Written by Gregory Monte.
I commute to work 100 miles in each direction from my home in Pennsylvania to my place of work in Bergen County, New Jersey. On this two-hour long trip, I also travel through New York State using Route 17 and the New York State Thruway.
In other words, I travel through three states every day.
Twelve years ago, I received a speeding ticket in Paramus, New Jersey while traveling this daily route. I fought this ticket and partially won (a story for another blog post), but ever since then I have used a radar detector to make sure that I know where the police are hiding out.
I mention all of this to note that I know what kind of radar the police use in each of the three states that I travel. This information could be useful to drivers in the tri-state area if they also want to avoid a speeding ticket.
Here is the breakdown (pros and cons) of what I have learned about police radar:
- In Pennsylvania, only the State Police can use radar, and they always use the K Band. This kind of sucks, because you don’t get a good K Band signal on your radar detector until it is almost too late to slow down. Another problem with the K Band is that modern cars use this band to send out signals to keep vehicles within lanes and to enable autonomous driving. This means that you get a whole lot of false positives. It gets annoying after a while to the point that you never really know if the radar beep is because of a speeding trap or just a vehicle with this modern feature. Another important point is that local police can still issue a speeding ticket in two other ways. They can pace you based on a calibrated speedometer or they can measure your speed using a stopwatch over a specified distance.
- In New York, the State Police use the Ka Band which is picked up by a typical radar detector well in advance. You will have no problem slowing down in time to beat your ticket. I love driving in New York because of this. I always know when a speed trap is nearby. The State Police sometimes actually use LIDAR (laser), but this is rare (but the typical radar detector will also pick up this).
- In New Jersey, the State Police and most local police also mostly use the Ka Band. As in New York, you will most likely know when the police are out on the hunt for speeders. Unfortunately, there are some local departments which also use the K Band so you need to be a bit more cautious when traveling in New Jersey.
I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I try to post information that is both useful and original. I don’t just re-post things that I read about on other blogs. Instead, I write about topics that I have personally researched. This post is no different. I have been driving 1,000 miles a week for the past 12+ years. Based on this experience, I can state with a very high degree of confidence that what I write is true. All you need to do now is get yourself a radar detector.