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FAQ

They are legal to use in New Zealand have been for over 40 years. Many Police involved in traffic work believe that radar & laser detectors slow drivers down.

Here in NZ it is an offence under the Land Transport Act Revisions of 2011 to Jam speed measuring equipment.

Not all police cars have radar or laser guns.

The FCC in the USA and ITU in NZ allows other uses on radar bands used by police. Most commonly this is found on X band (10.525 GHz) and it is called a false alert. Some common false alerts are caused by automatic door openers, burglar alarms, terrestrial microwave towers. Poorly made radar detectors in other cars can also cause your detector to false alert. No radar detector is completely “false alert” proof.

Static (fixed) Speed Cameras: K Band Radar 24.000Ghz – 24.100Ghz ( Currently 48 location more planned)
The camera and a flash unit are mounted on a single pole. These Redflex cameras use a dual radar system with a flash unit for 24 hour use. Signals from the radars reflect off vehicles and back to the camera. One radar identifies speeding vehicles by measuring vehicle speed three times in quick succession and taking the middle speed. The second radar identifies the lane the vehicle is in and double-checks the speed reading. If the vehicle is speeding, the camera takes a picture. The camera is also able to differentiate between vehicles such as heavy trucks and cars towing trailers and normal cars which have different speed limits. Infringement notices issued currently have no demerit points only a fine.

Red light cameras: K Band Radar 24.000Ghz – 24.100Ghz (Currently 8 location with more planned)
The Redflex camera system uses radars to track and capture vehicles running the red light. The primary radar scans and tracks vehicles as they approach the intersection. If a vehicle crosses the stop line during a red-light phase, a camera photographs the rear of the vehicle. A second radar (known as the validation radar) ensures the photograph taken is of the breaching vehicle. Infringement notices issued currently have no demerit points only a fine.

Mobile Speed Cameras Vans : K Band Radar 24.000Ghz – 24.100Ghz ( Currently 55 with more planned)
Police operate mobile cameras in vehicles which are deployed to high risk crash sites across New Zealand. The Redflex cameras include a radar system that measures vehicle speed and a flash for night time photography. Traffic camera operators run the camera equipment from inside the vehicles and are able to observe any images taken and make adjustments to image quality when required. They cannot alter any of the radar settings or the speed at which a camera system takes a photograph. Infringement notices issued currently have no demerit points only a fine. Camera Vans are Very difficult to detect. Most detectors give no more than 50m warnings. A good unit might give up to 200m range.

H.W.P. Cars: Ka Band Stalker Dual Radar 34.700Ghz ±100Mhz (There are 1150 Police HWP Cars with Radar)
Radar devices are mounted on patrol car dashboards. They can measure the speed of vehicles driving towards and away from the patrol car, and the speed of vehicles in front of and behind it. They can be used while the patrol car is moving or stationary. Not all Police cars are set up with radar but all are set up to enable a radar device to be fitted. Infringement notices issued by officers using radar devices carry demerit points as well as a fine.

Laser devices: InfraRed 904Nm (There are 300 throughout the twelve Police Districts)
Laser devices use invisible IR laser beams to measure the speed of individual vehicles in a stream of traffic. Trained police officers hold the devices when stationary (Laser cannot be used in a moving patrol car) and point them at cars to get a speed reading. Laser is mostly used on Motorways and within City Areas. There are new laser systems arriving that also incorporate cameras so the officer can show you a photo or video of the offence. Infringement notices issued by officers using laser devices carry demerit points as well as a fine.

Pace check:
Police will use a vehicle equipped with certified speedometer to follow a speeding vehicle to determine its travel speed. Important Information: Many new cars sold in NZ now have “In vehicle technology” such as Radar and Laser Based Cruise control systems to enable autonomous braking. Many also have Radar Side Assist systems otherwise known as Blind Spot Monitoring. As a result older radar detectors can and will suffer increasing K Band and Laser false signals coming from these technologies. New 2018 Models with IVT Filters can filter out the K Band false signals orginating from such systems. What was once the domain of only high end brands; this technology is now right through the Car Industry as Manufacturers all compete for five star safety ratings. We are also seeing Pixel Led Laser matrix headlights starting to appear and these headlights will trigger false Laser signals as the cars approach on the road. So far their are no filters available that can stop this so some drivers choose to turn Laser off in their detectors. This is a somewhat low risk option as there are fewer Laser Guns in use compared to the Radar Based systems. When you buy from Radar Direct we will show you how to use the functions

Officers, by law, must establish a “visual tracking history” of your car. This means they must be able to identify the make and model of the vehicle before assessing speed with a radar or laser gun. This is usually 600 metres or less. In most instances, officers rarely use a radar or laser gun past 1 kilometre. The maximum range of the Prolaser 2 is 610metres.

The US courts have consistently ruled, i.e. Connecticut v. Tomanelli (1966), Wisconsin v. Hansen (1978) that tuning fork verification is adequate to insure the accuracy of the radar gun. Officers before starting a shift, should strike the tuning fork to verify the correct speed stamped on the fork appears on the speed readout of the radar gun. Further, N.Z. radars and tuning forks need to be verified annually by a certified technician and that notarized certifications pertaining to radar gun and tuning fork accuracy be made available to the public.

This came from a court case brought by two Connecticut state troopers claiming radar guns contributed to testicular cancer. The courts found no medical evidence to substantiate the claim. The answer is no!

Different radar guns transmit at different output powers usually from 5-50 mW. If you are standing 30 metres away from a friend and they whisper, you can’t hear them. If they shout, you can. In other words, your friend is transmitting at two different output powers. Radar range is adversely effected by humidity, elevation, particulate matter in the air, rain, and snow.

This is a method of momentarily triggering the radar gun “on” and then triggering the gun “off”. The normally occurs is less than a couple of seconds. Instant on triggers were developed, in part, to thwart radar detector use. Some radar detectors don’t report “instant on” at distances greater than 300 metres.

The radar detector-detector is called the VG-2 and it looks for a common IF emission of radar detectors at 11.55 GHz. Many of the detector makers have changed their common IF and can’t be detected. The industry calls this “undetectable”. Detectability is of little use for cars in the New Zealand as detectors are legal.

The US courts have consistently ruled it is not necessary for an officer to have a comprehensive knowledge of Doppler radar but receive adequate training and certification, Honeycutt v. Kentucky (1966), Ohio v. Wilcox (1974). If the officer is certified, you will have little luck! Ditto for N.Z.

There is one active radar jammer that returns a variable doppler shift that does have success in jamming K band radar guns. The Phantom RCD. There are several laser jammers like the Blinder M-10 that are also very effective in Jamming All current laser guns used by the Police.

Laser is increasingly used in metropolitan areas as it can pinpoint one vehicle in a group of traffic while radar guns can not. At 200 metres, the laser guns 904 nanometer, infrared beam is only 40 cm wide and does not scatters (bounce off objects like radar). If your laser detectors receiver is out of this 40 cm beam width, chances are it will not alert to laser’s use. If the laser gun were pointed directly at your detector, it would alert. The chances of getting any advanced warning of laser being aimed at the car in front of you are slim. Remote Laser Jammers like the M-10 are very effective in detection of Laser as they are mounted inside the target area.

For radar, the claims are valid. The letters in RADAR stand for RAdio Detection And Ranging meaning a radar transmission is very similar to your favorite radio station. Radio waves bounce off metal signs, the truck in front of you, buildings, and other reflective objects. Although radar detectors have only a front facing radar antenna (with the exception of the dash mounted Valentine One which has a front and rear facing antenna), a radar transmission from behind you will most likely bounce into your radar detector’s front facing antenna. Laser is another issue by it’s very directional and highly collimated, monochromatic nature. If the detector were outside of the vehicle, most detectors will alert to laser from the front or rear. Rear alerts are hampered by the attenuation of the glass in the rear window. Side laser alerts are rare , and laser can’t aquire your speed to the side.

Radio frequencies used by law enforcement radar guns are controlled by the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, and not by the individual States or Countries. There are three radar bands currently used by police and approved by the FCC consisting of X band at 10.525 GHz, K band at 24.150 GHz, and Super-wide Ka band at 33.4-36 GHz. The FCC does not control the use of laser guns. The United States Food and Drug Administration certifies laser guns for eye safety under CFR 21, subpart 1040 and 1041. Laser guns operate on a single, infrared, wavelength of 904 nanometers. When you hear this rumor, the driver most likely encountered “instant on” radar their detector did not see. Radar frequencies used in NZ, Australia, UK and Europe are the same as those used in the USA and are all controlled by the FCC.

Find a supermarket with an automatic door opener and drive toward it with your detector on. The automatic door opener should make your radar detector alert.

VASCAR stands for Visual Average Speed Computer And Recorder and is a timing device that times your vehicle from one predetermined point to another. It is like a stop watch and puts out no signal. No radar detector can warn you of VASCAR. VASCAR is commonly used in Pennsylvania as local law enforcement departments can not use radar guns by state law.

Radar travels at the speed of light which is 186,000 miles per second. In one second, the time it takes to blink your eyes, light travels seven times (7.44 times to be exact) around the world. Your speed reading on the radar gun is instantaneous and you do not have time to slow down.

Laser guns compute speed by transmitting “Pulsed Wave”, PW, infrared emissions at a predetermined rate, usually from 100-238 pulses per second. These pulses bounce back to the laser gun and the gun’s computer remembers each pulse, i.e. when it left and when it returned. This is called “flight time”. If the laser gun knows time and distance, it rapidly computes speed of the target vehicle, usually in less than 1/3 of a second. Consequently, the gun must accurately compute distance. Prior to using a laser gun for speed enforcement, the officer should perform a “Delta Test” for distance accuracy using constant distance reflectors at a fixed location. The gun should read the same distance each time prior to use. The admissibility of laser enforcement has been upheld in New Zealand Courts.

Photo radar is an automated system with a radar gun tied to a camera. It came originally from Germany where it is called MultiNova. Presently, photoradar systems used in New Zealand are now Digital Low Powered Pulsed K band signal which are very difficult to detect. The operation frequency is 24.100GHz. ±100MHZ. Due to the low output power of the photoradar guns, most radar detectors will give no advanced warning. Only the latest detectors from ESCORT Valentine Research & Beltronics will provide adequate warning of Speed Cameras. Typically you can expect it to fluctuate between 80-300 metres.

Drivers have tried everything to foil radar gun from fish depth finders, to neon lights, to tin foil on hubcaps. None of these home remedies work. There is only one way to fool a radar gun and that is by disrupting the “Doppler Shift” of the return signal.

Frontal performance of dash and remote detectors is almost identical. However, rear reception with a dash model is superior to that of a remote. Some remotes offer a rear receiver. Remotes can’t be seen. Yearly, 1 in 5 dash models are stolen. Remotes are always a good option although inevitably are more expensive to buy and require a professional installation.