A radar detector is a convenient gadget that can help you avoid costly traffic tickets when you simply can’t afford to drive under the speed limit. While a radar detector does not make it safe to ignore the posted speed limit, these convenient devices can often detect the presence of a radar gun.
Along with helping you avoid expensive court costs and tickets, the top radar detectors for this year can also help you manage your driving speed. There are several radar detectors to choose from, and the tips included in this buying guide will help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Radar Detector Reviews
- 1. Escort Passport 9500ix
- 2. Escort Passport 8500X50
- 3. Valentine One
- 4. Cobra XRS9370
- 5. Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT
- How to buy Best Radar Dectectors
- How radar detectors function
- Commonly Radar Detector bands
- Ka Photo Cop and Wide Band
- Ka Super Wide-Band
- Factors that can affect a radar detector’s range
- Radar detector design
- Reading a radar detector screen
- What are the most popular brands?
- 1. Whistler
- 2. Valentine One
- 3. Escort
- 4. Beltronics
- 5. Cobra
- What about the laws?
Top 5 Radar Detector Reviews
Researching the market for the best radar detectors of 2016 takes a whole lot of time and patience. To make matters easier, we’ve conveniently selected three of the most acclaimed models out there. All of the following have gathered the appreciation of worldwide and US customers alike and are highly spoken of for their features.
1. Escort Passport 9500ix
This unit can be bought as a radar detector and as a radar detector bundle. Color variants include the blue and red display. One of the most acclaimed characteristics of this model stands in the user-selectable preferences, which makes the product highly versatile and allows it to speak to the needs of various users.
The Escort Passport 9500ix package includes a quick reference card, an owner’s manual, and a coiled SmartCord.
This is the best unit for the money, as emphasized by the over 900 positive reviews it has gathered.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
The Escort Passport 9500ix is both a radar and a laser detector that is well-known for being capable of excellent performance. It comes with all the features a prospective buyer may be looking for. Furthermore, the package provided by the manufacturer includes some accessories which can make mounting the unit as easy as pie.
Additionally, the Escort Passport 9500ix allows users to customize it to their heart’s content. Unlike other models in the line, this one can be bought for a fair price.
Even though the Escort Passport 9500ix has acquired countless positive reviews, there have been some buyers who have pointed out some details that they did not appreciate. For instance, some individuals had a hard time adjusting to the ergonomics and perceived quality of the Escort, particularly once they have compared it to a Valentine variety.
However, even these people emphasize that the performance of this radar detector goes well beyond the one of other models that can be bought nowadays.
Main features explained
Efficiency is at the core of this Escort product, as it has a wide array of useful functions, ranging from TrueLock/GPS Filter and AutoLearn to Mark Location. The neat thing about getting and using this device is that it is capable of alerting users of any red light cameras and speed traps that are now being used by police in the United States and Canada.
Moreover, the model can be updated with new data regarding speed cameras and red light cameras by connecting the Escort Passport 9500ix to a computer via the microUSB port. When they complete the purchase, buyers get three months of free Escort updates.
The Escort does a excellent job at what it has to do since it even has variable speed sensitivity. The device utilizes the GPS to measure the user’s speed and then adjusts the radar capabilities in accordance to the speed detected.
The package contains both a windshield mount and a smart power cord. The windshield mount is easy to handle and install, thanks to the suction cup system. Mounting the device in a proper manner is paramount, as the GPS is fully functional when it is directed toward the sky.
In addition, the package includes a SmartCord power adapter, which has been highly spoken of by numerous users over time. One of the advantages of this power adapter is that it can be used for selecting the mute setting, on account of a small handy button. It goes without saying that this is a plus for drivers, in general, as they should not fiddle with their radar detectors while they are behind the wheel.
Any product, regardless of its quality of build, brand or price, is worthless if it is not usable. Fortunately, this one is anything but unusable. The Escort Passport 9500ix allows buyers to select any of the five levels of brightness control and any of the three volume levels: mute auto-mute and auto-volume.
Audio versatility is an amazing perk for motorcycles. Believe it or not, the Escort Passport 9500ix can even be used with this category of vehicles, as it comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack on the side of the detector.
2. Escort Passport 8500X50
The Escort Passport 8500X50 offers an excellent radar protection, as it includes a wide array of warnings, from the POP mode to the K-band. The DSP on this product is more than capable of providing maximum range while avoiding false alarms.
The display of this model is backlit and its brightness can be customized according to the user’s preferences, from dim to maximum levels.
The package includes a quick-release windshield mount, a quick reference card, and a coiled SmartCord.
Buyers state that this is an improved model of an older version in the 8500 series, recommended for its performance.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
The Escort Passport 8500X50 is among the most capable radar detectors on the market. It’s destined for the needs of people who are willing to invest in a highly performant unit which eventually saves them money that would otherwise be spent on tickets. The model is packed with useful features that can make a user’s life a whole lot easier.
Some of the buyer reviews we have analyzed mention the fact that this unit isn’t exceptional when it comes to laser detection. However, even the individuals who took the time to report this issue admitted that beating laser is a complicated thing to do. It seems like if you aren’t speeding all of the time you can greatly benefit from using the Escort Passport 8500X50. Let’s not forget that its price does not even come near five hundred dollars.
Main features explained
Some of the features that considerably impact the convenience of this radar detector are Mute and AutoMute. The Mute feature is so good that it has been patented by Escort, while the AutoMute spec is capable of lowering the volume of the device during an alert, particularly if the radar encounter tends to be longer than usual. This considerably improves the usability on the part of the buyer, as he or she will not feel bothered by the sounds emitted by the Escort Passport 8500X50.
Yet another convenient detail about the Escort Passport 8500X50 is that it can be used right out of the box. Of course, users have the freedom to customize the model according to their own desires, but it is perfectly capable of performing well even if its settings have not been personalized.
The LED display of the Escort unit is excellent for individuals who have a hard time visualizing the bands. The display can be set on Dim, Medium and Max brightness levels.
As is the case with other products in the line, the Escort Passport 8500X50 is perfectly capable of detecting conventional and modern bands now being used by the U.S. and Canada police. The unit offers maximum range with a low number of false alarms.
POP mode and X-band, K-band and Ka-band detection are at the heart of the Escort Passport, and that’s why it’s so loved by its buyers.
Although some of the consumers have complained about the laser detection, the manufacturers claim that the device does a great job at providing maximum laser warning. In order to increase the laser capabilities of the model, consumers are advised to purchase the ZR4 Laser Shifter.
While some online marketplaces often sell it for over three hundred dollars, we’ve found that Amazon offers it at a much fairer price. Customers who are keen on sale discounts may even be as lucky as get it for less than two hundred, provided they stay tuned to the retailer’s seasonal offers.
This product can be purchased as a radar detector bundle as well, containing an accessories combo and sticky mount aside from the actual unit.
3. Valentine One
Even though it might be a little out of the budget of some potential buyers, this is probably the best Valentine One radar detector. This model is highly versatile and is probably the best alternative for truck drivers. The unit has a rear radar antenna and a directional indicator. The neat thing about this model is that it can detect any type of band, from X to Ka and even Ku.
If you’re looking for excellent laser reception, you might want to check this one out.
According to customer reviews, this unit can be used in any country in the world.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
The Valentine One Radar Detector is one of the most modern and advanced models that can be bought on the current market. The unit is equipped with many useful features, and works well when it comes to detecting any type of bands that are currently being used by the Canadian and American police. The capabilities of this alternative are well-known and appreciated by countless users all over the world.
Some of the consumer reviews we have analyzed state that there is a minor issue with false alarm filtering. According to some buyers, the unit is capable of reporting anything in the area they live in, which is why a number of users might find it a bit annoying. Nevertheless, this detail does not seem to be a deal-breaker, not even for the people who have reported it, particularly because the user has the freedom to set the device so that it does not detect the bands that are of no interest.
Main features explained
The neat thing about the Valentine One Radar Detector is that it has multiple radar antennas. Due to patenting issues, one of the world-known manufacturers of radar detectors, Escort, is not able to include multiple antennas in their products. This is not the case with the Valentine alternative, which is why it is perfectly capable of detecting band signal from two directions. One of its antennas is face forward, and the other one is rear-facing.
Thanks to its antennas, the unit does a great job at alerting buyers of the band strength of the detected radar signal. Moreover, users now have the ability to find out just how many police radars are in the area.
Since usability is a feature that can be discovered only by going through some consumer reviews, we analyzed the majority of the ratings received by this model in this sense. Judging by the opinions of some buyers, installing the Valentine One Radar Detector is as easy as pie. All that customers have to do is to plug it and turn it on. It immediately starts doing what it is supposed to do.
It looks like the installation difficulties that one might encounter strictly depend on the type of vehicle they want to set up the unit in. A concealed custom installation might be a little more complicated compared to the regular one, as the latter is generally considered as being a no-brainer.
Great value for the price
There have been people who have reported that they have been using the unit for over a decade without encountering any issue. This is a completely reliable unit that can save drivers a lot of money which would otherwise be spent on tickets.
Most of the buyer reviews we came across praise the excellent value offered for the price. The glass mount provided in the package, along with spare suction cups has an unbeatable design.
4. Cobra XRS9370
Compared to the previously mentioned unit, the Cobra XRS9370 is remarkably affordable. A low price doesn’t mean low quality, however, particularly since this model includes a wide range of attractive features. For example, this Cobra alternative includes a KU band detection, which can even detect the Ku Band Radar Gun currently used in Europe.
Furthermore, the VG-2 and Spectre Alert come in handy for users who might be under the surveillance of a Spectre I/IV or VG2 detector.
This is a compact, lightweight unit, that gives buyers the freedom to select the preferred operating mode, depending on their driving conditions or the area they’re driving in.
Our Rating: (3.7 / 5)
One of the core advantages of choosing the Cobra XRS9370 model is that it is relatively affordable and comes with all the features of a good, dependable radar/laser detector. This unit is able to detect the bands that are currently being used by police both in the United States and Canada. Moreover, it is small-sized and lightweight and is easy to use by any user, regardless of his or her technical background.
According to some of the people who have purchased this model, it might be a little inconvenient regarding false alarms. While a number of individuals claim that they’ve had issues in this sense in City Mode, others state that they can’t be dissatisfied with the way the unit performs overall. Even the buyers who have complained about the false alarms say that the Cobra XRS9370 does great on the highway.
Main features explained
It goes without saying that one of the first things to look for in a dependable and perfectly capable radar detector is band discovery.
Fortunately for the people who might be interested in purchasing a unit to do it all, this one has anything from LaserEye 360 degree detection to KU band detection. Subsequently, the Cobra XRS9370 buyers can greatly benefit from the unit specs, as it seems to have been specially designed to eliminate ticketing.
Radar detectors are illegal in some states, including the District of Columbia. This means that a driver traveling through this state might be forced to stop using his or her device while he or she is transiting Washington State. Yet the neatest thing about the Cobra XRS9370 is that it features IntelliMute, a detail that has been particularly developed in order to render the unit undetectable by other devices.
Small size, huge performance
This model weighs in at only 4.8 ounces and measures 2.8 inches by 1.3 inches by 4.2 inches. These dimensions give buyers a whole lot of freedom in terms of using the radar with other vehicles aside from their own. Think of it this way: if you’re traveling to another area and require a rental, you might want to use your own radar detector in that car as well.
Since it’s so small and lightweight, the Cobra XRS9370 can be taken on the go. Some of the detailed ratings we have come across speak highly about the performance of the unit, particularly when it comes to discovering Ka bands. According to a buyer, the Cobra XRS9370 is even capable of doing its job while going over a hill.
Convenience at an affordable price
Convenience is an innate feature of this radar detector. It has an ultra-bright data display, which allows the user to easily recognize the band that is being detected. In addition, the model has an electronic memory which is able of remembering the preferred user settings for an infinite amount of time, including when the power source is removed.
Unlike other products in the line, this one comes with a suction-cup mount windshield bracket kit and a coiled power cord.
5. Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT
Although it usually costs somewhere around three hundred bucks, Amazon customers can sometimes get this unit for less than a couple hundred dollars. What’s all the hype about this model? First off, it has a remarkably powerful CPU, which is capable of sweeping the police radar band spectrum in as little as 240 milliseconds. Secondly, it’s a 3-in-1, as it’s a radar, laser and camera detector all into a single device.
This is a compact model that has military-grade components.
Customer reviews speak highly of the range and selectivity of this device, and most buyers use it with Bluetooth for their smartphones.
Our Rating: (3.6 / 5)
The Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT is a maximum performance radar detector that can be bought at a fair price on a variety of online marketplaces, including Amazon. One of the most notable advantages of getting this variety is that it is able to detect all police radar bands being used in a matter of just 240 milliseconds. It is, therefore, both quick and effective.
There have been many buyers who have written extensive positive reviews on this item. However, an individual who eventually offered it a rating of 4 stars out of 5 explained that he or she ran into an issue with the iRadar app.
While the same consumer reports that the app has a lot of potential when it comes to connectivity to smartphones and tablets, this person claims that he or she has noticed that the app drains the battery. According to this buyer, 5 hours of app usage can lead to a 60% loss in the battery. Luckily, the detector can be used with great results even without the app.
Main features explained
As is the case with other products in the line, the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT does a great job at detecting anything from an X to a K and Ka band. The main difference between this model and the others we have analyzed is in terms of speed. The Cobra variety has super-fast sweep circuitry, thanks to which the range of the device is considerably extended.
The Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT is more than capable of detecting all radar or laser guns that are now being used both in the United States and in Canada. POP Mode can also be detected with the help of the SPX 7800BT.
As previously mentioned, the Cobra can be paired with an iOS or Android mobile device, with the help of which users can consult data regarding speed traps and dangerous intersections. The same application can be used for sharing alerts and locations to other users.
Excellent performance with a compact design
Compared to other units destined for the same purpose, the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT is compact and lightweight. Nobody wants to break the law, which is why radar detector buyers have to be aware of their local legislation regarding the use of these devices. However, even in a state where they are allowed, a driver sometimes likes to keep a radar detector as stealthy as possible.
With the Cobra Electronics SPX 7800BT this is as easy a task as it can be, as the unit somehow manages to be small-sized and remarkably powerful. The model is both refined and discreet and is considered to be among the most compact detectors on the market today. It measures just 3.7 inches by 2.4 inches by 1.5 inches.
Conveniently cruise down the street
Convenience is an important consideration when buying a radar/laser detector, and, fortunately, it is an innate feature of this model. Not only can it be used as a regular detector, but also as a GPS compass. The device gives accurate direction heading whenever it is connected via the iRadar app to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
The unit is so dependable and easy to use and gives such precious information regarding the state of the traffic, that it has acquired an immense amount of appreciation, from buyers both in the U.S. and Canada.
How to buy Best Radar Dectectors
There are several factors to consider when you are looking for the best radar detector for the money. The amount of time you spend behind the wheel and how often you plan on using the device will affect your decision, and your budget should also be factored in.
If you are only planning on short drives a cheap radar detector can keep you protected and help you stay within your budget, while higher priced models with plenty of extra features might be the best choice for drivers who frequently cover longer distances. Comparing well known brands and checking radar detector ratings can also help you narrow down your choices.
There are two types of radar detectors to choose from, and each has its own advantages. Basic models are generally inexpensive and can detect the presence of a radar gun, but these compact devices are not equipped to detect the newer technology commonly being employed by law enforcement. While a radar detector cannot detect the presence of a laser gun, these affordable devices are ideal for drivers who generally travel shorter distances.
Laser detectors can alert you to the presence of radar and the more technically advanced devices often used to monitor a vehicle’s rate of speed. While the combination laser and radar detectors are higher priced, it is often worth it for drivers who frequently drive long distances. Both radar and combination detectors are also available with different features, which can affect the cost of the convenient device.
Radar detector reviews suggest choosing a device that includes all of the features that you need. Today’s technically advanced models can do more than detect the presence of a speed trap, and most radar detectors are also designed to be easy to use. The best radar detector in 2016 will be able to alert you to the presence of a laser gun, along with red light cameras. Some devices also include a GPS system to ensure that you don’t get lost while you are driving, along with alerts for road construction. Also, some people may be interested in the best motorcycle radar detector and need exact information on functionality and installation for these particular models.
Some innovative radar detectors can also be voice activated, along with being compatible with your Bluetooth or smart phone. Additional power cords can ensure that the device is always charged, while other radar detectors give you the option of dashboard mounting. Carrying cases can help protect the device when you are not using it, and some radar detectors even include a convenient remote control.
How radar detectors function
To ensure you purchase the best radar detector on the market it is important to understand how these devices work. Radar detectors are designed to “listen” for signals sent from police devices and flash or sound an alert. These devices will let drivers know what type of radar band is detected, along with the strength of the signal. The signal strength will indicate the distance of the police radar, giving drivers enough time to slow down and avoid an expensive ticket. It is important to note that radar detectors do not guarantee that all signals will be detected or that drivers will always be alerted in enough time to slow down.
Commonly Radar Detector bands
There are several radar bands commonly used by law enforcement and you want the device you choose to be able to detect most, if not all of them. While your budget will affect the number of bands it is able to detect, it is possible to find a radar detector under 100$ that can sense the most commonly used frequencies. Police radar bands are regulated by the FCC and include the following four.
The X-band radar has been used by law enforcement officials since the mid 1950’s, and drivers have the advantage since it is incredibly easy to detect. Most radar detectors can sense a X-band signal from 2 to 4 miles away, and it is only capable of accurately recording speeds up to ½ mile. While this does give drivers plenty of time to slow down, there are some disadvantages associated with this common radar band. The X-band is also used in garage door openers and other technical gadgets which often results in false alerts, especially in suburban areas.
Introduced in 1978, the K-band is now the most common type of radar used by the police. Often found in the “radar guns”, this band can effectively track and record speeds up to a ¼ mile. Most radar detectors can sense a K-band signal for ¼ to 2 miles away, but this will also depend on the terrain. Some law enforcement officers have the added advantage of being able to place a K-band radar gun in “standby” mode which allows them to instantly clock a vehicle’s speed from 200 or 300 yards away. While the radar detector will alert the driver, it is rarely enough time to slow down to the posted speed limit.
Ka Photo Cop and Wide Band
The FCC allowed law enforcement to use another frequency in 1987 to help police counteract the effectiveness of radar detectors. This resulted in the introduction of the Ka band, which also includes an automatic camera or “photo cop”. The camera is triggered by an approaching vehicle and snaps a picture of the license plate and the face of the driver. The date, time and location are also recorded on the photo to prevent the accuracy of the ticket from being disputed. The camera is capable of recording speeds up to 200 miles per hour, and while the driver is not stopped a traffic ticket will be sent in the mail.
The range of the Ka band cameras is 120 to 300 feet and since it emits a steady signal it is relatively easy for most radar detectors to sense. It should be mentioned that legal issues and the high cost of maintaining the cameras has lead to only limited use in a few cities. Most law enforcement agencies still rely on traditional radar guns which could affect your purchasing decision.
Ka Super Wide-Band
Commonly referred to as “stalker” radar guns, the introduction of the Ka super wide-band has given some police agencies the upper hand in speed detection. This band is gaining in popularity across the country, and cannot be picked up by all radar detectors. When you are conducting a radar detector comparison, it might be worth it to pay a little extra for a new model that can detect all four frequencies.
There are also radar detectors that can sense the Ku-band. Commonly found only in Europe, most drivers choose not to spend the extra money on this rarely used radar band.
Factors that can affect a radar detector’s range
Radar detectors are an effective way to avoid expensive speeding tickets, but there are some factors that can disrupt the devices ability to sense incoming signals. Hills and curves can affect range, along with how the radar detector is mounted. Most experts recommend installing the radar detector lower on the windshield or placing it on the dash, since law enforcement officers generally aim the signal at the area around the license plate.
Tints and windshields with metallic films will also affect a radar detector’s ability to sense incoming signals, and it is important to check to see if this applies to your vehicle. Darker tints can cause a radar detector to lose up to 37 percent of its ability to sense incoming signals, and windshields with metallic sun blocks can cause it to be up to 95 percent less effective. In these cases it is a good idea to remember that you might not always have enough warning to slow down before you are clocked speeding.
Radar detector design
Once you have decided between a radar or laser detector that can sense both types of signals, you also want to consider its design. Some models simply plug into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter or are wired directly into the dash, while others are cordless and rely on battery power. While the length of the cord will limit where the radar detector can be placed, it should be noted that even the best wireless radar detector can run out of power if the batteries are not frequently changed. While there are advantages to cordless radar detectors and corded models, the best one for you will often depend on personal preference. There are also radar detectors that feature a compact design, which is ideal for use with motorcycles.
Reading a radar detector screen
If you cannot read the screen on a radar detector, it won’t be able to effectively protect you from all speed and traffic camera traps. Even with voice activated features it is still important to be able to read and understand what is displayed on the screen. Bright LED or OLED screens ensure that the digital display is easy to read in almost any lightening, and colored text can also improve visibility.
The screen should display whether the device is in city or highway mode, along with the band’s frequency. Some radar detectors will also display your current rate of speed when a police band is detected, along with the posted limited. The strength of the detected radar signal will let you know the approximate distance, along with the amount of time you have to slow down. In most cases radar detectors are designed to be easy to read and understand to ensure the device’s effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
What are the most popular brands?
Finding the best radar detector can be difficult, especially when you considered all of the different manufacturers. To help you find a reputable brand, we have included the following brief reviews of the top manufacturers of radar detectors.
A leader in the industry, Whistler is proud to manufacturer some of the top rated radar and laser systems for automotive vehicles. The company not only produces state of the art electronic systems for its international customers, but it is also dedicated to manufacturing the best Whistler radar detectors for consumers. Each device is constructed according to strict specifications so consumers can rest assured that they are purchasing a high quality product.
Throughout the company’s history it has been the first in product advancements and innovations. With several of the advancements protected by patents only Whistler can supply consumers with top of the line products that are easy and convenient to use, and come at an affordable price. Dedicated to designing and manufacturing electronics that improve everyday life, it is easy to see why Whistler radar detectors are a popular choice with consumers.
2. Valentine One
Many companies have tried to replace the best Valentine One radar detector, and no one has succeeded since the first one was manufactured in 1976. For over 30 years Valentine One has been manufacturing high quality radar detectors, and very little has changed from the initial design. The company is officially known as Valentine Research Inc. and is dedicated to its customers’ satisfaction. Founder and President Mike Valentine has been designing and manufacturing affordable and dependable radar detectors since 1976, when he introduced the public to the Escort Radar Warning Receiver.
One of the reasons for the company’s amazing success is that it is still privately owned. This allows Mike Valentine and his team of engineers the freedom to create and manufacturer radar detectors that everyone can afford. Consumers won’t be able to find products manufactured by Valentine One in stores instead they purchase the radar detectors directly from the company. This ensures complete customer satisfaction through every step of the buying process. From choosing the right product to ensuring that it functions properly, Valentine One will help customers make the right decision.
The team at Escort is proud of its award winning record, and looks forward to developing new and innovative products for its consumers in the coming years. Not only is the company dedicated to manufacturing the best Escort radar detectors, it has also compiled a compelling list detailing why consumers should consider these products. Radar detectors manufactured by Escort are not only some of the top rated units available, these convenient devices can also help motorists drive safer and smarter.
Escort has been proudly manufacturing award winning and tested radar detectors for over 35 years, and the company holds 65 percent of the patents pertaining to these devices. Escort will work with consumers to help them find a reliable radar detector that is easy to use, and affordably priced. Consumers can trade in old models and apply the value towards the cost of a new one, and VIP members can take advantage of additional savings. Escort radar detectors also come with the latest technological advancements that ensure you are always aware of any traffic cameras and speed traps. You will also have access to the live app which will keep you in touch with other owners of Escort radar detectors, so you never have to worry about getting caught in an expensive speed trap again.
Since the best Beltronics radar detector, the GX65 has already been awarded the CES Innovations Award for In-Vehicle Accessories in 2009, consumers know that they are purchasing a quality product. With radar detectors that include the GX65 and others, it easy to see why Beltronics has remained one of the most trusted brands for over 40 years. The company was founded in 1967, and has dedicated itself to manufacturing top quality radar and laser detectors that feature some of the leading technology in the industry. This helps to ensure a reliable performance from all of Beltronics products and accessories.
It is not only the 2009 award winning GX65 radar detector that has consumers paying attention, but the other Beltronics models as well. Understanding that not all consumers are able to afford some of the higher priced units, the company has also engineered a reliable and cost effective radar detector. With ratings that include praise for “best overall performance” and test results that state a Beltronics radar detector is “10 times more effective” than other brands, it’s not hard to see why drivers depend on these top rated products to help them avoid speed traps and expensive traffic tickets.
While the company name may have changed since founder Carl Korn first began repairing TVs in his garage, Cobra is now one of the leading names in radar detectors. In response to the overwhelming popularity of the company’s products, the company name was officially changed to Cobra Electronics in 1993. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in revenue as consumers continue to experience the high performance reliability of the best Cobra radar detectors.
Since its initial humble beginnings over 50 years ago Cobra Electronics has gone on to become a top manufactured of radar detection products, along with CB and two way radios. Dedicated to producing the best radar detection devices for its customers, each device features the latest technology so you will never be surprised by a speed trap. Cobra also recognizes that different types of drivers have individual needs when it comes to radar detectors, which is why the company has a long line of top rated products. Whether you are a professional driver or simply want to get to work without getting a traffic ticket, there is a Cobra radar detection device designed specifically for you. Boating enthusiasts can also enjoy complete protection with a radar detector designed for use on the water, along with drivers of recreational vehicles.
What about the laws?
Radar detectors are convenient devices that can help drivers avoid speed traps, traffic cameras, and expensive tickets, but before you mount one on your dash or windshield it is important to know if it is legal in your state.
While the Communications Act of 1934 did give the federal government the legal right to regulate all wire and radio transmissions, the FCC has never exercised this right regarding radar detectors. Instead it has left any decision concerning the legality of the devices up to individual states, which has resulted in some confusion.
Most states allow the use of radar detectors, though some do limit how the devices can be mounted. The use of any type of radar detector is illegal in Virginia and Washington D.C. Not only is it illegal to use a radar detector, it is also against the law to own or sell one. Penalties do vary depending on the number of previous offenses, and can range from hefty fines to time served in jail. Military vehicles are exempt from this law.
It is illegal to use a radar detector on any military base. If the device is spotted, the MPs will politely request that it be unplugged and make sure that it is turned off. It should be noted that it is not illegal to bring a radar detector onto the base, as long as it is not in use.
The laws are different for private and commercial vehicles. While private vehicles can use a radar detector in most states, it is completely illegal for one to be used in some commercially operated vehicles. Federal law clearly states that any vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or more cannot use any type of radar detection device. In addition to federal law, some states have also enacted their own regulations prohibiting the use of radar detectors in any commercial vehicle. This includes New Jersey, New York and Illinois, though it is best to check with a particular state before installing one in any commercial vehicle.
Windshield Mounting Laws
Some states are also enacting laws that limit where the radar detector can be mounted, and it is best to check local regulations before installing the device in a vehicle. California and Minnesota prohibit drivers from mounting a radar detector to the windshield, but it is legal to attach one to the dash. Florida also has laws in place that regulate where a radar detector can be mounted, and to avoid an expensive fine it is always best to check with your state’s requirements.
Radar and Laser Jammer Laws
It is important to note that the use of any type of radar jamming device is strictly illegal, and it can result in a felony charge requiring mandatory jail time. While radar jammers fall under the guidelines set down by the FCC, the same is not true for devices that are able to block laser signals. Laser jammers are still legal in some states, but this is also changing. Twelve states, and Washington D.C. have already banned the use of laser jammers, and more are poised to follow suit.
The best advice before mounting a radar detector or laser jammer is to first check with the laws that apply to the state.