Page 5- Understand signals & alerts
The radar detector issues a weak signal and you brush it off. This is perhaps the BIGGEST operator error made, ignoring the warning! You may think that it is a false alert or the signal wasn't strong enough to be concerned about. A short time later your radar detector goes off again and you are caught!
To avoid an ambush, Radar Roy first recommends that you understand some of the signals and alerts that your detector will provide.
When most detectors alert, they will display the band and the signal strength.Band Alerts
- All police radar guns are directional, meaning they send the signal in the direction the gun is pointed. As you approach an officers location, it maybe pointing in another direction, thus the weak signal on your radar detector. As you approach, it is re-targeted toward your location.
- The law enforcement officer is further down the road, using his instant-on radar gun or POP radar.
- When an officer uses instant-on or the new POP mode radar guns, he has the able to clock your speed in a second or less. As soon as he obtains your speed his radar detector goes into standby to avoid alerting other approaching drivers with radar detectors.
A good formula to use to determining if the range of your radar detector is adequate to avoid an ambush is "Capture Area x 6". This formula is allows you to detect the police in enough time to safely slow down and to observe the events taking place around you, to then determine the reason for the alert.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Reginald Stanton's ruling which stated that an officer should not target vehicles further then 1000' could be used as a baseline. However very few officers know anything about this ruling and often start obtaining a vehicle tracking history the moment that they observe your vehicle.
Under normal circumstances, the longest range an officer can lock on and make any type of target vehicle identification on a flat roadway using radar, is approximately 1/4 of a mile. Therefore using Radar Roy's formula, you would want to have a detector that has at least, 1.5 miles of detection.
However, there are also some variables in the where police speed enforcement is used, such as hills and curves. Therefore, if you live or drive in an area that has allot of curvy, mountainous roads, you would want to increase your capture area to at least a four mile distance.
During the Speed Measurement Laboratories 2004 Long Range Testing, The Escort and Beltronics radar detectors were detecting K and Ka band signals at a distance of over 10.8 miles away.
Therefore, when your radar detector goes off, make sure that you are traveling at the legal speed limit and are obeying all other traffic rules, until you are SURE the threat has ended.