Why do people buy radar detectors for their cars? The answer seems obvious: they do it to keep from getting a ticket for speeding; to be able to break the law and evade punishment. Under the circumstances, why not make so-called "fuzz busters" illegal?
Radar detectors are small, portable devices that pick up the presence of police radar signals. They beep, buzz, or blink to warn drivers that police are in the vicinity and are using radar to measure vehicle speeds.Sellers of such devices, and many of the people who purchase them, try to justify their use by declaring that radar detectors aren't helping people break the law - claiming instead that they're actually helping motorists drive more safely and keep track of their speed.
That's mere subterfuge, as a survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes clear. The poll of people who use radar detectors showed that three quarters of the people who use them say the device has kept them from getting at least one speeding ticket. Nineteen say it has kept them from getting 10 or more tickets.
This clearly means that motorists are using radar detectors to speed and to avoid being ticketed for it. And the speeds are not just a few miles an hour faster than the legal limit.
The study showed that 18 percent of those who drive faster with radar detectors drive 15 mph faster; 11 percent say they go 20 mph faster, and 5 percent drive 25 mph faster.
Those figures mean that there are a lot of speeders endangering the lives of others - and getting away with it.
Two states - Connecticut and Virginia - and the District of Columbia have outlawed radar detectors. Given the evidence, along with common sense, that says such devices are used to evade the law, Utah and other states ought to consider banning them as well.