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What You Should Know About Radar Detectors

May 4, 2008
Motorists use a device to help them identify if their vehicle's speed is being monitored. This device is called a radar detector. It has the capacity to notify the driver if police radar is identifying its speed. Although it is legal in most states, it is still important to know more about radar detectors and the law governing it.

A detector is a radio receiver that gets frequency signals set off by police radar. This device's sensitivity levels vary. Some could detect signals from miles away while others can't. A detector's performance is measured by it ability to detect signals and ability to screen the kinds of signals to detect. A misconception about this device is that it has the ability to detect police and police cars. A detector is not designed for that; it is designed to identify the frequency signals from the police's radio unit.

The first radar was invented in 1970's when the speed limit was reduced. It has changed over the years to better detect signals. Right now, there are three types of detectors. These are the corded, cordless and remote units. The cordless units are run by batteries. The remote units on the other hand are permanently mounted in the vehicle. It is also the most expensive type of detector.

Knowing when your detector is most reliable and when it is not is one of the best ways to take advantage of this device. You can usually trust a detector when there is bad traffic congestion. It will most likely detect the signal sent by the police radar to capture the speed of the car near you. This will give you ample time to slow down.

That is not the case if traffic is free flowing. The police radar gun will easily identify your speed and your radar may not be able to detect it on time. If you are not following the right speed limit, you might not have enough time to slow down. Another downfall of a radar detector is it's incompetence to detect police laser gun. This is one of its weaknesses.

Although it is legal in most states except for military bases, Virginia and Washington D.C., it is prohibited on all commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. It is also illegal in other countries. It is banned in many areas of Australia, Belgium, Canada, and Malaysia among others.

Do not use radar detector in places where it is illegal. The police have a device that can detect if your vehicle has one. If caught you could pay a fine, the device will be seized or you might deal with both consequences. Aside from the radar detector, you should also take note of the states that prohibit the use of other vehicular devices such as laser and radar jammers. These states are; Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois and Washington, D.C.

These detectors can protect you from getting speeding tickets but it will not immune you from getting one. It can help you become a smarter driver though. But still, the best way to stay out of trouble is by following speed limits. It is the most effective and least expensive way.
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