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Why you might need a radar detector

15th May 2017 Print
Police Officer

What’s a radar detector?

A radar detector is a nifty electronic device that you as a car driver can use to avoid being pulled over and possibly fined for exceeding the speed limit. 

This is possible because a radar detector scans and detects if there are any police officers or other law enforcement in proximity actively monitoring your car’s speed with a radar gun. 

If you’ve ever been caught by a radar gun, you know on a good day the conversation with the police can either end with a speeding ticket or a warning (trust me, it can be much worse). The radar detector saves you from such eventualities by warning you and giving you an opportunity to slow down before the police catch wind of your speed violation. 

When do you need a radar detector?

If this is your first time of hearing there exists such an equipment that can save you from the police’s speed traps, let’s consider other scenarios in which a radar detector can play a useful role in saving your day.

1. Do you own a high performance vehicle? Police officers tend to pay special attention to drivers in high performance vehicles. So if you own one, get yourself a radar detector to stay off the police’s speed radar.

2. Does driving play a big role in your daily activities or is constantly being behind a wheel crucial to your occupation? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, especially if your driving is usually long distances at a time, then a radar detector is something you definitely need. You might normally be a driver who is conscious about his/her speed, but there will be occasions when time is of the essence and you need to push the throttle a little deeper. In such an instance, a radar detector will alert you in time to slow down before you fall prey to a radar gun. But keep in mind that in the U.S and some other countries, installing a radar detector in a commercial vehicle is illegal. 

If you spend hours at a time constantly driving, chances are you’ll eventually be pulled over for a speeding offence. A radar detector drastically reduces the chances of that ever happening.

3. Are you one of those drivers who drive absentmindedly and thus inadvertently exceed the speed limit? If you are, you should get a radar detector. A radar detector will awaken you from your introspection in time to avoid being caught by a radar gun. Radar detectors keep their drivers alert once the radio frequencies from a police radar gun is detected, or once the radio waves from red light cameras, speed awareness signs, or a speed trap camera is noted.

4. Do you simply just like driving fast because you’ve seen one too many Fast and the Furious movies.

While it’s not recommended you keep up the habit of overspeeding, it is recommended that you get a radar detector that will alert you to slow down before you get caught by a radar gun. 


5. Have you been often caught for speeding? Speeding violations usually go on your driver record, and too many violations can lead to steeper punishment such as your driver's license being suspended. To avoid another speeding violation that might lead to you losing your licence, get a radar gun to help you keep your speed in check at the right time. 

This list is not exhaustive, but I hope you are now convinced that a radar detector can be a useful tool to enhance your driving experience.

But how do you identify the right radar detector for you?

Features a radar detector should have

Gadget Review have gone out of their way to compile a list of some of the best and latest radar detectors drivers can buy. On their list, you’ll find the Escort Max360, Beltronics GT-7, Escort iX Long Range, and the Escort Passport 9500ci Enhanced. 

While all these detectors, especially the Escort Passport 9500ci Enhanced, have been reviewed to be exemplary for their unique features, there are certain essential features all good radar detectors have. These essential features are what you need to look out for before picking a radar detector for your vehicle.

1 Radar band detection: A radar detector should have the capability to detect police radio waves and signals such as POP mode, K-band, X-band, Lidar, and SuperWide Ka-band.

2 A signal strength alert that notifies you of the proximity of a police’s signal. 

3 False alert filtering.

4 Lidar detector. It’ll be advantageous if your radar detector can detect LIDAR light pulses.

5 Voice alerts or visual display. Voice alerts will vocally alert you once you are in range of a radar gun. 

6 The radar detector should have a programmable memory.

7 A long range radio wave detection system is also very important.

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Police Officer Driving