Many of the clients who contact Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver and Victoria ask us about laws that pertain to radar detector and laser defense systems. Understanding the limitations on these speeding ticket prevention solutions is important. We’ve put together an overview of the laws and relevant regulations for British Columbia and adjacent provinces and states. This information is accurate as of January 2020 but depending on when you read this, there may have been updates.
Radar Detector Laws in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan
There are currently no specific laws in the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act, the Alberta Traffic Safety Act or the Saskatchewan Traffic Safety Act that prohibit the use of a radar detector or a laser defense system in a personal vehicle. Saskatchewan does prohibit radar and laser speed-measuring warning systems in commercial vehicles.
Canadian Criminal Code Section 129
A few drivers around Canada have reported being charged under Section 129 of the Canadian Criminal Code. This portion of the code states that anyone who willfully obstructs a public officer or peace officer in the execution of his duty has committed an indictable offense. In all cases that we could find, the charges were in association with the use of a laser defense system. As such, it’s crucial to understand and execute the jam-to-kill process quickly and efficiently. If you continue to prevent an officer from taking a speed measurement once you have confirmed your speed, they can justifiably charge you with preventing them from measuring your vehicle speed.
The jam-to-kill process involves canceling the transmission of the scrambled laser signal once you’re sure your vehicle is traveling at a speed that won’t attract the attention of the police. In the case of our Escort radar solutions, you can tap the Mute button on the controller twice to switch the shifters into receive-only mode for one minute. On our Stinger laser defense systems, you can press the Mute Alert option on the View display or the center section of the Strip controller. Our team will provide you with a detailed explanation of the process, and it’s worth practicing the procedure to make sure that you can execute it quickly while on the road.
Speed Measurement Warning Device Laws in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana
There are currently no laws prohibiting the use of a radar detector or laser defense systems in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Radar Laws in California
If you’re planning a trip down to California, there are a few things you’ll need to be aware of. While the use of radar detectors is allowed, California police officers will often issue tickets to drivers who have a detector mounted to the front windshield. These tickets are issued under Division 12, Chapter 4 of the Equipment of Vehicles section of the Vehicle Code section of the California Constitution. Specifically, Vehicle Code Section 26708 states that a person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows. If you want to use a radar detector in California, you’ll need to invest in a custom-installed solution.
California is unique in our discussion because it has a specific law preventing the use of laser defense and jamming systems. California Vehicle Code Section 28150 (Division 12: Equipment of Vehicles, Chapter 5: Other Equipment, Article 17: Jamming Devices) states the following: No vehicle shall be equipped with any device that is designed for, or is capable of, jamming, scrambling, neutralizing, disabling or otherwise interfering with radar, laser or any other electronic device used by a law enforcement agency to measure the speed of moving objects.
If you’re headed to California, turn off your laser defense system. If you have questions about how to do that, give us a call.
Visit the Radar Detector Experts at Ralph’s Radio
If you’re in the market for a radar detector or laser defense system for your car or truck, we invite you to contact the team at Ralph’s Radio at our Vancouver or Victoria locations. You can also reach us by phone or by email using our online contact form. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and explain the features and benefits of the Escort and Stinger speeding ticket prevention solutions we offer.