I’ve driven since 1991 and only got 4 speeding tickets. Three were from radar and the other one was laser (lidar). That’s a great record. I’ve seen people get 3 tickets in a single year. My dad has got 3-4 x the amount of tickets in the same period (but also drives as much as 3x more).
#1 Get a Radar Detector. I’ve invested $1,500 in Radar Detectors. I’m on my 3rd one. I would have only had two but one was stolen and I replaced it only to have the police return it (haha) a year or so later when it turned up stolen. My first detector was a Bell. It had a lot of false alarms. I returned it and got a second Bell but it also had a lot of problems. Eventually I upgraded to a Valentine One. It was $500 but in the last 11 years+ it’s saved me at least 200 times. If I ever did get 200 tickets I’d be done driving but 200 times the cop checked my speed and it was under because the radar detector had enough warning. I’ve been ticket free since 2005. I almost got one in 2007 but they decided to stick me with something else instead. There are two good radar detectors out there. Valentine 1 is, I believe, still the only one that shows you how many radar hits, is programable, and shows you arrows letting you know if it’s coming ahead, behind, or to the side of you. The other one just has “BEEP” which doesn’t tell you much. That just says it’s either a cop coming up behind you, or ahead of you. That’s why I recommend the V1. The V1 also lets you upgrade to a full new unit for $200. You just enter your serial and they tell you what upgrades will offer. Years back I mailed back my unit and they sent me a whole new upgraded one that is smaller and did more. Now they even offer more things since the last time I’ve done that.
Radar Research – I used to keep up with this all the time but I haven’t in years. If anything has changed or needs to be added, let me know.
There’s 3 you need to learn.
X-Band – That is the ancient band that was used in the 60s/70s/80s? Only one time in my life have I seen a real cop use it. That is typically the alarms, store doors, and other things that are not a real “hit.” So the V1 lets me program it to turn that off. I never hear x band hits. While other detectors make you listen to that beep shit on them all the time.
K-Band – K Band is the one that many cops use. But now also many stores, alarms and who knows what also use it. So it’s hard sometimes to tell if it’s real or not. But the V1 does a good job with an audio tone that once you learn, you can tell what is real or not.
KA-Band – That is the upper quality radar that is always a real cop. My Bel told me when KA was used. I think V1 doesn’t really tell you as clearly.
Instant On Radar – Some Radar guns or devices have an instant on/pause option. That makes it undetectable until they use it. That means if you’re the first person to be hit by it, there’s nothing you can do. Your detector won’t give you enough warning. However because radar spams so far (10 miles on the V1) the chances of someone else being hit by instant on and you detecting it are pretty high. I think only one time have I been the first person to be hit by instant on without a warning. And I happened to be going slow enough or the cop wasn’t ready so I got away
Radar Jamming – At various periods there were jammers but once cops switched to guns with so many frequencies it became impossible to jam (unless you’re the military or using their devices). So jamming isn’t really an option. I read the jammers were the size of VCRs and it was pretty hard to explain having one. They were also expensive. They worked by flooding everywhere with radar. So if other people had detectors your jammer was setting those off. And if the cop happened to have a detector, you set them off! Because you can’t jam, you have to rely on detectors and positioning and driving your car to avoid tickets. It’s also illegal to jam radar.
Hiding your Detector – The Valentine 1 offers a conceal kit for $50. I have a display in front of my speedometer and the detector mounted up to the right of the rear view mirror. Since I usually get pulled over at night and the cop usually approaches from the left side, they never see the detector. They’d have to be making out with me by leaning in the car to see the detector. But if they happen to enter from the passenger side, they can easily see it. That happened one time to me. The reason them seeing it is a concern is that they will usually start being mad at you and will almost always give you a ticket or try to stick you with other charges. The reason is they are mad that you’re trying to beat them. There have been a few detectors that offered complete conceal kits with a front and rear grill sensor and a display that is mounted in some hidden way in your dash but typically they’re also crappier than the V1.
What you want to avoid is a detector in the bottom middle of your dash with bright lights that people behind you for miles can see. To avoid that, for starters, you have to direct wire your radar detector. You get the cig wire hanging down sometimes when you take your detector in another car. But for my car, I had my dad direct wire it so the cord isn’t dangling and so that you can hide it better. You can go to some audio store usually to get installations like that. Mines been going strong since 2003.
Illegal Radar Detectors
Check out Rardar laws by State/Canada. I’ve never had to worry about that. You would only have to worry if you took one of those banned areas. That must suck to be them. The cops also have radar detector detectors that they use in those states. So you’ll see things like the V1 or Bel detector blocks against (detector detector x or y). Canada also mostly bans detectors because the cops and governments want their ticket money.
Lidar is the superior speed detection device but isn’t as common as radar. The problem is it’s more expensive for the guns and you have to be stationary to use them. With Radar they can drive around and shoot it, while Lidar they either have to work in teams with a spotter and a cop that catches people. Or they have to stop and get out or aim it out their car, then drive.
The great thing about lidar is it’s rarity. You don’t see it too often. It looks like now it’s illegal to jam in some states. But good luck figuring out if you’re jamming or not if you hide the jammer properly. I had a jammer in 1999-2003 and it worked flawlessly for jamming. The only problem was that it didn’t have a mute button and was set off by some taillights. So I really hated it and didn’t put it on my new car when i switched. But when I had it, several times they tried to gauge my speed and could not. Where to buy this? I don’t know. There’s so much spam on the internet, it’s hard to tell which is a real working device and what is a placebo. There’s tons of fake devices people sell that do nothing and tons of people fall for them. That makes it dangerous to buy. Your only hope is a review by someone that is a real agency (Car & Driver) or by someone in real life that you can trust.
As the economy continues to suck and cities/states rely on tickets to get their money you’ll start to see lidar more common and cops out there trying to tax you more common. I’ve noticed since 2010, 2011, the cops are out there in force trying to get tickets to earn money.
General Tips for avoiding Tickets
–Car Choice. My cop friend tells me I have a peckerwood car. Your choice as to what to drive totally influences how often you might be targeted by cops. Even your car color influences. If you pick a red car or a yellow car, you usually get more tickets. If you do stupid crap to your car like put stickers, wheels, lights, giant wings, etc. The cops will target you. Your ultimate goal with a fast car should be a car that is fast but doesn’t look fast or draw attention. Those cars are called “sleepers.” I’ve almost always had a sleeper. The few times I had a flashy/obvious car, I paid the price. I drove fine for 3 years until I got a red car then got a ticket within the first year. My current car is pretty sleeper except for my muffler and tinted windows. If I didn’t have those, I would be less obvious. But I’m not willing to make the sacrifice of a hotter car or a car that is slower. I did pick the muffler with the least amount of sound though.
–Watch for cops – It’s easy to watch for cops and often your main way to avoid them. Their cars are almost always so obvious. It’s only a real challenge at night where they hide behind bushes or bridges or barriers. In that case your only hope is your radar detector, luck, using another car to block you, or your laser jammer. In some states the cops use sleeper cars that are hard to spot. In California the highway patrol uses these white CHiP cars. But they are also easier to spot in the day.
–Use other cars. Try to never be a car off on your own, a target. Think a pack of sheep. Move fast between the sheep but don’t be obvious and off on your own where the wolf (Cop) will get you.
–Avoid the fast lane when possible – Always try to use the slow lane or middle lanes when you have to. Only use the fast lane when you run out of options and when you can fit within a pack of cars or at least one car ahead of you. So many times (20+) I’ve had a cop come up behind me then grab some next to me, someone that was a bit ahead and so on. I’ve escaped so many tickets because of my great skill of choosing where to hide and go.
–Avoid being the missile that worms between cars. You can go fast if there are faster cars out there with you or as long as you’re not the one car worming your way between the cars at a very fast speed. In today’s age it’s harder with cell phones where someone might rat you out or call you a drunk driver to bring the cops out too.
My last ticket in 2005 was because I was going between the cars at 90 mph+ in a very obvious way. The cop had a very hard time catching me and was really pissed when he finally did. He threatened to arrest me and charged me with “unsafe lane change.” But I just went to the judge and said I was guilty and he cut that out and reduced my fine by half. EAT IT CHIP.