Would you go over the speed limit if you knew you wouldn’t get caught? For many, investing in a radar detector enables just that – even if we obviously don’t recommend speeding. The cop detector industry is expected to be valued at $ 20.6 billion by 2023. As you can imagine, there are many radar detector options in the market.
We dive into everything you should know about radar detectors, including how they work and whether they’re legal.
- 1 Must-Know Definitions of Car Radar Detectors
- 2 What are radar detectors?
- 3 Do radar detectors work?
- 4 How do radar detectors work?
- 5 Radar warning laws
- 6 Types of radar detectors
- 7 Do speed cameras work with speed cameras?
- 8 Are radar detectors worthwhile?
Must-Know Definitions of Car Radar Detectors
To understand how radar detectors work, it is important to first understand the difference between devices and the language used around them.
What are radar detectors?
Radar detectors are small devices that drivers build into their cars to detect the presence of radar, which is used by law enforcement to detect the speed of cars. When a radar detector detects radio waves emitted by a radar gun, the driver is alerted. It is used to warn drivers to adjust their speed if it is measured by a nearby police officer.
Do radar detectors work?
It is relative whether radar detectors work. It depends on the type of device used and the device the judicial officer is using. As technology advances, there is a push and pull between the radars and the detectors. For example, radar cameras can only be recognized by radar detectors of the 4 star or 5 star category. Although it is considered obsolete in most of the United States, some police radar weapons still work on X-band radar.
How do radar detectors work?
For radar detectors to work, there must be a radar nearby. We’re going to go over how a radar detector works, starting with the way it’s triggered – the radar gun.
The policeman aims the radar gun at the speed checked road and can determine the speed of any vehicle passing by.
This process is done in a flash, so the police office can track your speed almost immediately.
This is where the radar detector can help. A driver can tell if law enforcement agencies are using a speed camera if a speed camera is installed in their car.
If a police officer stops behind you and then switches on his radar gun, the radio detector will not help any further because the police officer has already recorded your speed.
Avoid getting a traffic ticket by slowing down before a police officer sees your radar readout.
Radar warning laws
Radar detectors are nothing new. In fact, they have been around since 1968. However, the legislation around them has evolved over the years.
Legislation on owning a radar detector is established at the state level, with almost every state allowing passenger cars to have radar detectors. The only states and counties that do not allow radar detectors are Washington DC and Virginia. However, not every state allows commercial vehicles to use radar detectors as US Department of Transportation law prohibits them.
Owning a radar jammer or device that disrupts law enforcement radar weapons and prevents police from getting accurate readings is a whole different story. While there are nine states that have made it illegal to own a radar jammer, using a radar jammer can have serious effects in any state in the United States
For some reason, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has prohibited the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of interfering device for safety reasons. Because of this, you won’t see radar jammers in advertisements or on retailer shelves.
What is the result of getting caught with a radar jammer?
If you get caught on a state highway regardless of your state, the penalties are stiff – up to a fine of $ 50,000 and / or five years in prison. There are 9 states that have made radar jammers illegal: California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington DC
Types of radar detectors
Before making a purchase, it is a good idea to decide which of the two types of radar detector you would like – a dashboard-mounted radar detector or a long-range radar detector.
A radar detector mounted on the dashboard or window is secured by suction cups and can be moved from one car to another. This can be a great option for those looking to share the device or temporarily transfer it to a rental car.
Long-range radar detectors are hidden and built right into your car. While the dashboard-mounted radar detector contains all the parts in one unit, the remote radar detector has the antenna, the speakers and is displayed in various places in the car so that it is integrated into the vehicle. Drivers usually choose a long distance radar detector when they don’t want police officers to see it and avoid theft.
Do speed cameras work with speed cameras?
Many law enforcement agencies have begun replacing police speed traps with speed cameras, which are a lightweight, easy to install, and inexpensive way to catch speeders. Speed cameras take a picture of your vehicle when you are over the speed limit and ultimately capture the color, make and model of your vehicle and license plate. After that, a violation will be sent to your home address.
Speed cameras work with a K or Ka band with low power. Let’s examine the difference between each type of tape and how it relates to radar detectors.
What is a Ka band?
This is the most advanced type of radar band frequency on the market today used by law enforcement agencies. Ka bands work with radio waves between 33.4 GHz and 36.0 GHz. The high frequencies make it difficult for radar detectors to spot them unless it’s a higher-rated, newer device. If a radar detector picks up a Ka-band, it is likely law enforcement as it is uncommon for other devices to broadcast the frequency.
What is a K-band?
The K band is a level below the Ka bands, which operate on radio waves between 18 GHz and 27 GHz. Radar cannons operating on K-bands make it difficult for radar detectors to pick up the frequency from a long distance, so high quality radar detectors are important so that drivers can be warned.
What is an X-band?
The X-band is the lowest level of radio waves operating between 8.0 GHz and 12 GHz. This type of radio wave is mostly discontinued in the United States, but in some rural areas and some states, such as Ohio and New Jersey, law enforcement agencies are known to still use the X-band.
Do your research and consult an expert before investing in a speed camera detector if you want it to detect speed cameras.
Are radar detectors worthwhile?
The best advice we’ve come up with to avoid getting caught for overspeeding is, «Don’t accelerate.» We don’t quite know what you’re looking for, but we are weighing the possibility of getting caught with a radar detector or radar jammer ( if you are in an illegal condition) to decide if it is worth installing one in your car.
Download our infographic for a snapshot of the mechanics of radar detectors.
Sources: How Things Work | The news wheel