Latest Reader Question: Radar Detectors

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Brian asks: Can you send me a copy of any law prohibiting use of radar detectors? (As cited in your recent piece). I drive a Porsche, and have used a radar detector for 20+ years. Thank you, I enjoy your writing.

My reply: Virginia (and DC, IIRC) still have a law on the books outlawing the use of radar detectors. Here’s the relevant VA legalese. Everywhere else in the country, it’s not prohibited.

I am a Virginia resident and glad about detectors being illegal. It works to my advantage. Armed government workers (the uniformed cretins who use radar to harass and collect) assume most people don’t have detectors. Therefore, they tend to be more sloppy about the use of their radar. Some have (and use) “instant on” radar, which was designed specifically to foil radar detectors. But – in my experience – for the most part, they use “always on” K and Ka band, which (if you have a detector) gives you a heads-up in plenty of time to reduce speed and fly under the radar. 

Key things: You must be ready to unplug your unit at a moment’s notice, in order to avoid possible detection.

My Valentine1 has proximity indicators; if the radar-running armed government worker is nearby, I unplug. Assuming other cars are in your orbit, there is no way the armed government worker can determine which car has the detector – assuming it’s off.

I also mount mine “low profile/stealth.” Rather than use the suction cups or sun visor clip – which makes what you’ve got obvious, even from a distance – I use sticky tape on the underside of my V1 to attach it to the top of the dashboard. It is now effectively invisible from any distance greater than 10 or so yards away and easy to quickly snatch it off the dashboard, unplug and stow it under the seat or in the center console – wherever, just so it’s out of sight in case you have to deal with an armed government worker. As at one of those East German-style “checkpoints” we now have in this “free” country.

If you operate at night, you may want to buy the optional remote display, which V1 offers. Otherwise, an armed government worker may see the red indicator lights and “bust” you for attempting to avoid his hands (on behalf of the government) in your pocket.

PS: While it is illegal to use a detector in VA, there are no “points” assigned if caught; just a fine. Also, while they may temporarily take the detector as “evidence,” they are required to return it to you.

Hope this was helpful!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Wouldn’t it be easier to use a detector that wasn’t detectable? I’ve seen installation(obviously eric can’t use)that had their readouts somewhere in the gauge cluster and a switch labelled as something else with the unit itself hidden in body work for the most part. I realize everyone can’t use that. A couple times in Va. I had enough of the public screaming about a detector on the dash(no dectector detectors then)I started using a Kleenex box. Then all they cussed was my mere presence. How dast I ply the roads in Va. with Tx. plates.

    Got damn yankees. As they’d say, Look at all that chrome and fancy lights. Hell, I had virtually no chrome and just a few more lights than required in Tx. It’s a way to not get a ticket for that single light being out since you can clean and inspect your lights and get 2 miles down the road and have one out. Now O/O are hedging their bets with multiples of every color all the way down the trailer and on the tractor. Which light? Which light are you speaking of? So they just don’t jack with you and wait to get you at the scale house. Damn, I can’t seem to type for shit. I’d better get a shot of bourbon.


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