View Poll Results: The use of radar detectors

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  • I use one on most roadtrips

    0 0%
  • I have never used one, nor intend to purchase one

    2 100.00%
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Radar Detector

  1. #1
    veebee Guest

    Default Radar Detector

    It's time I invested in a good radar detector (no jammer as they are illegal in CA)

    As a chronic violator (aggravated violator) of speed limits, I run the risk of getting arrested and having the car impounded all the time.

    Would appreciate your recommendations....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Veebee,

    in the absence of our great manitou :-), our moderator Bob, I will just paste one of his many useful comments he made in an earlier post replying to someone who was thinking about investing in a radar detector :


    Radar detectors work in some circumstances, not in others. An officer will typically find a place beside a highway where he will surprise traffic rounding a bend, or topping a hill. The radar gun is in a standby mode while he waits, and does not emit any signal for a detector to pick up. When he sees a car come into view, the officer does a quick visual estimate of its speed -- and if he or she thinks that vehicle is speeding, he will point and shoot the radar gun to verify the estimate. At that point, everyone else approaching will know there is radar working in the vicinity -- but the chances are good they're safe anyway, because if the cop is any good at visual estimates, and most of them are, then he's already got his next customer picked out and is in pursuit.

    Situations where this could still work to your benefit are where several officers are working an area with a couple of radar units, or in cases where the vehicle he WAS looking at really wasn't speeding (or not speeding ENOUGH), so he skips that stop and you're the next guy in line -- you would know the cop was there perhaps in enough time to get the speed off before you come within range -- or maybe not.

    I'll leave it to you whether it is worth investing cash in a detection unit. But if you do, make sure you get one that covers all the radar bands and laser detectors too, because you'll find all of these in use. Keep in mind that not all officers use detectable beams for finding speeders. All a good cop needs is a known distance and a stopwatch, or a VASCAR unit. If he times you over 5 or 10 miles, the resulting citation is nearly impossible to beat (because you cannot say the speed was a momentary bit of inattention, or an "accident.")

    Now, you might be wondering why someone up to his neck in law enforcement and traffic safety education would give you all of this really useful information... the fact is, if I were a betting man, I'd always put my money on the SURE bet. And in this game, the odds are with law enforcement, a fact I've seen confirmed time and again over 15 years of experience! These guys are top notch. As long as your speed isn't so great as to endanger others, and you have the money to pay the fines and the greatly increased insurance costs, then welcome to "the game." Bob


    I personally once thought about buying one, even though it is illegal to even possess one where I live, but finally, I decided it was not worth it since the amount to pay if you get caught is at least 4 times more expensive than a speed ticket itself!:-)

    Gen

  3. #3
    veebee Guest

    Default

    Thanks. When will we learn that Law Enforcement always get their man?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    Personally, I find myself mixed on this subject.

    On one hand, I think radar detectors can be quite beneficial on the "open road", giving a heads-up to the driver who is, perhaps, straying from the established rules.

    On the other hand, in traffic or congested areas, I find little benefit in trusting these units, and rather trust instincts. In these situations, I find it safer to blend with the herd. Yes, there are places where the speed limit is quite low for conditions - barring the Interstates, anything above 45mph is rare near where I live. Most speed limits are 30mph - 35mph. Not sticking out like a sore thumb is key here...the average speed hovers around 5-8mph above the posted limit. I'll take it to avoid forking money over to the general fund.

    Having a radar detector didn't help the last two times I was ticketed (fortunately, it's been awhile). I have changed my driving style, undoubtedly because I changed my main vehicle, but because the insurance costs and aggravation just aren't worth it.

    Just try not to be "their man".

  5. #5

    Default Gut feeling

    Here in Canada, particullarly in the Province of Ontario, speed limits are too slow especially along the major artery of Highway 401 (100 km/hr) from the Widsor/Detroit boarder to the Quebec boarder.

    Even though I own a radar detector, which are illegal to operate in Ontario (not to own) I find that using one, gives a driver a false sense of "safety" and therefore you tend to drive much faster. With out a radar detector a driver is left to his/her gut feeling on where an officer may be and the majority of the time, it is your gut that is right. So I'm in agreement with TimboTa.

    Another benefit for not using a detector is that it will make you focus much more on your driving and heighten your awarness of your surroundings. For example looking farther up the road way, not only for potential radar traps but for potiental road hazards.

    Using common sense will benefit you more than relying on a detector.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Good Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Sportscar driver
    Even though I own a radar detector, which are illegal to operate in Ontario (not to own) I find that using one, gives a driver a false sense of "safety" and therefore you tend to drive much faster. With out a radar detector a driver is left to his/her gut feeling on where an officer may be and the majority of the time, it is your gut that is right. ..Another benefit for not using a detector is that it will make you focus much more on your driving and heighten your awarness of your surroundings. For example looking farther up the road way, not only for potential radar traps but for potiental road hazards.
    Using common sense will benefit you more than relying on a detector.
    I agree, I have often thought it would be cool to try one, but I think keeping a sharp mind is the best defense. Good points.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    As a chronic lead-footer, I've often considered getting a radar detector. But, in my area, most officers use the point-and-shoot method that Moderator Bob describes anyway. I figure a radar detector is going to be useless most of the time.

    So, I tend to go with the fastest of the herd. I get in the left lane and zip along as fast as the herd in that lane are moving. I am VERY conscious of watching in my rearview mirror for faster cars and always get out of the way of cars coming up on me quick to let them pass. Nothing worse than someone blocking the fast lane, is there? Anyway, there have been times when dozens of cars in the left lane are going as much as 15mph over the speed limit. I figure, in these instances, that they're not going to ticket all of us and I just "go with the flow" (the fast flow that is) and hope for the best.

    If I'm on a highway with limited traffic, I'll go with the flow until some speed demon comes along. (They always do eventually). I'll let them get ahead of me at least 1/4 of a mile and then I'll set my speed to match their's. I hope that any officer watching for speeder will put their lights on and take off after that guy giving me a chance to slow down and let them take the heat.

    I also determine whether or not I will speed much based on traffic congestion, weather, and road conditions. Sometimes it's just not safe to go faster.

    In 30 years of driving, I've only had 2 speeding tickets and both times were when I broke these rules I use.

  8. Default

    I have a detector in CA, and a couple of times, it has saved my "bacon." The speed limits on the interstates and highways here are too low, and like a lot of people, I tend to go 10mph or so above the limit. With drivers here, if you're not going 75-80 on the highways, you'll get run over. Even the big rigs are going 65-70 when their speed limit is supposed to be 55.

    Like others, I will usually go with the flow, but on some of the less traveled highways, where if you're not watching the speedometer, you can be doing 80 before you know it. That's when a detector to my way of thinking comes in handy.

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