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Are Radar Detectors Legal in New Jersey?

A radar detector is an electronic gadget used by drivers to identify if their speed limit is being observed by police or traffic enforcement using a radar speed gun. These radar detectors help drivers lower their vehicle’s speed so that they don’t get ticketed for speeding. Often, traffic cameras and red light cameras are used along with radar detectors.

There are a few states where the use of a radar detector is illegal and if you’re found with one, you might get in trouble. Therefore, it is better to research whether its use is permittable in your area prior to installation so that you don’t get into any trouble.

How Does a Radar Detector Work?

Radar devices used by traffic enforcement officers are identified through the radio waves they emit. The frequency of the radar speed gun is picked up by the radar detector.

In a way, it functions the same way as a normal radio receiver. The radar speed gun emits a huge range of radio waves, but the device is only able to inspect one vehicle at a time, so the radio detectors in moving vehicles can detect the radio waves of the radar speed gun before the car gets in the trackable range.

There are some advanced radar detectors that can completely throw off the reading detected by a police radar. A radio transmitter discharges a mixed signal called scrambled signals, also known as jamming signals, which take the first recognized signal and include extra radio signals in it. This confuses the speed gun, and it shows a false speed instead. However, theses detectors are illegal in almost every country.

There are various types of radar devices that a radar detector must be responsive to. An X-band radar has a low frequency and a high output, making it generally simple to identify from 2 to 4 miles away. The radar that is usually utilized by the police is known as K-band. K-band police radars can record a precise reading from 0.5 to 2 miles away. Most of the time, K-band radars detect the speed of the car before the radar detector can pick up its presence.

Is the Use of a Radar Detector Legal in New Jersey?

In most states, the use of a radar detector is legally allowed for private drivers, including New Jersey, but this might not be the case for commercial vehicle drivers. For vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds, the use of a radar detector is illegal by the law.

Furthermore, various states have their own laws preventing commercial vehicles from utilizing radar locators, including Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. Therefore, it’s better that commercial drivers abstain from using radar detector to avoid getting ticketed.

Though the use of a radar detector might be legal for private vehicles in New Jersey, using it on a military base is strictly prohibited. The security personnel at the checkpoints of military bases usually advice drivers to turn off the gadget and keep it out of sight while on military property before they are allowed on base.

Types of Radar Detectors

There are two types of radar detectors most commonly used: stealth and portable. For everyday use, having a portable detector is the best option. It can be easily moved around since it is clipped to the dashboard or windshield of the car. It is also cheaper and easier to install as compared to stealth radars. The disadvantage of having a portable radar is that it can be detected by police officers since its placement is visible. It may even partially block the view of the driver if it is placed on the windscreen. Even if the use of a detector is legal in New Jersey, it may alert the police into thinking you’re a speeder.

Stealth detectors are required to be installed permanently and are costlier as compared to other radar detectors, but there are some advantages that come with them. For instance, they are installed in such a way that they cannot be seen by police officers. They also don’t block your view and are more efficient in detecting radar speed guns from a good distance.

Why Should You Own a Radar Detector?

The most important reason to own a radar detector is that it will you reduce your chances of getting fined due to speeding. A quality radar detector will caution you beforehand if a radar speed trap is present ahead and notify you about the presence of a police radar that might be being used. Given the fact that you invest in your car and insurance, it always good to invest in a radar detector as well. It not only saves you from speeding fines but is also a constant reminder to make sure your speed is within the permitted range so that you can avoid accidents.


Avoid speeding at all costs as it can be harmful for you and the ones around you. If you own a passenger vehicle and live in New Jersey or a state where the use of radar detectors is legal, feel free to install one as it has huge benefits and does not have any significant downsides. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, avoid using laser jammers as they are not legal and are inefficient. Remember to stay on the right side of the law!

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