Are Radar Detectors Useless?

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wrote:

I'm not going there...
--
Dan.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

--
-Fred W

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I live along the I-15 cooridor leading into San Diego County, and I also have to do 90 or die. I've been passed by the cops while doing 85, so I know they tend ot be a bit on the lenient side on occasion. Clearly, I am not a saint when it comes to observing traffic laws, but I've failed to attract attention to myself by lifting off the Go Pedal when I am not on the interstate. I think the OP hasn't got the descretion that I've got. He suggested that he has gotten several tickets, and is looking for a way to beat them or not get them in the first place. If one is prone to getting tickets, then one must be prone to speeding in places where the cops are not happy about it.
If this rationale is accurate, then it seems that slowing down is the premier action to be taking. The secondary action would be to go out and buy one of the multi-band radar detectors, the Valentine 1 was suggested in another post, that costs somewhere in the $400 range.
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wrote:

I bought the Escort Solo S2 a year or two ago to replace an older Passport and the difference is night and day. It's saved my ass many times over and has paid for itself I don't know how many times.
--
Dan.

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I believe the current Solo costs $329. While my original and S2 Solos have saved me at least 3 times that amount over the years, a good detector works well when you have a keen awareness of your surroundings (other traffic, likely location of police, usual signals from other sources, etc.)
Tom K.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

I think this is true. I've received all the tickets since I got the 330 in December. Like I said earlier, I've owned Audis for several years and am like a child with a toy in the BMW. Driving fast all the time is laughably risky, from a ticket and safety perspective. I like all the comments on zones and areas to watch out for and spotting cops. Last road I was pulled over the cop used radar so must have been in plain site but I didn't even notice him. So it's pick and choose carefully your situations to punch it up into the 90's, but be rational. I will tell you though, with no consequences of points or insurance rate increases due to "fixing" in Missouri it sure makes that difficult.
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Bacon wrote:

The OP asked "Are radar detectors useless?". The replies seem to be more focused on dealing with tickets and fines and law enforcememt and and and.
NOT counting people who sell radar detectors, who has the informed opinions about whether radar detectors work? I wish Consumer Reports would test them...
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CR does test them, and they like the Valentine One. It is on the pricey side, but it seems to work very well.
I haven't tried, but I would suppose that one could locate test reports on the 'net. The key, as I understand it, is to buy a detector that can see all of the various bands that the cops are known to use. All devices on the cop's side MUST transmit a signal that you must be able to receive in time to adjust your behavior before the cops get a lock on your enthusiastic driving style.
HINT When the cop is hiding where he can observe you driving away from him, your adjustment of speed by vigorous application of the brake pedal -- as evidenced by the brake lights -- is probably more of an admission of guilt than recognition that you need to knuckle under and get with the program.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

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What I meant to say was...

I think you are mistaken, sir. According to the Consumer Reports website I subscribe to, they have never tested radar detectors;
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/customer-service/helpfaqs-no-reports-available/index.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=8&searchTerm=radar
Maybe you can post details of the test which "liked" the Valentine 1?
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http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/customer-service/helpfaqs-no-reports-available/index.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=8&searchTerm=radar
Sorry, no details. I just thought I remember reading a report from them. Assuming I really did read the report, it must have been done by another group. Sorry if I have misinformed the group.
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IIRC, either (or both) Car & Driver and/or Road & Track magazines did tests a while back and gave top ratings to the Valentine. That's probably what Jeff was thinking of.
Tom K.
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I have used many models of radar detector over the past 20 years and my favorite for the last 14 or 15 has been the Valentine1 (and no I don't work for them and neither does anyone in my family, etc.)
As to do they work...of course they work. What you may be referring to is radar jammers. The vast majority of radar jammers out there are considered "passive" jammers that purport to scramble the radar signal somehow and send back a scrambled signal to the police radar gun. These DO NOT work...don't waste your money. Defeating radar would require an "active" jammer and you can find some of these, BUT, they are quite illegal.
There are also laser jammers that work well. Jammers that have an actual laser tranducer (eg Lidatek) work very well, but the ones that reky on LED's do not work as well, if at all in some cases. I can tell you that my Lidatek system has saved me from getting tickets about 8 or 10 times since I ourchased the system. It has more than paid for itself when you consider the fine of the ticket + increased insurance fees that would have occured with getting a ticket.
As far as the Valentine1, what their advertisement says is true. Once you use the V1 and get used to the directional arrows, you won't want to use any other detector. It shows you not only how many signals it's receiving, but whether they are coming from in front, behind or to the side of you. This info is invaluable in figuring out what's going on. As with any system, it does require some thought on the driver's part to distinguish false from real alerts. Things like door openers in grocery stores can give a strong signal, but you will know how many signals the unit is receiving and also what radar band they are. This has saved me. I know that on a certain road I drive frequently, the openers at the grocery store give off 4 radar signals in the X band. One day I'm driving and the detector goes off as usual, with the arrows telling me the signal(s) is coming from up ahead. But, I the "bogey" counter tells me that there are 5 signals this morning AND the audio warning gives me indication that a Ka band signal is present. Because this isn't usual for this spot, I slow down considerably and as I drive past, I see a police car with radar hiding in the parking lot. He knew that most detectors wouldn't let the driver know there was anything there but the door openers.
I won't drive without one.
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I just KNOW that responding to this is gonna jinx me, but... I'm finding that as I get older I'm getting fewer and fewer tickets.
Gave it some thought last month and decided there are a number of factors involved:
A radar detector (at least in my case) causes you to stop using your senses and intuition as you rely on the box to do your thinking for you.
Develop the habit of watching traffic very carefully - look for brake lights ahead of you and people flashing their high-beams. This is not only safe for your wallet, it's better for your cardiovascular system, in that you are likely to be able to use it longer.
Look for cars/people/objects on overpasses. Often means Bad News.
Ditto small aircraft/helcopters lazing along the line of the highway. VASCAR will bust you and no radar detector in the world can prevent it. Been there myself, in the SE Missouri switchbacks.
Don't drive fast for long periods, keep it to short bursts where you can see far ahead and there is little/no traffic. (This may not apply out West.)
Follow your instincts - if you have a nagging feeling, it may be your subconscious noticing things your forebrain missed.
Never go faster than 3-4 mph over the limit in urban/suburban areas. It just isn't worth it. Save your lead foot for the open highway.
Keep a lid on it late at night. Police know that there is a +60% chance that virtually ANYONE they pull over after midnight has had a couple of drinks, so that is a major hunting time for them. Unfortunately that's also the time when you feel like kicking up your heels. Resist the urge.
HTH Mike Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me. "I always wanted to be somebody...I should have been more specific..." - Lily Tomlin
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On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 13:36:48 -0400, Mike Patterson

Luckily I quit drinking well before I got the 330. Otherwise I'd be in a lot more trouble than just speeding. The jinx is a nasty thing. I probably hadn't had a ticket in 10 years before this wave. I like the posts with suggestions on being more alert and knowing the ripe situations to slow down. I don't like the look of a radar detector suction cupped to the windshield, I don't think the ladies dig it.
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Dude, the chicks dig it. They absolutely cream their jeans at the idea of speeding wrecklessly down the road without a care of who might appear from the side.
Get the radar detector, any of them, and the little suction cup holder thingies, and the chicks will flock to your car.
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wrote:

I'd far sooner speed wrecklessly than recklessly, but will the chicks dig it as much?
--
Dan.

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Good point. I'm not sure, but they like the little suction cup holders for the radar detector.

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