The technology behind radar detectors has been around for a while, but many are still reluctant to use one in their vehicle regardless of the state or country. Why? Well, many places have laws against drivers using detectors and similar devices which makes many want to stay on the safe side instead. What about Florida?
Are Radar Detectors Legal?
If you’re a Floridian vehicle owner, you’re in luck: using a radar detector is fully permitted by the state’s laws. However, things are rarely as simple when discussing gray area legal matters, and a radar detector could rightly be called one of them.
One exception is for heavy commercial vehicles – large trucks and the like are deemed too road-dangerous for anything other than full speed control. If you drive a large and heavy vehicle in a professional capacity, you’re meant to keep her steady, and if you’re looking to have your monster truck outfitted with a radar detector, be sure to forward the vehicle’s specs to the authorities when asking whether it’s allowed.
Furthermore, while the law should be upheld the same way across the board, every police officer has his own individual way of going about things. Some road policemen (yes, even in Florida) may choose to pull you over and give you a hard time over having a detector running: some of them might want you to prove that the device doesn’t interfere with the radar guns they use to capture speed while others could even claim your device shouldn’t be detachable from the vehicle. Sure, the law will ultimately be on your side, but nobody likes getting pulled over.
Radar detectors can be a bit expensive, but they can be seen as an investment – pay a little up front to avoid a lot of hassle later on. Indeed, the purpose of radar detectors isn’t to let people get away with speeding but rather to neutralize the chance of having a dispute with a road officer.
With that said, don’t make the mistake of mixing up radar detectors with jammers – one is perfectly legal (for the most part) while the other can get you into trouble.
The difference between detectors and jammers
The legality of radar detectors stems from them only being used to scout the police’s signal rather than interfere with it. Radar jammers, on the other hand, are used to actively block the police radar gun and stop it from getting a damning reading on you.
You might be thinking: “But I can tell the difference between the two, why should I exercise caution?” As it turns out, quite a few radar detectors also have a built-in jammer. You don’t need to use it – as long as it’s there, a police officer can choose to pull you over, write a fine or even incarcerate you.
Therefore, when buying any form of radar detection, no matter how reputable the company is, make sure to double-check for any jamming technology and choose another model if it’s present – Florida or not, the blues aren’t going to respond well to your vehicle sporting a jammer.