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How The Radar Speed Detection Devices Actually Work

If you are like many people you do not enjoy getting pulled over by a police officer. One of the main reasons people get pulled over is for speeding. Police officers use radar guns to detect the speed of cars and keep us using the speed limit. They are just trying to keep the roads safe for us, but no one enjoys getting an expensive speeding ticket. Many people have chosen to get radar detectors to help alert them of a police officer. Even though many people have these radar detectors not many understand how they work.

The first type of radar gun available to police officers uses radio waves. This type of radar sends the radio wave to target and back. Since radio waves move at a constant speed the radar can determine how far the target is based on the time it takes the waves to return.

When the target is moving there is a change in the frequency that is detected by the radar and changed into miles per hour. Sounds like a lot of work, especially if you think about how fast it does all this. By the time you see the police officer chances are he already knows how fast you are going and can pull you over. The second type of radar gun available to police officers uses lasers. This type of radar uses the amount of time it takes the infrared light to get from the radar to the car and back to determine speed. Once the radar knows the amount of time it takes the light to return it multiplies it by the speed of light.

Since this radar can send multiple beams of light to multiple distances it is easy for it to determine how fast you are going by comparing your speed with the other objects. This radar can detect you from farther away since it uses such a concentrated beam of light. When investing in a radar detector you have a couple options available. You used to only be able to get radar detectors that alerted you when it sensed the radio waves from the police officers radar. Now you can purchase detectors that also have a light sensitive panel that will detect the laser radar that is becoming more popular.

The only problem is that since the beam of light the police officers use is so focused even with a detector it is still easy to get caught speeding. By the time your radar detects the light from the officer's radar you are already in the sight of his radar and thus already busted. You can now also purchase radar detectors that not only detect the officer's signal, but jam it as well. When your detector gets a signal from the police radar gun it will mix it with other radio noise and confuse the officers radar.

This confusion prevents the officer from getting an accurate reading of you speed. For the laser radar the detector does almost the same thing. The difference with the laser detector is that it sends a light beam of its own to the officer's radar.

This also causes the receiver to be confused since it can't recognize your light beam and prevents the radar from getting an accurate reading.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Discount Radar Detectors at

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