So I finally bought a radar/laser detector. I wanted to buy one after my first ticket but never got around to doing the research on which ones are actually effective. Well now I really wish I had since I’d probably had already saved it’s price and I would have avoided the trouble of fighting a ticket. A LIDAR detector doesn’t really help you beat a ticket if you were really speeding because it’s really fast and by the time your detector alerts you your speed was already clocked but what it does is to be more aware what speed you were going. The reason I’m fighting my last ticket is because I honestly thought I wasn’t speeding. Ever since I got my first ticket I’ve been paying attention to my speed and I use cruise control when ever possible. And when I was pulled over by CHP I was really surprised because I was certain I wasn’t going over the limit.
I think now a days most law enforcement uses laser radar or LIDAR or at least that’s what I’ve always been caught with. LIDAR uses light instead of microwaves or radio waves so it’s not really a radar in conventional sense. LIDAR sends a laser beam to it’s target where it’s reflected back and then it uses time of flight principal to determine the speed. LIDAR allows speed enforcement in traffic also where as a regular radar can’t reliably measure your speed if there’s other cars around but they are still not infallible so getting pulled over by officer using one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight it. If the maintenance is neglected or the office using the LIDAR gun isn’t properly trained you might be able to show reasonable doubt for a judge to dismiss the case.
The Escort Passport 9500ix is a top of the line detector that can detect not only all the conventional radars but also LIDAR. It also has a built-in GPS and it can warn you of any known speed traps, speed cameras and red light cameras. It will also announce your speed at every alert. One of the annoying things about radar detectors is all the false alerts. That’s where 9500ix shines as it can auto learn and eliminate them. False alerts are especially bad when driving in city. So now that I have a detector to alert me but like I said before it’s usually too late with LIDAR to slow down. There’s few solutions to that one is laser jammer but those are illegal in California so that’s out. The second solution is VEIL. VEIL is a coating that you put in your primary targeting areas like head lamps and license plate. It makes it slightly more difficult for the LIDAR gun to get a reading giving you few extra seconds to react. VEIL is perfectly legal in California and in conjunction with a high end LIDAR detector it maximizes your changes of slowing down before the LIDAR gun gets a reading.
I’ve been now testing it for just over two weeks and pretty satisfied with it. It doesn’t give too many false alerts and it learns false alerts after detecting the same signal at same location for 3 times and that has been working very well. I’ve gotten laser alert only 3 times once the cop was on the opposite side of the fwy, once on the airport and the last time I didn’t even see the cop at all. Each time it was very short alert so I really don’t know yet how effective VEIL is. The only huge annoyance is the red light camera alerts that I get on fwy even thought they are not even on my path but rather at some intersection close to the fwy. I’m sure I can turn it off completely since I’m not in the habit of running red lights and the cameras in Los Angeles are usually pretty visible. The alerts are really clear and I really like the fact that it almost instantly lowers the volume so that it doesn’t become irritating. This is so much better than the cheap detector I had when I was in college. It used to drive me nuts with the false alerts to the point that I kept ignoring it and when I got busted for speeding it was with LIDAR which the detector didn’t even support.
I scored both for under $500 with shipping with a coupon from Radar Detector Buyer’s Guide. If this saves me from even one accidental speeding it’s paid itself off.
Here’s a video to show off how VEIL affects LIDAR guns ability to get your speed.