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Monthly Archives: January 2010

  • Are Radar Detectors Going to be Legal in Virginia?

    According to this article radar detectors may soon be legal in Virginia. Currently Virginia is the only state where having a radar detector is illegal, though they are also illegal in DC and on military bases. Virginia's ban has long been a frustration to drivers. You have to stop and take down your detector when entering the state, in fact there are even signs at the stateline warning you of this. For many people, a concealed radar detector was their only option. This is great news for everyone that drives in Virginia! We also encourage you to write to Delegate Joe May expressing your support for his plan to legalize radar detectors.

  • Red Light Cameras are About Money not Safety

    Red light cameras continue to pop-up in new cities and towns, but they also are coming back down in others. Not every city government is willing to fine its own citizens unfairly and treat them as a revenue resource. In Dalton Georgia the cameras are being removed even though they were making a lot of money from the cameras. According to this article:

    At $75 a pop, 6,906 citations were issued that year, mostly for illegal right-on-red turns; 624 citations were issued in February alone.

    In 2008 though the Georgia state legislature started to look at the claims that red light cameras were just to make money. They ordered yellow lights to be lengthened and the number of tickets being issued to people "running" red lights decreased substantially. We have already mentioned in this blog how many cities reduce the yellow lights to purposefully trap people so they can ticket them even if it causes more wrecks to take place. In most cities, failing to come to a dead, complete stop before turning right on red will get you a $200 ticket. It has nothing to do with catching people that run a red light on purpose.

    The mayor of Dalton, David Pennington was paying attention to all of this.

    "That sort of exposed the myth of why they're there," says Mayor David Pennington, an opponent of red-light cameras. "It goes against what I was told to begin with, which is that they are for safety."

    So he had the red light cameras removed. He placed the financial welfare of the people in the community over making money off of them. The people of Dalton should be proud to have him as their mayor.

    If you live in a city or town with red light cameras, they are just there to make money off of you. They do not promote safety, for that they just need to increase the length of yellow lights. Find out who in your local government is responsible for having them installed, and question why they want to treat their very own citizens as cash generators. Drive them from office, they just want to use you. They are so inept, they cannot be fiscally responsible enough to run a city without stealing money from their own citizens.

    We carry red light camera detectors and other automotive defensive products so you can protect yourself from expensive tickets. Be an informed, and most importantly a safe driver.

  • Should the Price of a Speeding Ticket be Based on Your Income?

    The main reason most people have a radar detector, or a redlight camera warning system is because the fines associated with a speeding ticket, or for turning right on a redlight can be very expensive. I have met very few people that do not speed occasionally unintentionally, and those redlight cameras are designed to eventually give everyone a ticket. So a radar detector, laser jammer, or camera detector is an investment against the inevitable reality of a ticket and associated insurance premiums.

    As more and more cites struggle to make money, in turn there is increased pressure on law enforcement to write more tickets, or for towns to sell their soul to a camera operator. The interesting part of all this is that there are some people that find the financial penalties a bit, well insignificant. So some countries (mostly in Europe) are now scaling the price of the fine based on the income of the driver. In this story, one such person received a $290,000 speeding ticket. He is considered a repeat offender, and is also very wealthy. To him a $200 ticket is a joke.

    I wonder how long it will be before you start to hear of this in the US? While I like aspects of this, and scaling a fine to meet a person's income level is perhaps a fair approach, there is room for precedent that could be abused. Also, what would happen if all traffic fines and not just speeding tickets were treated this way? Again it would start fair, but I doubt it will make some of the outrageous fines less for most of us. We will in the end just have to pay more to local city governments because they cannot be financially sound. Many view tickets as easy revenue.

    The use of paying fines to modify a person's actions, or to punish poor judgment is a good system. The amount should be enough to actively discourage people, and the risk of a ticket is a good social control mechanism. However, using tickets to make money has allowed the practice to escalate the price of an average speeding ticket to be beyond what many of us are able to pay.

    In some states, the ticket for not coming to a complete stop before turning right at a redlight can result in a $450-500 ticket. I recently read on twitter about one person who said they were glad they got around $500 in gifts from their family for Christmas since they need the money to pay for a redlight ticket. With the very deceitful and corrupt practices used by some cities to make money from cameras, I wonder how long it will take for them to base the ticket off of your income? I am rather sure, the price of the tickets will not be less, they are making too much money for that. $20,000 redlight tickets perhaps? And to be clear on this, only a maniac runs a redlight on purpose. Fining them is the least of their problems.

    Protecting people from expensive tickets for a lapse in judgment, inanition, or being scammed by a redlight camera vendor is why we are here. We have a large selection of radar detectors, laser jammers, redlight / speed camera warning systems and other protective items. If you have any questions about what is the best radar detector for where you live, or any other questions, give us a call or send an email.

  • Cobra Touchscreen Radar Detectors

    Cobra really knows how to make a great interface for their radar detectors. It looks like the soon to be released XRS 9970G and XRS 9965 radar detectors will improve on their distinctive design and UI even further. Both detectors will feature a touchscreen display. You will be able to tap on the display screen and scroll through options and set your preferences.

    Cobra Touchscreen Detectors!
    This is a very interesting development in radar detectors. Most windshield mount detectors can be a bit, er, fiddly when trying to do something as simple as hit the mute button. Trying to actually change settings without yanking down the detectors is nearly impossible most of the time, and a very bad idea to attempt while driving. Cobra might be changing all of that, and we will be doing a detailed test ourselves.

    The 9970 will offer all of the features of current top of the line Cobra windshield mount detectors including a GPS based camera warning system (with plug-in GPS locator, itself a very nice feature, and a lifetime subscription to the redlight camera warning service), POP detection, and voice alerts. The 9965 is very similar to the 9970 but does not include the GPS locator/service (though it should be available as an option).

    We cannot wait to try out the new interface! It should be a great feature that we feel is rather innovative. Anything that makes detectors even more intuitive to use, and more effective tools as well, is a welcome addition.

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