Radar detectors - Mike Holland
Does anyone have any experience using dashboard mounted radar detectors? Are they worth the money? Do they work as expected?

It is a serious question. I am not looking for a tirade about speeding motorists or law enforcement ? one of which I support and the other I abhor and I will leave you to decide in which order!

As an enthusiastic, but I hope careful, motorist I just want to protect my wallet and licence from moments of inattention.


Mike Holland
Re: Radar detectors - Mike B
You could also argue that as speed cameras are "supposed" to be placed at dangerous junctions, accident blackspots etc. any advance warning of such an unexpected hazard can only improve road safety for all.
Re: Accident black spot detectors - IAN M

I have a BELtronics Target Euro 550 and it is fine, gives good warning of fixed/mobile radar detectors. Will detect laser but probably only in enough time to slowly reduce speed if the cars in front are being checked, if you yourself are being checked with a police laser (LIDAR) detector it is probably too late anyway. I read several tests of detectors and the 550 universally came out best for detectors in the £350 region.

In my limited experience the cheap detectors/US imports are of limited use as they cover too many bands (including X, Ka) and will result in loads of false alerts from traffic lights, mobile phone networks, door openers etc or else are too insensitive to give sufficient time to react. The 550 is selectable for UK bands (Ku and K) which means limited false alerts and on the open road mine gives no false alerts at all.

The other option is one of the GPS based devices (eg Morpheous Geodesy) which will give you warning of the position of known fixed cameras but obviously is no use for detecting mobile cameras or LIDAR detectors.
I went for the 550 as most of my motoring is local and I know where all the fixed cameras are anyway.

Re: Accident black spot detectors - IAN M
What I forgot to say was there are 2 good websites with detector reviews worth visiting:
Re: Radar detectors - Alwyn
I have a Bel 980, voted best detector by Auto Express.

I think that if I knew then what I know now, I would not have bought it. There are many alerts when it picks up automatic door openers at supermarkets or other commercial premises. It sometimes alerts in open countryside for no apparant reason. Perhaps power equipment or mobile phone masts have something mounted on them which causes an alert.

With so many false alerts, I become blase and wonder if it has picked up a Gatso on K band or is it another false. With inductive loops being used more and more, a radar detector will not warn of the trap ahead.

Also, as Gatso's give out small amounts of radar, the warning sometimes does not come until the Gatso is perhaps 50 yards away. The furthest I have detected was about 300 yards away but it is usually much less than this and only shows a low level alert until the Gatso is very close.

As has been said the laser gun zaps you in one third of a second, so if that alerts, it is too late.

Have a look at the reviews on the sites already mentioned.

With lasers being used more and more, some folks are fitting laser jammers behind their number plates.

Where will it all end?
Re: Radar detectors - Tomo
Valentine One does better than this, and is UK adjusted.

You need Morpheous AS WELL.

As if motoring did not cost far too much already!
Re: Radar detectors - T lucas
Silly question,but arnt these detecters illegal?
Re: Radar detectors - Anthony Farrar
It used to be an offence to act upon them, but not to have them. A bit like prohibition - it was illegal to supply and sell alcohol but not to drink it.

Now I believe a recent court case has set a precendent and they are no longer illegal - the excuse for them is that it makes you a safer driver - being made aware of accident blackspots!
Re: Radar detectors - Dan J
Correct, it is not illegal to have a device which tells you radio frequencies are present, which is essentially all these do. It was pointed out in court that these devices do not actually RECEIVE and thus contravene the Wireless Telegraphy act so perfectly legal.

Not got one myself but I reckon I'd go for a Geodesy...
Re: Radar detectors - pipmeldrew
I have a basic Snooper 1 which I picked up at Autosport show for a bargain £89. The motivation behind the purchase was being flashed by a Gatso in the early hours of the morning on the A5, decelerating at a limit change. I just did not want to be caught out again. It is very basic but gives about 75metres advanced warning of Gatsos, loaded or not and picks up Radar at about half a mile. Lasers it dtects at up to a mile, but if it is aimed at you it is already too late. Downside is its sensitivity to radio signals from traffic lights, security cameras etc. Makes you more aware by reminding you to check your speed often particularly on those occassions when your speed creeps up unnoticed.
Re: Radar detectors - Miller
I bought one early this year and used it for only a week before I could'nt stand it going off any longer because of false alarms, it has been in my glove box ever since. The worst £160 I will ever spend in my life!!

However, it could be useful to women as a supermarket detector, it picked these up no bother!
Re: Radar detectors - richard turpin
A friend tried out several devices. He says GPS is the only system worth getting because of false alarms on any other system which is sensitive enough to work.
Re: Radar detectors - markymarkn
the radar detectors seem a good idea if u want to go around speeding everywhere, but as others have said, they are not 100% reliable.

law of sod says the camera it doesnt pick up is the camera that will fine you!

Value my car