Reader Question: Instant-on Radar?

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

Zane asks: I have a very effective Escort redline radar detector. Best detector I’ve ever owned. Problem is I got hit yesterday and not once but twice. They used instant radar to get me (bastards). Is there anything on the market that can save me or is this something I have to learn to live with?

My reply: Unfortunately, instant-on radar is very hard to detect – before it detects you.

Unless it detects the car ahead of you first.

This is the key to defeating- or at least, avoiding – an instant-on radar ticket.

An armed government worker will focus his eyes on a car he thinks is “speeding.” This will usually be the lead car coming down the road. Then he will target that car with his instant-on radar. As his radar “paints” the car, your detector will detect the signal. Too late for him, but time enough for you to slow down. Besides which, the AGW is now on the heels of the car he painted.

If you are the only car on the road and there is an AGW running instant-on, you’re screwed. You haven’t even got the defense – in court – that it was another car the radar detected as the “speeding” car .

There are jammers, of course. But these are extremely illegal because they are transmitters rather than passive receivers . If you go this route, be careful. You might “get away” with 45 in a 35, which is hard to establish visually. But if you’re doing 100 in a 65,  the AGW isn’t going to stay in his cutout and leave you be just because his detector was flummoxed by your jammer.

I also recommend the best detector of all – situational awareness. Never rely solely on any electronic detection system. Use your eyes – and your brain. Pay close attention to the ebb and flow of traffic; of the way other drivers in your vicinity are reacting. If someone up ahead slows down for no apparent reason, there’s good reason to suspect there might be an AGW up ahead.

I also try to drive in a pack. So as to not stand out.

Very sorry about your pieces of payin’ paper. This business of legalized theft – the extorting of money from people who’ve caused no harm to anyone else or their property – is an outrage.

I wish more people would be.

. . .

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

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  1. I’m surprised you don’t know the technical term of art for the car you follow at a distance for ticket protection: A rabbit.

    When you’re driving along as fast as you dare, then someone blows past you, that is a rabbit because you can’t resist the urge to start chasing it any more than a greyhound at the dogtrack can.

    The best cop evasion tool available now is Waze which offers crowd-sourced reports of cop sitings in real time. It is remarkably accurate, the only caveat is you must have data reception. For example, I15 from Nevada to Idaho has speed limits of 80mph (shockingly reasonable!) but they are strictly enforced (85 is a likely ticket). With Waze I will see every single cop on my phone at least 2 minutes before real world.

    I’m sure cops hate this so much. Which is why I love it.

    • Hi BG,

      I’m hip! I probably should have mentioned “rabbit” in the article. I didn’t because I hate to see anyone get “busted” by AGWs on on these manufactured “offenses.”

  2. Don’t run in the inside lane and if you see a car on the shoulder slow down. Driving a ranch truck or a vehicle they have never seen speed more than 5 mph is a good thing too.

    I have beaten radar by braking REALLY hard. It won’t lock on you. I even did this taking my dad to the hospital a 140 miles away. He as in a lot of pain but he laughed as we passed the DPS sitting on the shoulder. I asked what was so funny. He said That trooper was beating the hell out of his radar unit(that always fixes electronics). Of course I nearly slung my mother out of the back seat into the windshield but she did set back and not lean on the front seat. That was good for everybody.

    I don’t mean to seem mysogynistic but women, esp. older women, can talk all day and not say anything. My mother would drone on for half an hour and then ask my dad and I something about what she’d been saying. We’d be clueless. She’d tell us we were both unaware and losing our minds. “You’re just like your daddy”. It was supposed to be unflattering. We’d nod…..uh-huh.


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