How Effective Are Radar Detectors and Why Should You Use It?
Just how effective are radar detectors when it comes to stopping traffic tickets from flying in through your door every time you feel like flooring the pedal? Not a few drivers use this device to get away with their speeding habits which can really pose a danger to society, especially those that are around them.
This is primarily the reason why law enforcement agencies use radar guns to monitor speed to keep everyone safe. However, several individuals and motorists find the imposed limit to restricting and finding ways to go around it without getting caught has been their motivation in determining how effective are radar detectors.
What Are Radar Detectors?
Radar detectors are electronic devices that most motorists and drivers use to monitor and detect if their speed is being monitored by radar guns that are often used by law enforcement agencies. Radar detectors are designed to blend in with the dashboard while still being able to notify the driver to slow down when needed.
Radar guns, on the other hand, are electronic devices that use the principle of the Doppler effect to detect and determine the speed of moving vehicles. This device can be hand-held, placed atop a dashboard or remain static on a lamp post or a speed detecting column. These guns can also be used in determining speed in spectator sport like baseball and racing.
Advantages of Using Radar Detectors
Radar detectors can save time and money that you would usually use to attend court proceedings to get your license back if you’re caught anyways. Imagine getting caught, and you’d have to spend money on documentation, as well as a lawyer that may get you off with a lighter sentence. Couple that with all the fees and fines, as well as other related expenses, which do not come cheap.
Summarizing these two advantages of using a radar detector would make you realize what the greatest advantage of using such a device is; no hassle. It frees you from all that stress that you are bound to get if you are not alerted on time that there are some folks monitoring speed levels and such.
How Do Radar Detectors Work?
Radar detectors work much like how your AM/FM radio works. It receives radio signals that are scattered all over the air and converts it into to a visible signal that alerts you if a source that runs the same frequency is trying to avoid us nearby. Radar guns use the same frequencies to detect speeding vehicles and radar detectors are attuned to that frequency, with some models being able to compensate for slight variations.
However, radio wave frequencies are limited, and some non-law enforcement institution and devices have taken to using the same frequency which can lead to false alarms and notifications; sometimes leading to accidents or tickets. These said devices that use the same frequency include adaptive radar cruise controls which are found in newer car models, as well as automatic doors found in supermarkets and hotels.
To combat this, some newer radar detector models now come with software that can filter these extraneous sources and provide better and more accurate alerts. However, the police all the other traffic enforcement agencies are keeping up with the game and have begun moving to a newer technology that is harder to detect.
Radar Detector Bands
As previously mentioned, radar detectors are receivers that filter through the different electromagnetic waves that litter the air around us and detect the band to which they belong under. Of course, these devices use software that is attuned to what most law enforcement agencies use, so it can alert you as soon as a signal under that radio wave band is detected broadcasting towards you.
There are different radio wave bands that radar detectors can detect, and this includes:
- The X BandThe original band which is radar speed guns. This band is usually between 10.5-10.55 GHz, and it is considered to be the easiest band to detect, even from a distance.
- The K BandThis is the most widely used bands and run between 24.05-24.25 GHz, and the waves sent off through this band is low and has a small wavelength compared to the others on this list.
- The Ka-BandThis band is a superband of sorts as it is composed of three other radio wave bands; the basic Ka-band, Wide Ka-Band, and the Super Wide Ka-Band. The combination of all three makes it more difficult to detect, and it operates using the frequencies between 33.4-36.0 GHz.
- The Ku BandThis band is mostly used for European countries and are often used for satellite communications. This operates at 13.45 GHz and is quite easy to detect, unlike the Ka-Band.
How Effective Are Radar Detectors?
Given that law enforcement units now use newer technology like Lidar, this means that radar guns are slowly being phased out and replaced with guns that are equipped with Lidar. LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and it functions by illuminating a target with laser light and then measuring the reflection with a sensor.
Given that LIDAR uses a focused beam of infrared or laser light, this means that the most common target is a specific spot on a moving vehicle, primarily license plates. This makes it even harder to detect as radar detectors won’t be able to detect it as much, especially with all the interference coming from other sources.
So, are radar detectors still effective?
It’s always been a game of cat and mouse when it comes to avoiding tickets and thinking of ways to further avoid it. Lidar and radar guns are used together to apprehend speeding motorists, but detectors are constantly evolving as well with increasing bandwidth detection and even LIDAR detection as well.
Its effectivity is also dependent on the kind of road traffic and terrain that you are driving in. City driving can present problems like false alarms with all the automatic doors while suburban driving presents the danger of having too many speed towers trying to apprehend the usual speeding suspects.