The joy of owning a car or truck is tempered with the knowledge that you’ll have to navigate many traffic laws designed to raise revenue and sometimes save lives.
There are now laws that forbid drivers from doing or using certain devices to circumvent the traps set by law enforcement. A radar detector is just one such device!
Buying the best radar detector on the market is quite easy, but the way you use it and in what state will determine if the speed trap detector is worth having in the first place.
Before we get to the top rated radar detectors with high-performance metrics, let’s examine closely what a speed detector for police traps can do.
What is a Speed Detector?
In simple terms, a speed detector can be called an electronic device that is capable of alerting you to the presence of speed traps within the city roads and on the highway.
Top radar detectors are selling like “hot cakes” because police radar guns and speed cameras are everywhere.
The main purpose of using a device for speed trap detection is so that you can have enough time to slow down before it is too late.
Even with the best radar detector 2015, I can assure you that law enforcement equipment are being upgraded to make obsolete even the latest models.
Do Radar Detectors Really Work?
If the speed trap detectors did not work the law enforcement community would not be doing everything in their power to make the use of the device illegal.
I can assure you that even a cheap best speed detector will provide you ample warnings before you fall into that highway trap from the police.
It is also true that the performance of speed detectors varies from brand to brand.
The really good brands you can find in any list of the top 10 radar detectors are not cheap, but most would cost you less than what an average speeding ticket would.
Are Radar Detectors Legal?
There are two states where it is completely illegal to use any type of speed trap detection devices.
Other states including Puerto Rico have a unique variation of traffic laws that can make using a radar detector legal or illegal, depending on how you’re using it.
While the majority of cops are good people, there is a significant number of police officers that interpret the law to suit what they intend to do to you.
So are radar detectors illegal? Not unless you live in the state of Virginia and the District of Columbia.
It is also illegal in all fifty states to be caught using a radar detector if you’re driving any type of commercial vehicle.
In fact, it is a Federal law that mandates the ban of using any type of speed detection devices in commercial trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds.
According to the latest posting from Automobile Association of America (AAA), all 50 states just decided to ban the use of any radar detector while you’re operating any type of commercial vehicle.
What states is Radar Detector Illegal?
It is completely illegal to use radar detectors in the state of Virginia or the District of Columbia, which is popularly known as Washington D. C.
The last time we checked, it is completely illegal to use radar detectors in any commercial vehicle in all fifty states.
So if you drive a truck or have an automobile with commercial plates, you’ll be paying a huge fine if you’re caught with a radar detector while driving.
Just remember that cops can get away with lying, so stating the speed detection device was not turned on will not be a sufficient defense, unless you have a high priced good lawyer.
Radar Detector Laws by State
Based on the information found in the Communications Act of 1934 passed by Congress, it is legal to own a radar detector if you’re using it in a private vehicle.
While it is against the Federal regulations for law enforcement to seize your radar detector, they can if you’re also arrested for committing other crimes or as part of a search warrant.
While it is considered personal property, having it in your car while committing other violations can lead to its seizure by law enforcement.
In a nutshell, it is legal to have a radar detector in your own private vehicle in the following states:
ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, HAWAII, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW MEXICO, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, UTAH, VERMONT, WASHINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, WYOMING,
Windshield Mounting Laws and Radar Detectors
Remember what we told you, a bad cop can find justification to give you a traffic violation ticket. It is true that a lot of cops will not think twice to bend the law to justify what they’re doing to you.
In California and Minnesota, it is illegal to mount your radar detector on your windshield due to the laws in those two states that prohibits affixing any type of device that could affect the driver’s line of vision.
Many other states have such laws on the books, and the cop that stopped you might just use it as justification to give you a traffic ticket.
It is better to have your radar detector affixed to your sun visor or on the dash, especially if you plan on taking a cross-country trip.
Are Police Radar Detectors Illegal on Military Bases?
If you have your radar detector visibly mounted, you might be denied entrance to a military base.
From what we gathered, it is against the law to have one in operation while on a military base.
While the chance of getting arrested is minimal, the military guards will most likely ask you to put it out of site while on federal military property.
Is Radar Detector Illegal in Canada?
From the information we gathered for this radar detector review, the use of any speed trap detection devices is only allowed in:
ALBERTA and BRITISH COLUMBIA.
It is illegal to use radar detectors while in Canada in the following provinces:
MANITOBA, NEW BRUNSWICK, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, NOVA SCOTIA, NUNAVUT, ONTARIO, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, QUEBEC, and YUKON.
In the province of SASKATCHEWAN, radar detectors are allowed in private automobiles and prohibited in any type of commercial vehicles.
How to Find the Best Radar Detector for the Money
Your search for a speed trap detection device is commendable because there are so many brands of radar detectors to choose from on the marketplace.
A good radar detector should have sharp accuracy and an excellent range for it to be worth your time.
It is also better to get one with embedded alert features, which can keep you cognizant of how you’re driving.
While it is not part of this review article, you should know that radar jammers are illegal in all states under federal law.
The use of radar detectors is permitted in private vehicles in all states, except for Virginia and Washington D. C.
To make sure you’re buying a brand with high-performance metrics, here are some of the features you should pay close attention to:
The latest and best radar guns used by police departments all across America are designed to operate on the K-, X- and Ka-bands.
It is crucial for the best radar detectors you have in mind to be able to detect all these frequencies with instant accuracy.
A radar detector is only beneficial to the driver when it can give you ample time to slow down before the highway or city cops stop you for breaking the speeding laws.
How Does it Alert You?
Paying attention to your surroundings is the key to safe driving, which is why we emphasize you pay attention to the alert features included in the best radar detector.
A good brand of radar detector will not only watch out for radar and laser bands but also the numerous red-light cameras, speed cameras and speed traps found in major cities and highways.
For a radar detector to make it to the top 10 list, it must be able to alert you once you’ve exceeded the assigned speed limit.
How do You Control the Speed Trap Detector
Some of the best radar detectors we found on the market come with built-in Bluetooth and GPS capabilities, which is what you need to effectively control all the included alert and detection features.
It would be nice to have one with mobile App integration, which means you can use the latest GPS map with your radar detector.
There are Apps and maps with known locations of speed traps and speed cameras all across America, and having one loaded into your radar detector can make the device function optimally.
Pay Attention to Existing customer Reviews
Before pushing the buy radar detector buy now button, take some time to read about the experiences of other users of the brand you’re about to purchase.
If a vast majority like the radar detector, it might signify a good and durable brand.
Help and Support Issues
Just like any other purchases made online, sometimes things do not function as planned.
Be careful where you buy your radar detector from, for the buying experience is just as important as the functionality of the device.
The manufacturer of the brand you have in mind should at least have a website with numerous resources that can be used by existing users.
Some have how to videos and the best uses for the radar detector.
What is the Best Radar Detector?
We cannot stress enough that speeding is dangerous and causes thousands of deaths on our roads and highways.
If you’re driving drunk or over-speeding, it is only a question of time before law enforcement catches up to you.
A good radar detector can be used to effectively improve your driving habits both in the city and on the highway.
The best radar detector can be found in the brands we reviewed below.
Radar Detector Reviews
1 – Escort Passport 9500ix Radar/Laser Detector
When you search online for top rated radar detectors, you’re bound to find many models from this company called Escort.
From all the Escort radar detector reviews we looked at online, 9500ix is their latest and internet ready radar and laser detector.
Escort passport 9500ix radar/laser detector is able to offer protection that covers all bands of known police radars.
The capabilities of the Escort passport 9500ix include watching out for the red light and speed cameras found on our nation’s roads and highways.
This radar detector from Escort has the accuracy of GPS, while also capable of using the vast power of the internet to keep you from falling into police speed traps.
This best radar detector is intelligent enough to ignore false sources while also eliminating false alarms.
The features found in the Escort passport 9500ix radar detector include the latest update-able speed camera database.
The use of artificial intelligence technology in the Escort passport 9500ix radar detector gives it the power to neutralize all false alarm sources.
Escort radar 9500ix is not only easy to use, but it is also packed full of the latest technology and will start monitoring right out of the box.
The Escort passport 9500ix manual is detailed, and you also get a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
This company is known as one of the top radar detector manufacturers in the world.
The website for this product includes extensive tutorials with how to videos that could help you become an expert in a short period of time.
2 – Whistler CR90 Review
From the whistler radar detector reviews we looked at, this brand has good performance metrics for those looking for a brand cheaper than the Escort radar 9500ix.
This best speed radar detector has a suitable range and accuracy, for it is also capable of detecting three of the most common bands used by the police – K, X, and Ka.
It uses a voice alert to let you know what type of signal is detected, which might give you enough time to adjust your driving.
Despite the low pricing, Whistler CR90 comes with the latest GPS technology embedded within.
Based on the whistler radar detector review we found on the manufacturer’s website, you get a two-year warranty with your purchase.
3 – Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector
The Beltronics RX65 radar detector is designed to provide three sensitivity settings, which are city, highway and auto scan.
If you put the radar detector on highway settings, it will alert you to any speed radar within two to four miles, which is ample time for you to slow down and adjust your driving.
You also get to use an easy programming feature, which allows you to customize up to seven options to suit your driving style.
This best police radar detector from Beltronics has the ability to block itself from police, which means the latest VG-2 radar detector detection technology cannot tell if you’re using a device to beat the speed traps.
The lack of GPS features does limit your ability to effectively monitor speed cameras, city speed traps, and red light cameras.
Your purchase of the Beltronics RX65 radar detector comes with a one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.