A radar detector can save you a ticket ... or earn you one, depending on where you are.

If you've ever driven for long periods in the United States, you probably know how a radar detector works: you install it on your dashboard, it scans the road all around you - or passively keeps watch, depending on the tech used - and will beep when it detects a radar in front of you, whether it comes from a police officer or an automated radar.

Some people say these devices give you a fighting chance against the authority. Others - usually law enforcement - are quick to point out that these things are illegal.

So who's right and who's wrong? Can you legally drive around with a radar detector in your car to avoid getting a costly speed ticket?

Surprisingly, yes ... but it depends on where you live.

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Not every province views radar detectors as a public menace. You can use them in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Use it anywhere else, though, and you risk a hefty fine.

But, even if you are in B.C and use a radar detector, there is a chance you might still get busted. Why? Blame the laser gun. Even the best radar detector won't tell you in advance when you're targeted by a laser. In that case, if your device beeps, it's already too late.

To protect yourself from that, you need a laser jammer. The way it works is simple: when the cop spots you, he use his radar gun to blast a pulse at your car. When the pulse comes back, the officer knows exactly how fast you are going. However, if your car is equipped with a laser jammer, this system will fire off a much more powerful pulse at the laser gun, which will confuse it. In the meantime, the jammer will beep and give you enough time to slow down.

Want know the best part? There are no federal laws in Canada preventing you from owning and using a laser jammer.

 

Photo: Mark Rogers on Flickr

 

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