A radar detector is a useful device that detects radar signals, such as those used by the police to identify speeding cars. Radar detectors also let drivers know when they need to take care to avoid an accident, as the devices identify areas where speed cameras are in use, which can often be in the most dangerous sections of road.
Features of Radar Detectors
Some radar detectors have optional features, which can make them more useful than the most basic models. For example, extra features can help drivers stay safe on the roads and make the experience of using the detector more convenient.
A radar detector spots radar signals, which could indicate that police are monitoring drivers' speeds. This useful dashboard device then alerts the driver, allowing him or her enough time to slow down and avoid a ticket. Some radar detectors also detect laser speed cameras and guns, which are a newer form of technology that the police use to measure vehicle speed. Buying a radar detector from an online retailer that includes the ability to detect laser speed monitoring is likely to be a smart choice, as Australian police are increasingly using laser technology to catch speeding drivers.
Other features of radar detectors include GPS, which maps the driver's location. This technology can be used in combination with a database of speed cameras, dangerous sections of road, and areas that are under construction to alert the driver to these potential hazards.
The simplest radar detectors use beeps or buzzing sounds to alert drivers to possible speed monitoring. Some drivers may prefer to invest in a model that uses voice alerts instead. These voice alerts can give details about the potential hazard -- be it an upcoming speed camera or a dangerous section of road up ahead -- making them much more informative than the standard beeping sound.
Most Australian police authorities use either the K radar band or the Ka band to monitor traffic speeds. The K band includes radar frequencies between 23.95 and 24.25 GHz, while the Ka band includes frequencies between 34.2 and 35.2 GHz. For the best protection against speed monitoring in Australia, buy a radar detector that can detect both the K and Ka bands, as well as laser signals. Some radar detectors also detect the X band, but this is not generally used for traffic monitoring in Australia.
Some detectors allow the user to customise which bands to monitor. Turning off unnecessary monitoring for unused bands, such as the X band, can reduce the number of false alerts.
Radar detectors are legal to buy and use in Western Australia. However, other Australian states have regulations restricting the use of these devices. Drivers should check their state's regulations before investing in a radar detector.
Three of the most popular brands of radar detectors in Australia are Valentine, Escort and Whistler. The latter two brands generally offer the most affordable products. However, all brands produce a range of radar detectors, each with different features to assist the driver.
When choosing a radar detector, check that it covers the K and Ka bands. Also, check what other features the detector offers, such as GPS, voice alerts, or the ability to customise which bands are detected.