Reader Question: Radar Detector Use Where Illegal?

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

Troy asks: I’ve noticed you have a radar detector perched on your dashboard as you make your video rants; aren’t they illegal in your state? Don’t you worry about getting caught?

My reply: Yes, radar detectors are illegal in my state – Virginia – which I think is the only state where they are still illegal.

But this is a good thing, in a way.

Because radar detectors are illegal in my state – and most people are rule-obeying Clovers – the armed government workers in my state use their speed radar differently. Since the assumption is that most people are driving blind – so to speak – and cannot “see” the speed trap up ahead (radar being invisible to the human eye) they will generally just leave their speed radar on all the time – which give me the advantage.

My V1 (highly recommend; I’ve been using it for more than a decade and it has saved me literally thousands of dollars in speed tickets and insurance rape) picks up the radar in ample time for me to slow to legality and thus avoid a roadside mulcting.

I unplug it, too, as soon as I hear the telltale squeal (its actually a beep) as a just-in-case the AGW running speed radar has a radar detector detector. In my state, the AGWs can confiscate radar detectors; but if they don’t detect it … you’re home free.

No radar detectors is foolproof, of course. It is imperative to be judicious and maintain situational awareness at all times.

But  my little buddy keeps me out of their clutches 90-plus percent of the time. I used to get mulcted at least once a year. I now get mulcted once every three or four.

The V1 has paid for itself many times over.

To return to our story.

In other states, where radar detectors are legal, the AGWs are more likely to use instant-on radar. They target a “speeder” visually, but don’t turn on their radar until the prey is close. Your detector will detect the burt of Ka band, but the chirp comes to late – you are already caught.

The only defense against instant-on is to not be first in line. If you are the second car in line, your detector will pick up the Ka burst in time for you to avoid being mulcted.

Same goes for laser.

. . .

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

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  1. Not much you can do about laser, but the reality is that it doesn’t work very well for them either. By the time they see you, you’ve seen them. And they have to be very precisely pointed at the vehicle, which means they require a lot of training and practice. Usually they have to work in teams, with the laser operator and chase vehicles down the road. I have seen this setup where the laser operator will sit on an overpass and hit cars as they go by, and see the pursuit vehicles just down the road.

    The “best” system they’ve got is VASCAR, especially because it relies on the accuracy of the officer’s button-pushing skills. And it has no emissions to monitor.


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