How To Know if it is Legal to Own a Radar Detector

Radar detectors are used by many motorists in America to avoid being caught when they go beyond the imposed speed limit. With a radar detector, they can detect if there is a cop nearby so they can reduce their speed and go back to the allowed maximum velocity. The reason why these people use radar detectors is because they find the speed limit set by traffic authorities very low. By installing this gadget in their cars, they feel confident enough to increase their speed since they are forewarned if there are police in the area, thus enabling them to make speed adjustments before they get caught for speeding. 

But is it legal to own a radar detector? It depends on the state where you live. There are many cities and states where owning and actually using radar detectors are legal. But before going on, a clarification should be made about owning and using radar detectors. Owning and using are emphasized here because to own may not be the same as to actually use. A person may own a radar detector and just keep it in his home. In this regard, the ownership is of no significance because this tool is meant to be used on the road. It is understood, therefore, that if you have a detector in your house - be it laser radar, police detector, valentine radar, radar jammer or any form of jammer, but you don't install it in your car, you are not violating any anti-radar detector law. Hence for the purpose of clarity, when talking about the legality of owning a radar detector, what is referred to is the actual use of said tool on the highway for the purpose of avoiding a traffic violation ticket.

The following is a brief illustration of how radar detectors are being regulated in certain states: 

  1. In New York, the use of radar detectors is regulated according to the weight of the vehicles. So if your car or truck is more than 18,000 lbs. and is used for public transport, or if your commercial motor vehicle is over 10,000 lbs, you are not allowed to install and use radar detectors.

  1. In Minnesota, regulation of radar detectors is lenient. However, if the police sees something jutting out of your windshield (which is probably a detector), you will be questioned by the police. 

  1. The states of Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, California and Utah are strict implementers of anti-radar jammer laws.

  1. If you are in Illinois and you own a commercial vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds, you need to comply with certain regulations regarding radar detectors. 

  1. If there is one state that imposes strict regulation on radar detectors, it is the Commonwealth of Virginia where there are laws prohibiting the use and possession of this equipment in any type of vehicle.

  1. In 1995, the District of Columbia passed laws forbidding the use ofradar detectors  and radar jammers. 

  1. In 1998, Connecticut repealed its anti-radar detector law.

Radar detectors are very easy to use. They can sound a whistle on radars as soon as they are installed and have gone through a few tests. This is perhaps another reason why the use of this device has become prevalent.


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