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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am couldn't really find a more appropriate thread to post this in so I hope it is okay. I've had my passport radar detector for a while now and really don't do as much traveling on I-76 as I use to. I usually unplug my detector when I am not on any highway or interstate because I was told that only state troopers are allowed to use radar guns. I've tried to google it and can't really get a direct answer. So the question is, can only state troopers use radar guns or can any township police department use radar guns as well? There's too many false alarms to have it plugged in while driving around town due to automatic doors and newer cars with lane departure sensors.
 

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NY law enforcement only uses Ka band if they're using radar, so I mentally block out any K-band alerts on my V1.

You can get detectors that display the frequency as well as the band, which helps you weed out false positives, as well as using GPS coordinates to weed them out too (you can sometimes add your own to the "block" list). The good detectors aren't cheap ($400+) and will require updates every so often as lane-assist and speed assist systems get updated.

As mentioned, a lot of areas are switching to laser / lidar systems, which don't have the pre-emptive warnings like with radar (it doesn't radiate off other vehicles). While you can sometimes see the laser warning on your detector if they're not hitting a reflective enough surface, but you really don't want to be speeding too badly because it's relatively instantaneous reading on the gun.
 

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NY law enforcement only uses Ka band if they're using radar, so I mentally block out any K-band alerts on my V1.

You can get detectors that display the frequency as well as the band, which helps you weed out false positives, as well as using GPS coordinates to weed them out too (you can sometimes add your own to the "block" list). The good detectors aren't cheap ($400+) and will require updates every so often as lane-assist and speed assist systems get updated.

As mentioned, a lot of areas are switching to laser / lidar systems, which don't have the pre-emptive warnings like with radar (it doesn't radiate off other vehicles). While you can sometimes see the laser warning on your detector if they're not hitting a reflective enough surface, but you really don't want to be speeding too badly because it's relatively instantaneous reading on the gun.
The newer laser guns should work regardless of where they hit. Even matter paint will send a reading back.

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XJman said:
The newer laser guns should work regardless of where they hit. Even matter paint will send a reading back.
I guess our LEO don't have those yet. I've had a few instances where I've gotten a couple on/off triggers on my V1 where they've been targeting my vehicle a couple times before they stop. I figured they were just trying to re-aim to hit license plate / headlight like in days past.
 

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I think This has more to do with Pennsylvania policy/rules than it does technology and whats available to police.

Ive been told by a number of people that Staties are the only ones that are "allowed" to run radar. The cities and townships all do vascar or something that isnt radar. I havent been able to confirm whether its a common myth or reality. I never heard that living in NE PA (in the 80s) but when I moved to SE PA Ive heard it from 5 people in the last 2 years. My uncle was a State cop and I asked him but he hasnt emailed back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think This has more to do with Pennsylvania policy/rules than it does technology and whats available to police.

Ive been told by a number of people that Staties are the only ones that are "allowed" to run radar. The cities and townships all do vascar or something that isnt radar. I havent been able to confirm whether its a common myth or reality. I never heard that living in NE PA (in the 80s) but when I moved to SE PA Ive heard it from 5 people in the last 2 years. My uncle was a State cop and I asked him but he hasnt emailed back.
Yes, this is more along the lines of what I was asking. I suppose the only way to truly find out is to ask a township police officer and also a state trooper. Be sure to let me know if your uncle gets back to you soon!
 

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Most police radar (except speed cameras) is mounted in the cars with forward- and backward-looking antennas. Not a "gun" IOW. Laser speed detectors are guns and my understanding is that the user has to be stationary in order to stabilize his aim. But if you want to know about PA, why not just ask a cop or a trooper? They are not going to arrest you for this.

Re K-band alarms I just traded my old Valentine 1 for a new model and one of its features is what they call "junk K" suppression. It works very well. Anyone that's getting a lot of junk K on a V1 should check with Valentine about a software or a hardware upgrade. As far as I am concerned, since Mike Valentine left Escort to found his own firm there has never been a reason to buy anything but a V1.
 

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Yes, this is more along the lines of what I was asking. I suppose the only way to truly find out is to ask a township police officer and also a state trooper. Be sure to let me know if your uncle gets back to you soon!
Until then. Here is pretty much the answer. PA is the only state in the nation that does NOT allow local police to use RADAR. The PA senate passed a measure to change that in 2016 but it never made it out of the PA House in time.

Local police can't use radar to enforce speed limits, but that could change soon | PennLive.com

Putting radar in local police's hands for speed detection passes the Pa. Senate | PennLive.com
 

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racer70 said:
Re K-band alarms I just traded my old Valentine 1 for a new model and one of its features is what they call "junk K" suppression. It works very well. Anyone that's getting a lot of junk K on a V1 should check with Valentine about a software or a hardware upgrade. As far as I am concerned, since Mike Valentine left Escort to found his own firm there has never been a reason to buy anything but a V1.
I'm familiar with their filtering. It doesn't bother me enough to pay the premium for upgraded software, at the moment, because I mentally block out X/K band alerts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone that was also wondering the truth behind this, I finally ran into my buddy at the gym today who has been a Pa state trooper for 7+ years and he did in fact confirm that ONLY state troopers are allowed to use radar guns!
 

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Yes. It's a fact at this point that only Statey's can use radar in PA.

But...the worst part about locals not being able to use radar in PA is that they use ENRADD. If you don't know what that is, you're basically screwed. It's a non-radar device and I don't know if there's even a way to detect these system.

Then there's VASCAR depending on where you're driving. This can be detected if you have PCAS or any flight detection system. Some apps have the capability if there's a local feed channel. I get notification on mine when the state police (NH) is up in the air.
 
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