Answering "Should I Get a Radar Detector?"

bentvalve3g

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DISCLAIMER: I'll start with a background story, if you want to skip that my question will be at the bottom.

So my girlfriend's family is in town, and I was driving my girlfriend and her sister to dinner in my CM car. R1 alerts me to state patrol somewhere in the next county, I mute it, and girlfriend's sister asks "Should I get a radar detector? I've been thinking about it." and I tell you what, I fumbled hard. Girlfriend isn't a huge fan of my CMs, so I didn't want to incite an argument (happened anyway but that's for a different thread) and I just said something funny like "well how fast do you feel like going?" and they both kind of giggled, but sister persists "but like, where do you get them?" (senior in high school, trying to accurately portray some dialogue) and I fumbled harder and manage to mention online and best buy (not BRD, or any other vendor we all know). "But are they illegal?" (girlfriend had tried to tell me this a few times, must be a family thing) and I list the places they are illegal, my current state being not one of them. At that point Girlfriend butts in and starts with her talking points about how if an LEO sees it while you're pulled over he won't cut you slack, or you could just go the speed limit, blah blah.

Which brings me to my question: when someone asks you "should I get a radar detector", what are some good ways to go about answering that? I see people on the forum ask all the time which radar detector to get, but that person already has their mind made up they want one.
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And I understand our collective answer to the question is an obvious yes :) that's why we're here. I'm just talking about a curious family member/friend who may want that beeping thing in my windshield to whom I want to give an informed answer.
 
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1move

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I simply respond with "Well, should you get a coffee?". Most people are dumbfounded by that answer but the follow up of "No, you dont have to drink or get a coffee, but its an enhancer and keeps you aware and alert. This is what a radar detector does for me, it feeds me information I wouldn't get otherwise." It's my non intrusive answer/opinion, and if they start asking further questions just continue onward.
 

thebravo

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it's a complex question really. And the answer depends on their driving style and their interest in knowing when radar is in use. if they are a PSL and under only driver than their need for one is not really there from a speed perspective... still can be helpful as it can tell you there is a police officer nearby so perhaps there is an accident, or a officer with someone stopped ahead, so you can be prepared for slowing traffic or maybe having to merge a lane to give the officer more room on the shoulder. or let you know one is approaching so watch out around you and move over if needed so they can get by... Some folks just like to know whats going on around them and it would simply interest them without providing a benefit persay. Even if i'm not speeding i still like to know where they are and what they are doing so I run mine regardless, now I have a lead foot so I use mine for ticket protection as well.
 

fitz4321

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If you drive +10 PSL or more and you like techie stuff, Yes. If you are easily distracted when driving, no.

In California (where I live), I simply recommend the DFR6 set to KA Narrow only. Almost no false distractions. When it beeps you slow down. No K junk. If you watch slick deals they pop up often and cheap.
 

Got Jeep

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Generally speaking I would ask Do you drive faster than the rest of traffic. If not it’s probably not worth the trouble. RD’s have a learning curve which is too steep for all the short attention span schmucks out there. The average joe would probably ignore the noise box during a real alert anyway then it would be your fault they got a ticket ! ;)

“but like, where do you get them?" (senior in high school, trying to accurately portray some dialogue)” :razz:
You need to sprinkle 3 or 4 more “likes” in there !
 

bentvalve3g

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Damn, I should've asked you guys two days ago, I knew the question would probably come (or something like it) but didn't think about it. These are all good points. If she lived closer I would loan her my Radenso SP, see how she likes it.
 

samq45

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It all depends on what she looks like.

If she has other assets - those are the best countermeasures - unless perhaps a women LEO pulls her over.
 

Tallyho

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Next time ask them if they like people spying on them without their knowledge? Radar is a form of spying on you and unless you have the right equipment, you'd never know.

Anyone who has the ability to fine you, jail you, carries a gun and is spying on you, should be extremely suspicious to you.
 

turbofish

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How about this for an argument.
"Most of my tickets happen when I just wasn't paying attention. It doesn't matter if you are speeding on purpose, that ticket comes anyway."

But everyone who knows me knows how I drive. Everything is still true and nearly everyone has been stopped at least once so they can relate.

My wife keeps one in her car at all times just for that reason but then again, she is more aggressive than I am.
 

Super Dave

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I usually get

“Do those things work”
“Do you speed that much”

Answer 1- I say yes they do but you have to understand and use them properly and there are other ways officers can obtain your speed so it’s not immunity.

Answer 2 - doesn’t everyone at some point, this helps keep me from being a ticket statistic. I don’t drive reckless but I think everyone goes over even if going with the flow. Again must be able to understand and use properly.

Usually they don’t ask any more questions.

When people ask about my jammers I really try to change the conversation. It’s too hard for most people unfamiliar with countermeasures to understand anyway and I don’t want them talking about it really.

Most don’t know they are even there unless it falses once in awhile. Usually when they say “what’s that” I say my detector.
 
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GernBlanston

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I guess if someone asked me if they should get an RD, I'd probably say no.
If you have to ask, you're probably not ready for one. Most people don't seem to want to get involved enough to understand radar detectors or what is required to set them up and comprehend their strengths and weaknesses.
If someone asked me for some info, or why I have one, or how well it works, I'd probably engage in the conversation and see exactly where they're coming from before discussing the "Should I?" question.
I do not discuss my TMG parking sensors at all, although the suggestion from @sdrawkcaB in another thread that I should tell people they're headlight washers is my new go-to when asked. I try not to laugh out loud.
 

drtoddw

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Detectors are used in various ways. I sold my original Pro to someone who generally doesn't speed. She uses it all the time because her violations would be more likely in areas where speed limits drop suddenly. So, essentially, it serves as a last chance reminder to watch one's speed.
She could get by without a detector, but chooses to have a little piece of mind for those times she's unintentionally speeding.
I had one when I first started driving but oftentimes never actually used it. One time I actually used it, ignored the alert thinking it was a false alert, and ended up getting a ticket. Oh well. Then, I drove for almost 10 years without one. Received a ticket during that time but still didn't see the need to get one. Driving 10-15 over, the possibility of being ticketed was rarely an issue and generally used situational awareness to get by.
Decided to get a replacement for the detector I'd had forever, planning to use it on trips. I bought an original Redline and the false alerts drove me crazy. The rest is documented in my signature.
Do I NEED a detector? Nope. I don't NEED my concealed carry firearm either. Do I get additional piece of mind using either? Yep, and that's why I have what I have. I enjoy knowing that if I'm being hit with radar, I'll know about well before the cop gets my speed. I even have Laser Jammers in an area that rarely uses laser. But it's the peace of mind that comes by not having to anxiously worry that at any moment I could be pulled over. For me, that peace let's me enjoy driving again.
 

Randy at Radenso

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Detectors are used in various ways. I sold my original Pro to someone who generally doesn't speed. She uses it all the time because her violations would be more likely in areas where speed limits drop suddenly. So, essentially, it serves as a last chance reminder to watch one's speed.
She could get by without a detector, but chooses to have a little piece of mind for those times she's unintentionally speeding.
I had one when I first started driving but oftentimes never actually used it. One time I actually used it, ignored the alert thinking it was a false alert, and ended up getting a ticket. Oh well. Then, I drove for almost 10 years without one. Received a ticket during that time but still didn't see the need to get one. Driving 10-15 over, the possibility of being ticketed was rarely an issue and generally used situational awareness to get by.
Decided to get a replacement for the detector I'd had forever, planning to use it on trips. I bought an original Redline and the false alerts drove me crazy. The rest is documented in my signature.
Do I NEED a detector? Nope. I don't NEED my concealed carry firearm either. Do I get additional piece of mind using either? Yep, and that's why I have what I have. I enjoy knowing that if I'm being hit with radar, I'll know about well before the cop gets my speed. I even have Laser Jammers in an area that rarely uses laser. But it's the peace of mind that comes by not having to anxiously worry that at any moment I could be pulled over. For me, that peace let's me enjoy driving again.
This is the perfect reply for this post. It is all about situational awareness. Especially traveling where you might not know what the exact speed limit is, it doesn’t hurt to just slow down just incase. There are many roads and highways where you would think the speed limit should be 35 or 45 when it is actually 10 mph lower. Doesn’t matter if you have a Corvette or a Prius, everyone can be caught speeding even if you are not purposely speeding.
 

Eve6er69

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This is the perfect reply for this post. It is all about situational awareness. Especially traveling where you might not know what the exact speed limit is, it doesn’t hurt to just slow down just incase. There are many roads and highways where you would think the speed limit should be 35 or 45 when it is actually 10 mph lower. Doesn’t matter if you have a Corvette or a Prius, everyone can be caught speeding even if you are not purposely speeding.
Exactly. I recently moved from Massachusetts to Ohio and I don’t know the speed limits. One thing that’s been hard to grasp here is that backroad speeds are higher than main road speeds. It’s the opposite back home. So having the RD on the main roads when I accidentally make it into a small town and am still doing 55 and the speed limit is 35-45 is super helpful Incase I do come across a LEO.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

bentvalve3g

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You guys have brought up a lot of good points. I've been thinking about purely ticket avoidance, but the situational awareness provided by a properly used RD is almost a bigger factor, thinking about my day to day use. The young lady in question made the comment in the same conversation that "I don't always mean to speed, but sometimes it just happens".
 

jimveta

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I see you are in Montana. Up to 1999, one wouldn't need a radar detector at all there since there were no speed limits. The law was simply "reasonable and prudent" which basically meant, fast is ok, but not reckless. It was the last state to cave into the ticket revenue racket.
 

SWB

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PSL on local highways are 55-70. In small towns around here it is 30-40 PSL. I fail to check up sometime while driving. I do check up but it is well into 40 speed zone most of time in town. Last three tickets were for 55 or 60 in a 40. I got a radar detector to slow me down ahead of time. I have been warned by my RD lot times when radar was being used. So that is my reason.
 

bentvalve3g

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I see you are in Montana. Up to 1999, one wouldn't need a radar detector at all there since there were no speed limits. The law was simply "reasonable and prudent" which basically meant, fast is ok, but not reckless. It was the last state to cave into the ticket revenue racket.
That reminds me I should update that. I recently moved to Washington state, but the girl that started this whole question is still living in Montana. I do miss the level of enforcement in that state!
 

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