To the editor:
This is in response to your July 23 editorial concerning the outlawing of radar detectors.The Radio Association Defending Airwave Rights Inc. (RADAR) - a national non-profit association - was organized to promote and advance the common interests of the motoring public by alerting motorists to the potential abuses of police radar and promoting the proper use of radar for law enforcement purposes.
After failing in an identical attempt two years ago, opponents of radar detectors are again asking the Federal Highway Administration to prohibit the electronic devices in trucks used in interstate commerce.
The only trouble is there's no proof whatsoever that a ban is warranted - no proof that radar detectors are responsible for accidents involving trucks or other vehicles; no proof that detectors cause motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise; but proof aplenty that police traffic radar is susceptible to mistakes and misuse.
Spearheading the federal truck-ban efforts is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it is a recent IIHS study that purports to show the magnitude of the truck/detector "problem." According to the institute's research, 40 percent of tractor-trailers on interstate highways are using detectors, and trucks equipped with detectors are more likely than those without to be traveling in excess of 70 mph.
Some radar experts claim one in five radar-backed speeding tickets is based on bad readings. We think the accuracy problem is getting worse, particularly with the widespread use of quick-draw (instant-on or pulse) techniques aimed at defeating radar detectors.