How Radar Detectors Work and Why They Don’t Always Save You the Ticket
You might think you can avoid every speeding ticket with a radar detector on your dashboard, but you will be surprised. This is how radar detectors actually work and why you’re probably better off just going to the speed limit.
In this video from YouTube channel Techquickie, Linus explains the basics of police radar and how radar detectors actually work. Most police officers useDoppler radar to check your speed. If this sounds familiar, it is because it is the same radio wave technology used in weather forecasting, aviation, and even healthcare. Usually, the police will fire radio waves at your car, which are reflected and tell them how fast you are going. A radar detector, like the one you might have on your dashboard, simply scans the same radio frequencies in the same Doppler bands. Ideally, your detector will shut down and alert you so you can slow down before they get a good reading.
However, as Linus explains in the video, things get a little tricky here. Many other devices, such as adaptive radar cruise control on new cars and automatic doors in supermarkets, use similar radio frequencies; frequent occurrence of false positives. On top of that, road users know how common radar detectors are and have moved on to newer technologies. Lidar , which uses a focused beam of infrared light, is now used in many police departments because it is more difficult to detect. There are lidar detectors, but since lidars focus on such a small spot on a vehicle (like a license plate), there is a good chance the detector won’t catch it anyway.
In addition, radar detectors are legal in most states (except Virginia), but radar jammers or any device that can interfere with police equipment and actually interfere with data readings are not. So, while it is possible that a radar detector can help you evade your ticket in some circumstances, this is definitely not a guarantee in any way. If you really want to avoid a ticket , your best bet is to always just obey local traffic rules .
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