Do radar detectors really work?
If you're wondering if radar detectors really can help you avoid speeding tickets, you're not alone. However, the answer to that question is not so simple. There are different types of radar guns used by police and there are different types of radar detectors. Moreover, there are different situations in which the radar detector might fail or succeed.
The old type of radar gun used by police to help hand out speeding tickets uses radar beams. These beams are nothing more than radio waves. In fact, the only difference between these radio waves and the radio waves we listen to through our stereos is the frequency. The police radar guns use a specific frequency that bounces off your car. The changes in the frequency caused by the movement of your car gives away your speed.
Now, there are two types of radar detectors available. One radar detector detects the radar beams and the other type, the radar jammer, goes one step further. First, the radar detector works by detecting the radar beams and warning you. Since radar beams are sent off in all directions, chances are good that you will detect the beam before it detects you. However, if the police officer does not have his radar beam on, you can't detect it. It is possible for the police officer to get close to you before he turns on his radar detector, which means he will probably register your speed before you know he's there.
Radar jamming equipment is a little more sophisticated, although not fail proof either. In addition to detecting the radar beam, it also sends out its own beam aimed at confusing the radar gun and disrupting the output. However, this is also vulnerable to the above situation. So, preventing a speeding ticket with a radar detector may be a possibility but it depends on the situation.
A new type of radar gun came out that uses a light beam instead of radio waves. This device is a lot more accurate than the radar detector and is called a lidar detector. The lidar detector does not cover as great an area as the radar beam and so is less detectable. There are still lidar detectors and special lidar jammers, however the best way to prevent a speeding ticket is to slow down and drive the speed limit. In fact, it is also the safest way to prevent accidents.
About the author: John Murray publishes a speeding ticket blog filled with helpful articles about how to avoid, fight, and beat speeding tickets.
May 10, 2006 3:26 PM