RE: Worth it?
Planning a speed-run from NC to CA and was pondering whether I should fork over $300 for a radar detector. Any comments or feedback would be appreciated!
By all means...
Be sure to speed through Arizona! My salary is paid 100% by speeding ticket revenues, so I appreciate your contributions! :)
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
For all radar detectors owners
You should know that radar detectors are prohibited in Virginia and Washington, DC. Policemen apparently use radar detector detectors in these 2 States. Also, radar jammers are prohibited in Nebraska, Virginia, Utah, Minnesota, California, Oklahoma and Washington D.C.
In Canada, radar detectors are only allowed in Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. Everywhere else, it is illegal not only to USE one but even to POSSESS one. It will be seized if a policeman catches you with it and you could be fined up to ..... 1 000$CAD. In these Provinces and Territories, radar detectors are only available on the black market (usually around 300$CAD -- No I don't have one:)) and you buy them at your own risk.
I hate to admit it...
But on a recent trip through California, I found out that apparently those speed limit signs on the sides of roads are mere decorations. From The northern border on I-5 to Blythe on I-10, I was either being tailgated, passed, or verbaly abused for my mere 5 mph over the posted. Everyone else was driveing 80, 90.... 120! Even the CHP gave me a dirty look when I was doing the speed limit and they passed me without lights at over 130. i.e. If traffic arround you is going the speedlimt, you should to. If everyone else is going 90... although its quite stupid, but hey, mob mentality can buy you some cover. (I do not reccoment or endorse the act of speeding, by the way).
Going with the flow
It's up to you, I guess, but traffic courts are FULL of people who say they "were just going with the flow."
Personally, I stay to the right and out of their way -- and take all the dirty looks they want to give. Let 'em speed. I fear for a people who profess to rule themselves, but refuse to obey their own laws. That's my opinion, and I fully understand there are millions who disagree. Bob
In the east
same thing for areas such as NYC, Baltimore, Philly and Washington. A guy on a bridge in Baltimore pulled in my lane, I had to go on the shoulder, and as you know shoulders on bridges are pretty narrow, I almost hit the side wall at 70. Of course, I was really pissed off and used some explicit gestures (I shouldn't have:-) and the guy seemed to be even more angry at me...Hello! I'm the one you almost killed!:-) He was probably going more than 110mph!
Speeding a little bit is one thing but knowing how to drive is another one... I myself usually drive slightly over the limit (7 mph/11 kmh) when the road conditions are perfect but I never caused any accident nor did I made someone jump pver a bridge. I usually manage to go with the flow but not when it gets too crazy, 50 mph over the limit is just not reasonnable, good driver or not.
This "me, myself and I" thinking is making me so agressive! And stuff like that happened to me many times in the past. I always try to avoid that area because it gets on my nerve and I don't enjoy the road trip anymore and believe me, I'm usually not a very nervous and stressful person!:o) It always surprises me we don't hear that many accidents stories from Europe, apparently in certain areas, the normal fast lane speed is somewhere around 160 km/h! But, of course, they have more traffic jams than we do so...
the not so lead foot
I do try and keep with the +5 limit, but I did think it quite peculiar that even the California Highway Patrol felt that my obeying of their posted traffic laws required the dirty look, and dust in my face! It's one thing to have middle aged men and women tailgate me in SUV's waving not so friendly at me, or young teens in their hondas flying by me in a blur, but the CHP... now thats what got my attention!