Radar detectors are pretty nice to have, since they can let you know in advance that there is a police radar ahead. That gives you enough time to reduce your current speed, so you do not get a ticket. However, no matter how great things seem to be right now, there are certain technicalities that can prevent you from using a radar detector properly. Since the legislation regarding radar detectors and their use in the US is terribly fractured, and states do not have the same laws everywhere, especially for long distance drivers this could be a serious problem.
Under the Communications Act of 1934 it is legal to own a radar detector in most US states. While this should make things pretty simple and straightforward, things are simply not like that. For instance, in Virginia and Washington DC, radar detectors are completely banned, so even the simple fact of owning one can get you into trouble. And things do not stop here. There are important exceptions to the rule, such as the use of a radar detector on military bases. However, since you are supposed to go through several checkpoints in such areas, chances are that you will have no opportunity to speed up too much.
Another thing you should know about radar detectors is that they are usually not allowed on heavy vehicles. For vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, the use of such devices is strictly prohibited. In Illinois, New York and New Jersey, there is even more legislation regarding heavy vehicles and the use of radar detectors. In addition, if you are caught operating a radar detector on such a vehicle, you will have to pay a pretty hefty fine.
In California and Minnesota, you can have a radar detector installed on your car, but be aware where you place it. These states have quite a rigorous legislation regarding mounting objects on the windshield. The law considers that such objects can obstruct the driver’s field of view, which may lead to accidents. Although it is fairly convenient to have the radar detector mounted on the windshield, you should have it mounted someplace else, to avoid any run-ins with the law.
You may escape with an undetectable radar detector, but I would advise against. Besides the fact that you cannot know for sure whether the device can really go undetected or not, if you are caught, you can risk getting fine for it, or even worst. Such problems with the law make radar detectors a tricky choice for 2016. They do work and they can help you reduce the number of tickets you would normally get for speeding, but since you may find yourself breaking the law, this is something for you to keep in mind. So, here are my two cents on this, and why I think radar detectors are not so great anymore.