Be safe on the road with a radar detector

Stay safe and monitor your speed and red light cameras on the road by mounting a radar detector in the car.

What is a radar detector and why would you use one?

A radar detector is a small device with a screen and speaker that you can mount on the windshield or dashboard of your vehicle using a suction cup mount. The antenna, control circuitry, and speaker are all contained in the unit. (Custom installed versions are also available but less common). Radar detectors are available from top manufacturers like Cobra, Escort, Radenso, and Uniden America.

They provide advanced warning of things like speed and red-light cameras, advising where they are located and of your current speed. This is a useful reminder to monitor your speed and ensure you are staying within the safe and legal limits. They can also inform you of who else is on the road, including emergency vehicles.

Radar detectors are legal for use in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, as well as most cities in the U.S., but check local laws if you are travelling.

How do radar detectors work?

Radar detectors can universally fit in most vehicles, just as any other dash- or windshield-mounted device. They can often also integrate with other in-car tech, like Bluetooth, smartphones, and GPS. Some radar detectors, in fact, even come with built-in GPS features or dash cams to perform dual functions.

A speed radar detector works by being able to detect radar guns and different frequency bands they operate on, including X, K, Ka, and VA-2. Some also feature MultaRadar CD/CT (MRCD) detection, which helps avoid detection from modern multiple frequency radar systems.

You can view the information on the easy-to-read display or listen audibly to important alerts. Some have customizable displays and alerts so you can adjust to see only the information you want to see and hear.

Features to look for in a radar detector

Long range and strong sensitivity are essential to provide advance warning far ahead of time to help you drive as safely as possible. Look for compatibility with as many frequency bands as possible to ensure accurate reporting as well as the ability to filter out false alerts. An option to switch between highway and city driving modes is useful. Lifetime updates, meanwhile, ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information at all times.

The best radar detector will have an easy-to-read screen. A speaker allows you to keep your eyes on the road versus glancing at the screen while driving or relying on a passenger to give you updates.

Secondary functions like built-in GPS or dash cam capability, Bluetooth connect for live alerts, and app connectivity, are all handy. A travel case makes it easy to transfer the unit from one car to another or to use it in a rental vehicle.