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Should radar detectors be illegal?


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  • Should radar detectors be illegal?

    I just saw an ad for this product:

    Regardless of whether or not it works (I seriously doubt it), I was wondering what the general opinion is on radar detectors. Here in WI they are legal and, for the life of me, I can't understand why. I mean, here's a product whose sole purpose is to help someone break the law, and that's OK?

    That being said, I still like playing the Radar Detector Game. That's when I'm running stationary radar and I see a car with a radar detector going away from me.
    Flip radar on, watch brake lights go on.
    Flip radar off, watch brake lights go off.
    Flip radar on, watch brake lights go on.
    Flip radar off, watch brake lights go off.

    My record is 7 times for one car.
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    Although I've been to our department's 40 hour radar school, I don't use radar. In my opinion, the radar devices we use for traffic enforcement are simply too prone to error. (Laser devices, on the other hand, are very accurate and super cool.) Perhaps that is why I don't think that radar detectors should be illegal.

    On the purely pragmatic side, I think that your brake light game provides another very good reason why radar detectors should not be illegal. When it comes right down to it, the things just don't work until after the radar signal has already bounced off of the motorist's vehicle. At that point, it is too late because the radar device has probably already registered the speed of the car. If somebody wants to shell out good money for a device that lets them know that they are about to get a ticket, more power to them.

    Even if the detector works in time to prevent a citation, the driver is forced to slow to the legal speed limit. Thus, driving safety is improved without the issuance of a citation.

    I sometimes see California Highway Patrol Officers using radar on the freeways. With four lanes of traffic going each way, I frankly don't see how they can be certain which vehicle they are registering. I've done the math and, it seems to me, the radar beam width is simply too wide for this kind of application.


    • #3
      I've said it before and I'll say it again:

      VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE is the GOAL of NC's RADAR speed enforcement program, NOT citations. If they slow down, we have accomplished our goals.

      If I do stop someone with a detector (since I use standby mode) it's automatic ticket, whereas I'm about 50% for everyone else.

      As far as I'm concerned, they should "outlaw" them, but I don't worry one way or ta' other...

      Jammers are illegal in NC, but I've yet to see one that worked.

      [ 09-25-2002, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: SGT Dave ]
      People have more fun than anybody.


      • #4
        Doesn't bother me one bit. When I walk up to the car and see the radar detector on the dash, and the driver asks me for a break, I tell them, "Well, that radar detector gave you a warning, probably lots of them, so why should I?"

        As far as Underdog's post about running radar in heavy LA traffic, I don't find it to be a problem. The radar is supposed to be used only to verify your visual speed estimations, and in such cases I'm looking for people who are going much faster than everybody else.


        • #5
          Well, they are illegal here, and I don't miss what I can't have!
          If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?


          • #6
            Hey everyone,

            Here's my stand on the radar detector situation. I don't think that people need them, because if they're not speeding, then why waste the money to get one? Whenever I travel with my brother out on the highway (speed limit 100km/h), he usually does the following;

            -If the driver is going between 100-110 km/h, he just doesn't pay any attention to them

            -If the driver is going between 111-121 km/h, he will either flash his lights to warn them, or give them a hand signal to slow down

            -If the driver is going over 122 km/h, he will pull them over and warn them if they have no previous offences, or ticket them if they have previous offences

            And that's my opinion on the matter.....



            • #7
              Should be illegal for the reason you said - they're only used to break the law. Actually, that's not entirely correct, they're only used to OBEY the law.

              Went through the drive-thru at a McDonald's one time & the vehicle ahead of me had a radar detector on the dash. I was in an unmarked car but had a hand-held radar with me. I picked it up & aimed it toward the vehicle & watched the little red light come on. The driver & passanger started looking around but never looked back. I picked up the gun & again put it on the vehicle. The driver reached over & adjusted the radar detector & I could see him shrug his shoulders as if he was telling the passanger he didn't know why it was doing that. I popped him again & the driver reached over & turned it off & then on again. By now the passanger must have been dogging him about it because he seemed frustrated. Once more I zapped him & this time he reached over & jerked it off the dash. The passanger was laughing so hard he couldn't sit up straight & the driver was obviously upset. I still smile when I think about that.


              • #8
                I don't care if they're legal or not. It won't change a thing unless there is a driver out there who can hear his tone (over the radio, of course) and get slowed down in miliseconds. The only people they really help out are the ones selling them.

                Like has already been said, compliance is what counts. Of course the knucklehead who relies on his detector to the point that he jams on his brakes the automatic doors sets his detector off isn't exactly being very safe,either .


                • #9
                  They are a waste of money. Like already said, the radar has detected their speed before their detector starts beeping. From what I understand (was at the CHP yesterday) their radars can actually track multiple vehicles at one time. It's up to the officer which one he gets...mainly due to the threat it has on the road.


                  • #10
                    I think radar detectors are ok. The people are fun to watch as they go speeding past and I see them a few miles later with a squad behind them. LOL I feel if you need to speed and think that a radar detector is gonna protect you then waste the monies. LOL


                    [ 09-26-2002, 05:05 AM: Message edited by: klar ]
                    Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.


                    • #11
                      Detectors are one thing, jammers are a totally different topic.

                      Jammers are usually illegal, because they actually involve transmitting on a frequency that the user is not licensed to transmit on.

                      "In my opinion, the radar devices we use for traffic enforcement are simply too prone to error."

                      They depend on operator skill. If an operator is not going to practice and get good at it, then they shouldn't use them. If they are going to practice, then radar is not prone to error at all.


                      • #12
                        I'll ticket anyone for speeding that has a radar detector. In my opinion I beleve that the sole purpose of a detector is to break the law. No one has yet been able to give me a good reason to having one other than to speed. I even had one person tell me, when I worked for a small department, that now that she had a detector I'll never get her for speeding. Got her a week later. She took it to court and lost.
                        "There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And it comes with the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke


                        • #13
                          if i had a nickel for every speeding ticket i've written to someone with a radar detector this year alone, i could probably retire 5 years early. they are useless. if you are good with a radar, you can easily position yourself in a location where a detector cannot get you. if you shoot from behind as they pass, when it goes off it will be too late. i routinely bounce the radar signal off my sideview mirror. this way i can sit against a building and bust them when they are too close for the detector to give any warning. the hold button is great.

                          another thing i love about detectors....if i see one on your dash, i will follow you around turning my radar off and on to see how long it takes you to try and very discreetly turn it off. hours of fun.


                          • #14
                            I remember a Doonesbury where someone said that the radar detector was a form of civil disobedience in action against laws that the general populace find onerous.

                            I'm not sure what any of that means, but it sounds pretty cool... [Wink]

                            I had a radar detector for while, and I know that it paid for itself at least twice; going around a corner the LEO popped the car in front of me, the detector buzzed, and I had time to slow down. On the other hand, I later discovered a method that works far better; I slowed down. When I did that, I suddenly discovered that I never got pulled over. Go figure...

                            If the detector doesn't help, as many have said, then it's just a scam on the public. Caveat Emptor; if the people want to get ripped off, let them.

                            My .02
                            I haven't felt this good since we stole the 2000 elections!--Ned Flanders


                            • #15
                              Like Sig220man said: Use of radar is for confrimation of your visual observation

                              A good radar operator will not have a problem tagging radar detector users.

                              If you have radar, automatice ticket. I don't seek them out but if they have one after I light them up, here ya go, payment info is on the back.
                              Do your best, do what is right


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