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Thread: Laser, Radar, Jammer...what?

  1. #16
    Rtinger
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    Visual speed ticket do not hold up in court...maybe reckless driving charges might

  2. #17
    RSPENNACHIO
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    I really don't see the value in either one. In my younger days I got lots of tickets mostly for being stupid. In the last 18 year I have recieved one moving violation.

    I deserved it and as soon as the North Carolina Trooper handed it to me I agreed that I should have toned it down a bit.

    I exceed the speed limit enough but I also stay within it a lot too. I think a good record and a pleasant demeanor when approched by LEO will get you out of as many or more tickets as a radar/laser detector.

  3. #18
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    I think that you are referring to older hand held RADAR units that had to be left on all the time. Guys would sit with them transmitting into their laps until a potential target approached. Lots of places still use RADAR, now that the technology has allowed the units to be "instant on." In the northeast where we don't have long, open stretches of roadway, directional RADAR with a "fastest vehicle" setting actually works better than LIDAR, IMHO.

    From your last post, it sounds like you don't need a RADAR detector as much as a "police discretion emitter." This device causes the approaching LEO to use discretion when dealing with a former member of service and issue a friendly slow-down warning instead of a summons . Too bad no one has been able to perfect this technology yet...
    Craig
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  4. #19
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    As stated earlier in NY the ticket reads XX speed by observation, and "confirmed" by radar. Not sure the origin, but has to do with probable cause to use the radar, I believe.

    Very little laser except on the interstate around here, too much $$$ to convert over. Plus the cop has to take an active roll, he can't take a nap and just wait until the buzzer goes off.

  5. #20
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I'm a bit surprised that the "visual" clocking would hold up in court if challenged. Couldn't the speeder just demand proof of the accuracy of the method?
    The officer's training and experience qualify them as "experts" in visual speed estimation, which allows them to testify to the accuracy of a "visual clocking." There are also other speed-related charges such as "speed not reasonable and prudent," which is a general catchall when an exact speed is not captured.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nando View Post
    Visual speed ticket do not hold up in court...
    In NY, yes they certainly do.
    Craig
    New York's Hudson Valley Region
    2009 R1200RT
    MOA #146131 IBA #55715

  6. #21
    Rtinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by cscatola View Post
    ..... as much as a "police discretion emitter." This device causes the approaching LEO to use discretion when dealing with a former member of service and issue a friendly slow-down warning instead of a summons . Too bad no one has been able to perfect this technology yet...
    Absolutely! Your suggestion is not new, ( I have had previous experiences with the "Discretion Emiitter". The problem is this device does not plug-in the cerebral batteries on this type of character on duty. One thing that always urk the crap out of me was working with the type who use the badge as a power stick rather than a call to serve...luckly, there were never too many of them--they either mellow out with experience or leave.

  7. #22
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nando View Post
    I thought the RADAR speed detectors were banned because cops sued for getting cancer from using these things? I was under the impression there were only LASER guns nowadays...
    Still lots of radar in use, although the bands used have shifted over the years. If your X band goes off you're likely close to a shopping center.

    As noted by others, you get just about zero warning with laser due to its very narrow beam. When your laser detector goes off there are three things you can do:
    1. look at the tail lights in front of you. If you see some bright LED lights they might have caused the detector to trigger. Ignore the warning.
    2. look for one of the new LED billboards. They have been known to trigger detectors. Ignore the warning.
    3. Look at your speedo. If 10-15 MPH (maybe less on some areas) over the limit (or more!) pull over. You are going to get a ticket.


    My detector sits unused in the trunk of my wife's car. I took it off the bike about 2 years ago and haven't missed it.

  8. #23
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cscatola View Post
    A "jammer," as tommcgee described, is a device that actively transmits signals back to the police car's speed measuring device in an attempt to confuse the unit and either make it not display your speed or display a speed that is lower than what you are actually traveling. These types of units are illegal in every state as far as I know.
    There is a distinction between radar jammers and laser "shifters" which are often called jammers, but jammer is a misnomer. Nobody is building and selling radar jammers legally. They are illegal in the US under FCC rules and have been for many years. There are plenty of products still sold in this category and they are pure snake oil. Google Rocky Mountain Radar scam if you need more info.

    Laser is different. Laser shifters are legal except in Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois and Washington DC. This "which state" info came from radarbusters.com and I have no idea if it's up to date or not. It won't be long before they ARE illegal in every state, but we aren't there yet.

    While shifters do work, I don't see the point of having a LEO putting a crosshair on your oncoming profile and then wondering why he isn't getting an accurate reading and I don't want to explain it to him at the side of the road.

    As far as radar detectors go, they will tell you if radar is close by, but there are lots of crappy ones out there that never shut up from false alarms (like the V1), and using a detector is no guarantee you won't get tagged. You can still be paced, clocked by aircraft (be careful on the Maine Turnpike DAMHIK), and a bunch of other methods.

    Ride with traffic. Keep your license.
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  9. #24
    Rtinger
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    No good news to solve this problem!

    How about stealth bikes? ..

  10. #25
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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  11. #26
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    I have Escort 8500s in both SAAB turbos and on my 1200RT and on any given day they save my butt several times. Yeah, on the RT I see triple digits regularly and nearly as often in the turbo Saabs. I'm seventy two this month and only one ticket in the past twenty years. I've been stopped several times but no tickets. Last one was amusing, young state trooper waved me over as I was passing a 600 series Mercedes sedan that had been playing with me for miles and at the time was on my 04RT. I had no traffic behind me and squatted down and stopped with maximum effort. Put bike on sidestand and waited for the officer to walk up. He was amazed. He apologized and said there must have been something wrong with his radar as nothing could stop in that short a distance at the speed his radar reported. No ticket, no warning, he rides a Harley on his days off.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  12. #27
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    If you wanna play, be prepared to pay. If I had all the money back I've spent on tickets in the last 43 years, I could buy another bike with cash.
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  13. #28
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I'm a bit surprised that the "visual" clocking would hold up in court if challenged. Couldn't the speeder just demand proof of the accuracy of the method?
    As part of Radar Certification (at least in Wisconsin), we also had to visually estimate the speed of test vehicles to an accuracy of 80% or greater, in order to be considered 'expert witnesses' in court, as well as document that we were spending the majority of our duty time in traffic.

    Thought the bar was set high, but after plenty of training and time on the road, 90-95% is the norm.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  14. #29
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    I thought the RADAR speed detectors were banned because cops sued for getting cancer from using these things? I was under the impression there were only LASER guns nowadays...

    Actually, you're half-right. When I first started out in law enforcement, we had radar transeivers mounted outside of the squad on the driver's side rear window.

    Blasting radar waves in such close proximity to one's cranium didn't seem like a good idea (could explain me though?!), so I used it sparingly. Gave rise to some litagation.

    Then officers were placing handheld radar guns in their laps during lulls in traffic, while still in the 'transmit' mode - basically microwaving their privates, with unfortunate results (and more litagation).

    Now radar (still very common) involves fixed antennas on the front dash and rear window deck. Keeps Officer Friendly out of harm's way.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  15. #30
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    I've sat six feet behind a much larger and more powerful radar for many years now and i'm ok (I think ) ... of course most guys who fly jets with big radars end up having girls as it were (about a 70-30 ratio; at least significant enough of a deviation to notice).

    Some interesting points on radars, and what can and cannot be done, but just to add my two cents.

    Magic devices and idiot boxes are just that. Expecting a radar detector to save you in all instances at all times is just silly. Used properly, they can be a beneficial tool in your driving strategy if you feel the speed limits are inappropriate. No need for a morality/legality lecture here -- the fact is there are speed trap areas that change the speed limits rapidly and unreasonably with the goal of creating revenue for the local governance. Speed limits are also based on the abilities of the lowest common denominator (usually that sub 24yr old with the cell in their hand).

    All that being said -- radar detectors do work and can have success even against "instant on" radars (which really arent instant on -- its just a function of the PRF of the pulsed radar). Since the radar beam is wide and reflective, even when used instant on, you can pick up the signal -- hopefully this comes from the LEO gunning someone ahead of you vs. just you. If its 1 v. 1 you may not have a chance, and as pointed out the professional in this realm is the cop with the eyeballs, not the driver who relies on a gauge. But remember that vision works both ways -- if the cop can see you, you should be able to see the cop. If you are not clearing and actively looking, you probably shouldnt be speeding; if you cant see down the road to whats ahead, then slow down.

    Jammers can and do work -- provided you get the correct brand that has been independently certified -- but they too are just a tool. If you are going to use a jammer, it should be used in conjunction with a detector, and you should slow down immediately AND turn off the jammer once you are at the speed limit. Brute force denial obviates the required deception. This may be difficult and dangerous to do on a bike, so probably not a good idea.

    Kevin pointed out that people only think their device saved them... this is true, but there are more impacts. Police presence both visual and through signals via a detector can also serve as a warning to a leadfoot to slow down when they might not otherwise. So even without pulling a person over the LEO can have his desired effect of slowing speeders down. Everyone is human and may not always be perfectly be paying attention to the posted limits vice the speed they are going. Most LEOs are actually pretty sympathetic to this, which is why there is such a high warning to ticket ratio. Besides, there are usually enough A-holes going way over the limit to take up their 'free' time.

    In the end, I try to be clearing at all times, for dangers on the road, other drivers, and LEOs. The radar detector, when it goes off, is more often than not a reminder to slow down -- and knock on wood -- I haven't gotten a ticket on the bike yet.

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