Radar detectors illegal, police warn
Not only are radar detectors illegal for the public to use, but also police officers have the technology to detect them.
“ You’re going to get caught,” said Const. Adam Gardner, an RCMP invest iga t o r o n t he province’s west coast.
Although the number of radar detectors seized varies, Gardner said he got six in the past two months. He said it used to be more common to see people from the mainland with radar detectors, but now they’re seeing a lot more locals with the devices.
“ People don’t realize that we have the technology to pick them up,” he said.
The police pick radar detectors up with ‘radar detector detectors’ in their cars. The officer’s radar goes off when it picks up someone else’s radar, said Gardner.
“For us it’s a type of obstruction for what we’re trying to do,” he said. “ We’re trying to keep the roads safe, and people are trying to prevent that by using these.”
Read the signs
Police have begun erecting signs, warning motorists that the use of radar detectors is outlawed.
Now that the signs are up, said Gardner, people can’t make the excuse they didn’t know radar detectors were illegal.
When he catches people with radar detectors, Gardner said he tells them it’s no good to argue.
“I’m not guessing that you have one in your car,” he said. “I know because of what I have in my car. People are usually pretty co-operative.”
The police officer keeps the device until the default date on the ticket, said Gardner.
“ The person does have the right to contest the ticket, like any ticket,” he said. “ They can go to court and go before a judge if they want to.”
People have 30 days from the date of issue to appeal their tickets. Then there’s a 30-day appeal period. Gardner said radar detectors are destroyed after 60 days.
“ Basically, just to know that they can never be used again,” he said.
Speeding is always a problem, said Gardner, adding one of the biggest problems is people don’t take the dangers of moose into consideration. If it’s a nice day, people might not think about how difficult it’s going to be to stop when they’re travelling 140 kilometres per hour.
According to Gardner, 140 kilometres per hour is one of the lower speeds. He’s caught people driving 200 kilometres per hour.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, there’s a $ 115 ticket for a first offence of being caught with a radar detector. Drivers also get two demerit points on their licences. It’s the same punishment as a seatbelt ticket or for driving 11 to 20 kilometres over the limit.
“People just have to know now they’re not going to get away with it,” said Gardner. “ We’ve had it.”