receipt for as long as possible, in case there is an issue with your radar detector.
Cutting costs by getting a radar detector with no warranty can cost more in the long run. If your detector breaks in an unusually short amount of time or is defective in any way, make sure you won’t have to buy a brand new one.
Your radar detector should be easy to use while you’re driving. If you’re searching for tiny, hard-to-see buttons on the road, it becomes a safety issue and isn’t worth the risk of an accident and expensive car repair or medical bills.
Find a radar detector with large, easily accessed buttons and you will save money in the long run by remaining safe.
As with most electronics, the simple reality is that a more expensive radar detector will often work better. Although you can find good radar detectors at a reasonable price, they probably won’t fall much below $200.
Beware of a deal that sounds too good to be true. If it sounds like a scam, it probably is.
Not all cheap radar detectors are a scam, of course. But if a radar detector isn’t sensitive enough to do its job reliably, it’s not worth any amount of money. Better to spend $300 on a good radar detector than to get one for $100 and still end up getting tickets.
Don’t shop for a radar detector that’s used or from an unknown source. This is one item you shouldn’t buy on eBay. Buy from a reliable source and, again, make sure you have a warranty.
Brand-name is also better when it comes to radar detectors. Valentine One, Escort, and Cobra are all known, reliable radar detector companies. Although they aren’t the only places where good radar detectors can be bought, a known brand name is a good sign that your money is being well spent.
Since radar detectors are not always understood to be ethical products, it can be harder to find information about them than about other consumer electronics.
Although the laws regarding radar detectors are actually very straightforward, many sources avoid talking about them at all because of legal concerns. Consumer Reports won’t tell you who is making the best radar detectors of the year.
However, there’s still plenty of information out there, and it’s worthwhile to do your research before you shop for a radar detector.
Look online to learn about the different features available. Stealth technology and red-light camera information is available on some radar detectors, but not all. Range differs depending on what model you get.
Consider your needs and research what features will be best for you. You don’t want to end up paying extra for features you won’t actually use.
It’s a common misconception that people on a budget can’t shop for a radar detector. There are actually many budget options out there.
In fact, you can find a radar detector for as low as $40-$100. However, those cheaper models often sacrifice accuracy and range, among other things.
A cheap radar detector might be better than none at all. But with a major electronic purchase like this, you’re best off paying a little bit more to get a high-quality model that lasts.
No matter your budget, if you use these tips, you can shop for a radar detector in your budget and save money on tickets from now on.
Do you use a radar detector to avoid getting speeding tickets? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!
Hitting the open road is one of the greatest joys for a motorist.
Especially when you can finally open up the throttle and feel the engine’s power push you back into your seat.
But sometimes that opportunity is rare, especially when accounting for busy traffic areas and rush hours. And other times, those wide open stretches of road are just too far away to be enjoyed regularly.
So what’s a motorist to do? There’s only so much fun to be had on city streets. And with posted speed limits, safety becomes a concern, as well as speed traps.
There are ways to avoid getting nabbed by a police officer’s radar gun.
Many motorists will opt to install a radar detector. Not only to avoid getting a speeding ticket but also to ensure they don’t push the limits too far in places they shouldn’t.
Finding the best radar detector isn’t difficult if you know what you’re looking for.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to select the best radar detector for your needs.
Some products are best purchased after conducting some research. Finding the best radar detector for your ride is one such purchase.
That’s why we created this guide to help you choose the best radar detector.
But first, let’s give a quick overview of how radar detectors work.
When a radar speed detection device is used, it emits a signal. Radar detectors work by, you guessed it, picking up on this signal and then alerting you to its presence.
There are a variety of signals used by these devices. As such, radar detectors are able to pick up most, but sometimes not all of these signals.
For example, police are well aware of the use of radar detectors. Due to this, they often use differing signals which are referred to as “bands.”
While most radar detectors have the ability to pick up these bands, not every radar detector is created equal.
The best radar detector for your road warrior should not only be able to pick up on these varying bands, but it should have a wide range of operation, too.
The best radar detector will be able to spot a speed trap and alert you way before you encounter it.
Now that we’ve covered radar detector basics, let’s move on to what you should look for when buying your radar detector.
The type of radar detector you choose for your needs is a matter of preference and practicality.
Typically you will encounter only three different types of radar detectors. These different types mostly refer to the type of mount used and how they are powered.
The first type is a corded device. These radar detectors will generally be mounted to the windshield of a vehicle with a suction cup or some other type of adhesive. This type offers a great range of detection and protection.
The second type is referred to as a cordless detector. Installation of these detectors is usually sleeker and cleaner in appearance. Additionally, these devices can be easily removed from one vehicle and moved to another.
The third commonly found type is remote-mount. These devices are permanent fixtures, meaning they are mounted to a vehicle in a permanent location. They are ideal if you’re looking for something sleek in appearance, and can’t be easily spotted by unwanted onlookers.
When shopping for the best radar detector, it’s important to consider the different types of modes the device has to offer.
For example, driving on a long stretch of highway is entirely different than driving in the city when it comes to picking up speed trap signals.
The right device for your purposes will have different modes to choose from.
A good mode feature to look for is what’s called “city mode.”
This detection mode takes into account the reduced range and congestion of urban areas and will disregard signals which are similar to radar guns.
When selecting the best radar detector for your vehicle, it’s important to consider what the device’s detection capabilities are.
Inexpensive detectors may have only one sensor which can only detect radar beams directly ahead of the direction you’re traveling. These types can’t detect the signals coming at you from the sides or from the rear.
The best devices will have 360-degree detection capabilities. As the name implies, these devices utilize additional sensors in order to pick up signals beamed from both the sides, as well as to the front and from behind.
Furthermore, devices with 360-degree capabilities are generally more reliable than other models. They are generally more expensive than models with a single sensor.
As previously mentioned, police are well aware of the use of radar detection devices.
As a result, law enforcement will often employ the aptly named radar detector detectors (or RDD for short).
Some radar detectors include technology which allows for the recognition of these devices. These features are commonly referred to as “shielding.”
Many detectors will have “stealth” features. This shielding feature alerts you when RDD devices are encountered, and will even power down the radar detector itself.
Other more advanced detectors will offer what’s called “invisible” shielding. These devices offer the greatest protection as they are able to continue operating despite the presence of RDD technology.
Some radar detection devices have taken versatility to a new level with smartphone compatibility.
While these devices might be more expensive, the features offered are unique.
The radar detector might, for example, be paired with a smartphone for increased ease of operation.
Some apps will even keep drivers notified about traffic accidents and other hazards.
Furthermore, some devices will support apps which are supplemented with information regarding the locations of red-light cameras and permanent speed trap installations.
While anyone can buy one of these devices, it’s up to the buyer to make an informed decision on the best radar detector for their purposes.
It is also the responsibility of the operator to be informed about the local laws surrounding the use of radar detectors.
For more information and advice about radar detectors, check out the Avoid Radar advice page!
Between photo radars, red light cameras, and police waiting in unmarked vehicles, it seems nearly impossible to avoid speeding tickets.
If you choose to speed, you’re likely to end up with plenty of tickets. These tickets are costly. And if you get enough, you may end up with a suspended driver’s license.
If you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or two, it might be time to invest in a high quality radar detector.
A radar detector is an electronic device that is mounted on the dashboard of your vehicle. The detector alerts drivers that a radar gun or sensor is in use ahead.
The radar detector detects electromagnetic emissions from radar guns, red light cameras, and photo radars.
The electromagnetic emissions also come from other electronic devices. One example is the automatic doors that are used in supermarkets and drug stores.
As a result, radar detectors may emit false alarms when a vehicle is passing one of these doors.
Different types of radars operate on different wavelengths. Radar detectors detect some of these wavelengths. Radar detectors can only detect Doppler radars, which are those used by police radar guns, red light cameras, and photo radars.
Radar detectors used to be widely banned, though not legally so.
When a police officer would pull over a vehicle and discover a radar detector inside, it was common for them to destroy it.
But thanks to lawsuits regarding the Communication Act of 1934, radar detectors are now legal in nearly every state in the U.S. Only Virginia and Washington D.C. prohibit their use in private vehicles.
Radar detectors remain illegal for use in commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds, or less in some states.
This doesn’t mean that speeding is necessarily legal. But say that you don’t realize that the speed has reduced from one section of road to the next. Or perhaps you aren’t familiar with the area and aren’t sure what the limit is. Or you simply aren’t paying attention to your speed.
But say that you don’t realize that the speed has reduced from one section of road to the next. Or perhaps you aren’t familiar with the area and aren’t sure what the limit is. Or you simply aren’t paying attention to your speed.
Radar detectors are a great, legal way to avoid a speeding ticket.
Not all radar detectors are created equal.
Choosing not to opt for a high quality radar detector may leave you with one that won’t protect you from speeding tickets.
A good detector will alert you of upcoming radar guns or sensors and give you enough time to safely slow down.
If you aren’t given enough of a warning, you’ll still be speeding when you pass the police officer or red light camera. As a result, you’ll still get a ticket.
Police radars operate on the wavelengths X, K, and Ka. A high quality radar detector will detect all three wavelengths.
If your radar detector doesn’t detect all three wavelengths, you may be at risk when certain radars are in use. For instance, your radar detector may detect a police officer using a radar gun, but not detect the radar from a red light camera. Or vice versa.
For instance, your radar detector may detect a police officer using a radar gun, but not detect the radar from a red light camera. Or vice versa. This may help you avoid some tickets, but it won’t keep you entirely safe.
With so many radar detectors on the market today, finding the right one can be a challenge.
But doing your research and shopping around is essential. Otherwise, you may get stuck with the opposite of a high quality radar detector, and end up still getting speeding tickets.
To help you find a high quality radar detector, it’s a good idea to start by reading reviews.
The information on the packaging of a radar detector is always going to be positive. Every manufacturer of radar detectors is going to try to convince you that their product is the best on the market.
But the reality is that many aren’t effective, and are just a waste of money.
Reviews of radar detectors from people who have actually used them are the best possible way to find the right radar detector for you!
While reading reviews, it’s important to look for indicators that the radar detector worked for different types of radars. Also, pay attention to reviews that say that a radar is very prone to false alarms. While this won’t lead to more speeding tickets or malfunctions, it can be very annoying for drivers and passengers.
While this won’t lead to more speeding tickets or malfunctions, it can be very annoying for drivers and passengers.
Finding unbiased reviews of radar detectors can be a challenge.
Many reviews may look unbiased but are actually from the radar detector manufacturers. As a result, the reviews are unlikely to be accurate.
If you want a high quality radar detector that actually works and helps protect you from speeding tickets, you need a review website that you can trust.
That’s where Avoid Radar comes in.
The unbiased reviews of Avoid Radar make it easier to find the right radar detector for you.
You’ll be able to easily separate the good from the bad. This makes it simple to figure out whether a radar detector is a high quality before you waste your money.
A high quality radar detector won’t be cheap. But choosing the cheapest radar detector on the market will cost you far more money over time.
Even one speeding ticket will likely cost you much more than even the most expensive radar detector available. Several speeding tickets and the costs of going to court will cost the same as several detectors.
Investing in a high quality radar detector from the start will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in tickets!
If you need help choosing a radar detector, contact us.
Are you a fan of radar detectors? These handy devices have been around for as long as radar speed guns and have served as a useful way to avoid getting a speeding ticket.
While commercial available and very accessible, you shouldn’t just purchase a radar detector and start using it. If you want to start using radar detectors, you may need to get up to date on new radar detector laws in the US. Some states are moving to completely ban these devices, while others are much more lenient.
We put together a guide on how to use radar detectors safely and legally in the United States. Check out this handy guide to understanding radar detector laws below!
A radar detector is an electronic device used by many drivers to see if local law enforcement is using a radar gun nearby to detect their speed. Essentially, radar detectors notify the driver to slow down before reaching the law enforcement officer with the radar gun to avoid getting a ticket.
Radar detectors are available for purchase all over the internet in varying qualities and prices. There is a big difference between radar detectors and radar/laser jammers (especially when it comes to legalities) and we will cover those differences later.
It’s pretty obvious why law enforcement would want to eradicate radar detectors through passing radar detector laws. With radar detectors, ticketing speeding vehicles become much more difficult.
Radar detectors are illegal on US military bases. You won’t be ticketed or arrested for using one, but you will be asked to remove the device until you leave the military base.
Federally, any commercial vehicle over 8,000 pounds is prohibited from using a radar detector– no matter what make or model you drive in any state.
However, in many states, using a radar detector is completely legal. In others, laws are significantly stricter.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a radar detector, live outside of a military base, and drive a car under 10,000 pounds, then it may be helpful to look into radar detector laws that are in place in your state. You might be surprised by what you find.
That’s a good question. Despite the fact that radar detectors are legal across many states, the use of one of these devices can come off as unethical. Why else would you use a radar detector if not to be able to speed as much as you like?
This doesn’t always have to be the case. Quotas have to be met and more often than not, many people receive speeding tickets upwards of $300 or more for going little more than five miles over the speed limit. Many think that these types of speeding tickets themselves are unethical.
Using a radar detector can help already safe drivers slow down enough to avoid any kind of bogus speeding ticket a law enforcement office could try to pin on them. Rather than be used to break the law, radar detectors can be used to protect law-abiding citizens from unethical punishments.
A laser or radar jammer is very different from a radar detector. A laser jammer is used to prevent police from obtaining a speed reading by “jamming” the laser gun used. A radar jammer is a device that creates radio signals that interfere with radar detection devices.
Under federal law, radar and laser jammers are illegal. Being caught with one could lead to a felony, a huge fine, and possible jail time.
The government has been cracking down more on catching citizens with jammers, too.
Enforcement Bureau Chief P. Michele Ellison had this to say several years ago on the subject: “Jamming devices create serious safety risks. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be intensifying our efforts through partnerships with law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who continue to violate the law. Through education, outreach, and aggressive enforcement, we’re tackling this problem head on.”
This guide can help you get an idea of what different radar detector laws are in different US states.
In the state of California, radar detectors are legal. However, there is a catch– they cannot be sitting or mounted on the inside of the car’s windshield.
This isn’t specifically because of the radar detectors themselves. In California, it is illegal to have any objects on the windshield do to driver vision concerns. You can definitely get a ticket if your radar detector is there.
In the state of Illinois, radar detectors are legal. Only private vehicles are allowed to use them, though.
If you’re caught with a radar detector in a commercial vehicle, you’ll be at risk for ticketing and possible confiscation. Confiscation is usually rare.
Like California, radar detectors are legal. They just cannot be mounted on or near the windshield due to visual obstruction of the driver. If you do mount your radar detector on your windshield, you’ll be at risk for a ticket but not much else.
Like Illinois, New Jersey allows private vehicles to mount and use radar detectors. Commercial vehicles are prohibited and illegally using a radar detector will result in a ticket and possible (although rare) confiscation.
Radar detectors are legal for private vehicles, but not for commercial vehicles. Repercussions include ticketing and possible confiscation.
Radar detectors are completely prohibited in the state of Virgina, no matter what weight car you operate. They are also illegal to sell in Virgina under radar detector laws.
Getting caught in Virgina with a radar detector can result in a ticket (regardless of whether or not you were speeding at the time) and your radar detector will likely be confiscated.
Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the US states with no restrictions on private or commercial cars. Federal law applies.
How was our guide to knowing the in’s and out’s of radar detector laws? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
The need for speed is real.
And if you have a car that can handle it and miles of open road, it’s utterly tempting to put lead in that foot of yours.
But you’re not going to get much of a thrill when those red and blue lights flare up behind you.
There are ways to ensure that you don’t get caught testing out the limits of your sweet ride. But if you’re not careful you could still end up caught.
Here are a few reasons why you should invest in something more than a bottom of the barrel radar detector.
Before you can know exactly why you need a radar detector, you need to know some basics.
The radar guns that cops use aren’t magic. They use the science of radio waves to detect how fast a vehicle is moving.
The device both transmits and receives radio waves. Similar to how a bat uses echolocation to transmit sound and receive it a radar gun sends out radio waves and records when they come back.
The frequency of the radio wave changes depending on how far away or how close a vehicle is when moving to or away from the gun.
The radar gun measures these changes and calculates how fast an object is moving.
Traditional detectors only passively detect these radio waves. And radio signals are everywhere. It has to tune into the specific signal put out by police radar guns. Which fortunately isn’t top secret information.
The same technology used by police to track cars is used in sports to measure the speeds of balls and pucks and other sports things.
Thus this technology is not something kept in a vault for nobody to understand.
Unfortunately, with traditional radar detectors, a cop measuring you from behind might not register until it’s too late.
Because of the invention of the radar detector, police have become inventive. A laser technology that detects variable distances now exists. And the police have it.
It’s called LIDAR, and it stands for Light Detection And Ranging.
You traditional detector cannot “see” light as light is a completely different frequency than radio.
There are only two defenses against LIDAR, a laser jammer and knowing the limitations of the technology.
A LIDAR can only detect the speed of a vehicle accurately up to 1000 feet or 1 kilometer. Anything farther away than that is indefensible in court.
So, if you can know where the police typically hide or can glean information on where they are with community connections, then you will be safe from LIDAR.
A laser jammer can defend against LIDAR, but a police officer will know you jammed his laser. He will then follow you like a hawk above prey for the rest of your ride.
You may not even be a speed demon. You might follow the speed limit most of your life.
But there are unfortunate circumstances where you might have to speed or you might accidentally speed. And ignorance is no protection from the law.
There are several reasons why you might want a high-quality radar detector whether you typically speed or not.
It’s quite well known that cops pay close attention to vehicles known for speeding. And by known for speeding we mean a prejudice as old as the roadster.
Corvettes, GTs, Ferraris, and anything popularly fast. Any sports car could be tagged in a police officer’s mind as “fast.” And if the car has a particularly large engine, with raw power behind that wheel, you may have to take some time to adjust to controlling the speed.
A lot of cars like this are designed so that you do not feel the speed until you are way above the speed limit. So getting a high-quality detector for your speed demon car is probably a good idea just in case.
If you’ve driven through New Mexico, you’ll know this problem well. You’ll hop on an unfamiliar highway and realize you forgot to look for the speed limit.
Now you’re stuck guessing for a good 20 miles or longer.
If you want to drive worry free on an unfamiliar highway, you might want to consider a Radar Detector for your vehicle. It might save you from having to confront a police officer in no man’s land.
It’s easy to zone out when driving long miles. And if you have to do it often, you run the risk of, like the example above, missing a speed limit sign.
Depending on local laws, a small town may not post a speed limit but once before you hit the local Barney Fife traffic stop behind the one bar in town.
And by then you’ll be hanging your head in shame.
You can avoid this risk by putting a high-quality detector in your car. Since it’s very likely officers will be using a LIDAR gun, you’ll know for a while that you’re coming up on a small town with an ambitious one-man show.
Depending on state laws, you might not have much longer before your license is revoked. If you’ve been caught too many times, it’s probably time to install that radar detector.
You will at least lessen your risk of getting caught if you just can’t keep that foot off the pedal.
Of course, if you already have a ticket, it’s too late for this one. But some detectors have GPS capabilities that measure and log your speed. You can use that information in court if you are wrongfully flagged for speeding.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you might need to install a detector in your vehicle.
Why would you put a radar detector in your car? Let us know in the comments below.
Perhaps you have just gotten a radar detector. Or, maybe you have used one for years and you wondered: how does this thing work anyway?
It is important to understand how radar detectors work when you own one.
It is enriching, but it also gives you the power to decide if the one you have is still effective and when it’s time to get a new radar detector.
In this article, we will understand what radar is and what it does. Then we’ll cover how this applies to police radar and your radar detector.
Let’s get started!
Radar, or Radio Detection and Ranging, is an object detection system. It can measure the distance to an object as well as the speed at which the object is moving.
To measure speed and distance, a radio transmitter and receiver are used. The transmitter sends out radio waves called radar signals in the desired direction.
Once the object is hit, the signals reflect back or scatter in numerous directions.
The signals which reflect are essential. They reflect back onto the receiver and provide the desired information about distance and speed.
Just like freeze dried food, Jeeps, and GPS, radar was initially developed for the military and then repurposed and rebranded for non-military institutions and citizens.
Police radar uses these radio waves to catch speeding drivers.
After World War II, radar was repurposed as police radar in the 1950s.
Police radar is built with the radio transmitter and receiver in one object. To properly read the speed of a car, police radar needs to be stationary.
So long as it is stationary, police radar can be placed almost anywhere to get an accurate reading.
An officer can use police radar from their vehicle, place it in a shrubbery, or hide it behind a civilian vehicle. Sometimes, the police do not need to be there at all as many precincts use traffic enforcement cameras (TEC) mounted over or on the side of the road.
The police radar transmitter sends out radar signals, typically short reaching signals like K and Ka, in their desired direction. When it hits a moving car, multiple signals reflect back to the receiver.
The reading from the police radar or traffic enforcement cameras provides your speed. If you are over the limit the officer will pursue you and ticket you or a picture of your license plate will be taken from the TEC and you’ll receive a ticket in the mail.
Your radar detector detects other radar signals. Ideally, those used by police radar.
Radar detectors began to be used by citizens in the 1970s. Your radio detector acts as a receiver, no transmitter needed. The signals transmitted by police radar cast a wide net.
Your radar detector catches these signals from that wide net. When you are alerted of the police radar presence near you, you can slow down before passing the police radar.
Radar detectors are imperfect, mostly as a result of other industries innovating their own technology.
For instance, in recent years the auto industry has created many cars which are programmed to avoid a collision and boast adaptive cruise control.
For these guidance systems to work, they send out radio waves at a specific frequency. Guess which ones?
The same frequencies that are used by police radar, most commonly K and Ka. This will render your radar detector useless.
Even automatic doors, like garages and grocery store entrances, can use the same signal.
What help is your radar detector to you if it alerts you of police radar, new cars, and automatic doors if it can’t tell you the difference between one and the others? No help at all.
There have been encouraging innovations to radar detectors in the last few years.
Several new models have been made which differentiate police radar from radar signals in newer vehicles.
New technology has been created and implemented which filters out the signals from collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control. Three companies leading the way are Escort, Valentine Research, and Stinger VIP.
1. Escort has identified the unique signatures of the guidance systems used in newer cars. They created a filtering algorithm which differentiates those signatures from police radar.
The alerts you receive from an Escort radar detector are much likelier to be signals from police radar.
Escort radar detectors are intuitive as well. Each time it identifies a guidance system signature, it takes note and adds it to the library of signatures.
When a driver performs a firmware update to their Escort radar detector, it will add these signatures ensuring that most of the alerts they receive are from police radar.
2. Valentine Research built upon Traffic Safety Rejection (TSR). This means that it receives K and Ka signals, but delayed. This filters out the majority of false alerts caused by guidance systems, but it does mean that you’ll have less time (a few seconds) to slow down for police radar.
3. Stinger VIP is not a radar detector but provides better results. This spectrum analyzer also identifies your own cars radar signals.
The Stinger VIP was developed as a car computer with a spectrum analyzer. It performs “sweeps” of radar frequencies used by police.
It also filters out radar signals given off by your own vehicle. You can drive confidently knowing that your radar detector is receiving all frequencies used by police radar and cancels out the signals from your own car.
If you have ever wondered how radar detectors work, now you know that there is a lot to know!
When you know how radar detectors work, you have the power to decide if the detector you have is still effective and when it’s time to get a new radar detector. There are a variety of detectors to choose from.
If you have any questions about how radar detectors work and radar detector related news, contact Avoid Radar.
Do you ever wonder about the accuracy of your radar detector?
Radar detector technology is ever-innovating. This industry has:
These steps forward are encouraging, however, the technology used by the auto industry and law enforcement continues to hamper radar detector effectiveness. So, how can you ensure that your detector is up to the challenge?
Read on to learn what provides an accurate reading from your radar detector.
An up-to-date radar detector will give you a more accurate reading.Today, using your outdated detector is pointless. Old radar detectors were designed to identify the frequencies used by police radars, X, K, and Ka.
This is bad for outdated radar detector users. As in the radar detector industry, the auto industry has made many innovations to its products.In the last few years, numerous cars have been produced which feature collision avoidance as well as adaptive cruise control systems. These features utilize the same frequencies as police radar to function.
As you drive with your outdated detector, it will let you know of police radars near you but it will also alert you about every new car on the road. It’s up to you to guess which is which.
This does not help you avoid police radar and it is annoying. Outdated detectors are just as helpful as not having a radar detector at all. Updating your detector is essential.
Newer detectors do their best to differentiate the signal produced by collision avoidance and cruise control systems from police radar.
None of these new detectors provide 100% accuracy, however, when they do alert you it’s much likelier that the frequency it’s reading belongs to police radar.
These newer radar detectors come with a variety of assistive features.
A factor which can affect the accuracy of your reading is the type of detector. Each detector type has certain strengths and features which will appeal to certain people based on their driving habits and their environment.
There are three types of detectors:
The corded detector comes out on top as the most effective, but if you want one radar detector for multiple cars or you are concerned about the robbery of items in your car there are viable options for you.
Another helpful feature is detector mode. Use the right detector mode at the right time and you will know that you have a more accurate reading.
There are two modes: city mode and highway mode.
Utilize city mode when you’re driving in town. City mode reduces the range for the frequency measured.
This means that you won’t get signals from police radars far away which wouldn’t affect you. This also means that frequencies used in your car and home, like automatic garage doors, won’t cause your radar detector to alert you either.
Utilize highway mode when you’re on the highway. This mode increases the range for the frequency measured.
On the highway, you drive a greater distance faster. Here, it is important that your radar can read further away.
Using each mode when appropriate provides you with the right alerts at the right time.
If you have worried that your readings are not accurate, it could be because the police radar being used is actually police laser.
The light beam from a laser is narrower than that from radar. This allows for precise aim and is part of why laser beams are considered to be more effective than radar.
If you do find out that the device being used in your locale is laser and not radar, invest in a laser detector.
A basic laser, a detector with one laser, can only detect signals from in front of you. It’s better than nothing but it doesn’t provide the comprehensive results you need when you’re on the road.
Advanced laser detectors, a detector with two lasers, read for laser signals from every direction.
You can drive confidently knowing that you are getting an accurate reading.
Metallic elements in or on your windshield can cause inaccurate readings.
Some cars are produced with metallic in the windshield. Unless you would like to replace your whole windshield, there is nothing you can do to regain the accuracy of your detector
Sometimes metallic elements are placed on the windshield: many film tints are commercially available for drivers to put on their windshield. People can unknowingly compromise the integrity of their radar detector when they get film tints applied.
Not all film tints have metallic elements. Doing your research before you buy and apply film tints can save you a lot of money and grief. You can have your film tint and detector, too.
You no longer have to wonder how accurate your radar detector probably ! You know what makes an effective detector for the task.
Using newer detectors will give you a more accurate reading and provide you with a defense against police radar and lasers.
Choosing the right detector type for your car and environment is important. Using the city mode or highway mode when appropriate will contribute to an accurate and helpful reading.
Considering alternative detectors and understanding the impediments to accuracy caused by your car is key.
Check out Avoid Radar for more information and advice about radar.