Radar detectors provide motorists with an advantage because they make it easy to detect when a police car is using a radar gun nearby. Although a police officer can pull someone over based on a visual estimate of their speed, it is most common for law enforcement officials to rely on radar guns to provide a reliable reading of a driver’s actual speed. Therefore, many police officers will pull over on the side of the road and use their radar gun to catch speeding motorists. With a radar detector in place, you will receive advance warning, and this should give you enough time to slow down.
Are Radar Detectors Legal?
In the past, there were a lot of questions about the legality of radar detectors. Understandably, law enforcement officers around the country are not fond of these devices, and this led to several of them being confiscated. However, there were several lawsuits filed because the Communications Act of 1934 appears to make it legal for drivers to own and use a radar detector. Now it is much more common for police officers to temporarily confiscate the driver’s radar detector long enough to record certain information off it, but they generally return it before the traffic stop is over.
Even though the previously mentioned Communications Act of 1934 has been used to argue that radar detectors are legal, there are still some areas that ban them in all vehicles. Therefore, if you are driving in Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York, Illinois or on a military base, you many not legally use a radar detector. Additionally, California and Minnesota have a vision obstruction law in place that makes it illegal to affix a radar detector or a GPS to your windshield.
Can a Commercial Driver Use a Radar Detector?
Unfortunately, commercial vehicles are not given the same protection as passenger vehicles, and this means that you cannot legally use a radar detector at any time. If you are caught violating this rule, you will most likely receive a ticket for possessing and operating a radar detector. In other words, even if you are driving in Florida where radar detectors are legal for passenger vehicles, you can still be ticketed because Department of Transportation regulations supersede the state’s radar detector law.
What should I do if a Police Officer Takes my Radar Detector Away?
Although most police officers no longer confiscate radar detectors, this does not mean that it never happens. Therefore, you need to be aware of your legal rights. For example, if you are driving in Orlando and a police officer confiscates your radar detector, you will have the right to file a lawsuit. Because it is legal in Florida for a passenger vehicle to use a radar detector, you are most likely going to win your case, especially if you utilize the services of an experienced Florida traffic lawyer.
Radar detectors are not foolproof, so it is important that you do not let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security. However, as long as you use them in a legal manner, they can help you avoid getting a speeding ticket. This makes them a wise investment for people who spend a lot of time on the road, especially for drivers who know that they have a lead foot.
Anthony Joseph is a writer/blogger who likes to discuss how traffic laws are affecting drivers today. A Florida traffic lawyer from the firm of Katz & Phillips, knows how to provide clients with top of the line legal help in fighting traffic tickets. Their Ticket Team has extensive experience reducing clients charges, as well as dismissing tickets.