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Radar Detectors and Blockers

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Electronics' started by andyg7, Dec 31, 2013.

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    andyg7

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    Hey all, I have recently purchased a 2005 545 i. Like many of you I like to drive my car to its full potential... I have received a few tickets already. I know nothing about radar detectors and blocks, and i was wondering if anyone had any recommendations.
    Thanks in advance.
    Andrew
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    • Staff

    steven s

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    I've been using a Valentine1 for years. I probably wouldn't use a blocker.
    Best bet is to change your driving style. Stay out of the left lane.

    Some newer cars have electronics that create havoc on radar detectors.
    I drove a new M5 and M6 recently where I had to turn off one of the bands because of the car's electronic gizmos.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    There are a number of past discussions on the forum, search "valentine 1", & a V1 is the detector I'd suggest.

    Any device that blocks radar is illegal to use, and, the way radar guns work, police would almost assuredly know their radar is being blocked or experiencing interference. Years ago, a company sold a radar-blocker that worked, but only on x or k band, which would be almost entirely useless today anyway. If anybody is marketing something claiming to block radar, it's quite likely a scam & complete waste of money.

    There _may_ be state or local regulations banning anything that blocks or interferes with laser, but there are no federal laws banning laser-blocking devices (unlike radio waves, light is not regulated by the FCC).

    If you drive in a fashion that is likely to draw attention, then police are likely to notice. A radar/laser detector offers you no immunity whatsoever to getting clocked, pulled over, or tickets. If you read through the Valentine 1 website, you'll see what a detector does is just that, provide detection to the best of its abilities in any given situation, and perhaps offer a driver advance warning of radar or laser in use, maybe enough advance warning to react and perhaps slow down, if one is exceeding the speed limit. Laser, however, is extremely difficult to detect in advance and provide any time to react - a laser will clock your speed in milliseconds, basically immediately, and way before your brain can hear a laser alert, process a response, and send the signal for your foot to move. If you get a laser signal, unless it's a false one, the cop has your speed - which means, your only hope is the cop doesn't opt to go for you.

    Radar guns can give off a much more detectable signal compared to laser, so there is better chance for advance warning. Still, radar or laser, if you pop over the crest of a blind hill at speed and are surprised at short range with a clocking and no advance notice, you're probably toast for sure.

    All a radar detector can do is potentially give some advance warning, which may or may not end up being of help. I use a radar detector all the time and try to drive with common sense, awareness, and restraint, which generally seems to work. It is ill advised to try to drive everywhere as fast as possible, or to regularly substantially exceed the speed limit - all you're doing is upping your chances of getting tickets. It's always a bad idea to be the only target, to cruise at high speed in the fast line, to be passing many cars or pass any car quickly, to tailgate, weave, make abrupt moves or lane changes, way over the speed limit, and so on. Driving stupid, irresponsibly, and unsafely not only makes you an even bigger target, but a danger to everyone else around you (driving, walking, biking, etc) and yourself. Studies have shown that drivers who substantially drive outside the speed everyone else is driving (either too fast OR too slow) a creating a hazard to everyone else. It is important to up your awareness, and get your eyes looking further ahead and scanning. In addition to traffic slowdowns, etc., brake lights can often mean drivers ahead are seeing a cop car - most drivers automatically brake when they see a cop car or bike cop parked or clocking traffic (except when the cop is hidden). When you drive, think about where you would hide if you wanted to clock traffic and not be seen. Underpasses, bridges, blind curves, dips, hills, on-ramps opposite an exit overpass, and so on. If that isn't enough to make you paranoid enough to slow down in areas, well.....

    If you enjoy driving or driving quickly, the best place to do that by far is not on the street, but at a BMWCCA driver's school offered by the nearest chapter hosting a school at a local track. If you're located near any go-kart tracks (indoor or outdoor), that can be a way to fill a "need-4-speed" until driver's school season fires up. You'll learn a lot more at a driver's school, however. ;)
    floydarogers and pilotjoe like this.
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    mrsbee

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    Very eloquently put, Marshall. I personally have an escort - Mr Bee likes them and I suppose it does the trick for me. It does, however, give me a false sense of being invisible, which isn't good for any parties involved. Just yesterday I was scouting out the route for my Groundhog Day ride and was tearing up some fantastic mountain roads at a pretty good clip, of course, mountain roads have a bunch of switch backs and surprises - one of which was not one but three squads lined up on the side if the road with their guns OFF until somebody like me comes flying around the corner and bam.

    I was lucky, at this point in the adventure I had a headache and wasn't going "all out" but I know for a fact I could have had my butt put on ice for a long time if I DID get caught a time or two. These are risks that you have to accept taking if you're going to "drive to the full potential" of the car. You're not outsmarting anybody, you're still being dangerous, you're still breaking laws. Those laws are there for a reason, not just to piss you off, but to assure everybody a safe road to be travelling down. Remember, you have to share the road with others, some of us would be more than happy to keep up with you, others not so much.

    You also have to look at the investment vs. what you're going to be saving long term. I would still recommend, as stated before in the previous post, to attend HPDEs. Not only will it help you get some of that speed out of your system, it will also make you a better driver in general. I still think back to instructors advice while I'm driving twisty bits. This won't make you invisible to cops, but it will keep you out of other sorts of trouble - non law related.

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