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Q. In Virginia, is it illegal to have a radar-detecting device in a vehicle if it is not turned on? Thousands of trucks and cars pass through Virginia with radar-detecting devices that are used legally in other states. Many Virginia vehicles also have these devices installed in them for use in other states. Does a Virginia police officer have to actually detect that a device is on and working in order to issue a citation? -- R.D.
A. First, radar detectors are prohibited in Virginia.
If you are coming from a state where they are legal, you won't necessarily be arrested just for possessing one, said Tom Lambert, a state police legal specialist. But "the unit must be stored in such a manner as to make it not accessible, such as placing it in a trunk," he said.
"Sticking it into the glove box will not do, and just unplugging it is also not enough. State police and other agencies have equipment that can detect your detector," he said.