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In the US, the average cost for a speeding ticket is $150, and annually, around 41 million speeding tickets are issued. Whether from a personal or political standpoint, that is a lot of money. If you are looking to dodge the fine, then we understand why you’d want to have a radar detector. But are these devices even legal? If not, then how to hide radar detectors and still enjoy them?
If you have heard that radar detectors are prohibited in some areas or have come across an article saying that modern radar guns can detect radar detectors, then this article comes to you at an opportune time to set things straight and to provide you with essential tips on the matter.
Why Do You Have to Hide Radar Detectors in the First Place?
The obvious answer is that radar detectors may be illegal to use on your side of the world or be in possession of someone in the country.
All over the globe, different federal or state laws apply concerning radar detectors. Several countries are clear about their stand regarding these devices. Japan, Iceland, New Zealand, and the UK, for example, allow drivers to use them, whereas, in countries like Finland, Belgium, Italy, and Germany, they are deemed illegal.
However, other countries have a complicated relationship with radar detectors. Australia and the United States, for example, have different state laws to follow on top of the instituted federal laws.
A case in point is the US, where the device is legal in all states except Virginia, Washington, D.C., and military bases. On top of that, while it is legal to use them in other states, you have to make sure you are not using one with a non-commercial vehicle or a vehicle that is more than 18,000 pounds. Interestingly, in Australia, all states except Western Australia prohibit the use of radar detectors.
Other countries are so strict about radar detectors that possessing one is considered a violation of the law. Confiscation or fines may apply depending on federal and state provisions. If you are in Finland and caught with one in your vehicle—whether you are using it or not, then you will be slapped with a fine in proportion to your income.
How to Hide Radar Detectors?
If you are unfortunately living in or traveling to a place where radar detectors are illegal, and you are not ready to give up on the idea of going without one, then you’ll find the tips or tricks below helpful:
Mount it somewhere invisible from the outside.
So, where exactly is that invisible area? Obviously, it is not in the middle of the windshield or on the dashboard where it can be easily spotted even without the help of a radio detector.
One less visible spot is right above the rearview mirror. While this still lends the radar detector visible upon close inspection, at least it is not a vulnerable spot. Additionally, you can add a three- to four-inch tint strip on top of your windshield to hide that radar detector.
Adding that tint strip also takes care of other things. One, it allows you to put your radar detector in a good position to catch radar signals. However, there are some concerns about the film cutting back the efficiency of a radar detector. A second advantage to using a tint strip is that it helps protect your radar detector from heat. Thus, you can expect a radar detector behind a tint strip to last longer than one that is directly exposed to heat.
Don’t put your car to a sudden halt.
If you want to eliminate suspicions of you using a radar detector, then remember not to slam on the brakes once you get an alert. Doing so will just cause the police officer to suspect that you got your ‘Intel’ from a device while being targeted by a radar gun—most probably the instant-on type—thus, the sudden brake.
Make it a habit of slowing down instead of suddenly stepping on the brakes when your radar detector goes off. This will up your chances of getting off a speeding ticket fine than if you would suspiciously put the car to an immediate stop.
Invest in a stealthy radar detector.
Another thing you can do is to buy a really good radar detector. While radar detector manufacturers are upping their game, so are those working on upgrading the speed detection tools of police enforcement. That explains why some departments have moved on to the more accurate and stealthy laser guns.
But going back to the radar detection field, it is believed that some radar guns are equipped with radar detector detecting technology. Like radar guns, radar detectors leak out some signals that can be caught by these radar guns. Thus, merely hiding a regular radar detector behind a tint strip can be a futile effort.
What you need is a radar detector that can hide from such RDD-equipped radar guns. Thankfully, there are a few stealthy types. Among them are the Beltronic STI Magnum, the Escort Redline, and the Uniden R3 and R1. But, of course, since they belong to a special class of radar detectors, you’ll have to be ready to raise your budget. That will be around $400 to $500.
So those are three of the ways on how to hide radar detectors, from the most practical to the most effective yet expensive. If you are looking to up your radar detection game regardless of the existing laws of the area, then these are the tricks that may work for you. Again, these are not fool-proof ways, and neither are radar detectors 100% effective all the time.
Nevertheless, while it is easy stepping on the gas and finding loopholes in the system as some form of revolt to an income-generating provision, speed checks remain to serve an important purpose, and that is to keep the highways and roads safe for everyone. So, use radar detectors responsibly.