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Monday, April 16, 2012

Radar Detector Laws

A radar detector is an electronic device used to detect the radar waves. The radar detectors that are used nowadays are capable of detecting signals of various wavelength bands, including 'K', 'X', 'Ku' and 'Ka'. Radar detectors are however able to detect only the doppler radar. They detectors catch the electromagnetic waves produced by the radar guns using a 'superheterodyne receiver' and raise an alarm.

Laws for Radar Detector
To have a radar detector installed in a vehicle is termed illegal under the laws of many countries. It could result into the radar detector being seized and the user might have to pay fines as per the rules. The following points provide information regarding the radar detector laws of different countries.

United Kingdom: It is legal to use the radar detectors in the United Kingdom, however, as per the 'Wireless Telegraphy Act' passed in 1949, technically these devices cannot be used.
Australia: The use of a radar detector is termed illegal in Australia, except for the state of Western Australia. A person possessing this device might have to pay a fine up to 1200 AUD, and can earn as many as 9 de-merit points.
Canada: The radar detector can be used only in the states of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Substantial fines are imposed by the police for illegal possession of the device in the other states of Canada.
Belgium: Using radar detectors is illegal in Belgium. In the year 2006, a vehicle worth 75,000 euros was seized and the driver's license was suspended for 3 months for illegal possession of a radar detector.
Germany: It is illegal to use radar detectors in Germany. Possession of this device results into confiscation and destruction along with a fine of 75 euros.
Greece: Illegal possession of a radar detector leads to driving license suspension for 30 days, a fine of 2000 euros and car registration license suspension for 60 days.
France: It is illegal to use radar detectors in France. Even if the device is not in active use, police can confiscate it and impose heavy fines on the user.
Ireland: The law under which the radar detectors are confiscated in Ireland is known as 'Speed Meter Detectors'. Although the penalty amount is not fixed, confiscation of the device and imposition of hefty fines could be the consequences of illegal possession.
Switzerland: The radar detectors are confiscated and destroyed if possessed illegally.

Radar Detector State Laws
In the state of Virginia and the US capital city of Washington D.C., the possession of radar detector is termed illegal. As per the state laws of New York, Illinois and New Jersey, it is illegal to carry the detectors in commercial vehicles (vehicles weighing over 4,500 kg.). In the states of California, Minnesota and New York the items which obstruct the vision of the driver are prohibited by law. The radar detectors come under the category of these items, and thus it is indirectly prohibited. Earlier, the illegal possession of radar detectors was penalized by confiscation of the device itself. However, confiscation results into the violation of property rights. Thus, even if the device is found in the vehicle, it is returned to the owner after entering its description (i.e. model, make and serial number) on the ticket.

Radar technology is used in the form of ground penetration radar equipment along with that in the radar detectors. With the invention of the radar, laws were made to prevent the misuse of this technology.

Radar detector laws of different countries mentioned above would help in avoiding a penalty. In some countries, the use of the radar detector is completely banned, while few others permit its usage without any legal clauses attached to it. Thus, one should understand the laws of his respective country/state and follow them. 
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