PDA

View Full Version : It finally happened



Prime
08-23-2009, 05:57 PM
Ever since i bought my 500E, every time I walk into my mechanic's shop they ask me if I've gotten a ticket yet. I've NEVER had a moving violation, and went almost 2.5 years after getting the 500E without breaking that streak... until today. :flush:

Driving to the Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours today I was on the freeway behind a car that was loitering in the left lane. (Okay, he was exceeding the speed limit too, but I still wanted to get past). Well, the guy must've been a local because he finally decided to pull over just before we cleared a rise and... you can guess the rest. I punched it to go past him, cleared the rise, and got nailed by the Sate Trooper laser (first time I've ever heard that noise from my detector!) doing 84 in a 65.

I'm choosing to look on the bright side - I think if I'd been doing 1 mph more it would've been up a step on the ridiculous fees chart that they use for such things. The trooper told me that if I show up for the non-mandatory court date they would lower my fine, but of course that means taking time off from work and driving to Wisconsin. I think I'll just pay the $250.90.

Just thought I'd share. :kaboom:

need2speed
08-24-2009, 09:15 AM
Ouch...I share your grief. Almost the same story happened to me recently; first ticket in 20 years. We have a nice backcountry road that goes from 100KPH down to 60KPH beside a cement quarry because of trucks turning on to the road. Well this was a holiday Sunday and I "only" slowed to 80KPH when a cop jumped out from behind a large power box and zapped me with the laser. They had quite a racket going at this location, while the news on the radio was about two seperate accidents that killed 3 people over the previous days on a nearby much busier and faster highway.

Having a career in law enforcement behind me, I knew exactly why this dysfunctional behavior was happening. Due to the long weekend, police management had announced a traffic crackdown to promote "safety". What really happens is that HQ orders the local detachments to produce more tickets so they can declare success with the program. The local guys know that chasing down dangerous drivers on busy freeways takes too much time so they go to their duck-ponds (a term we used to describe a place for easy catches) and fill their quotas. So, in fact, even the routine enforcement on the well-known death highways is abandoned during these so-called safety programs. Makes sense?

gsxr
08-24-2009, 12:37 PM
Ouch! Just curious, what counter-measures do you guys have? I use a Valentine-1 and overall have been pretty happy with it, after tweaking some of the advanced programming settings.

:banana2:

2phast
08-25-2009, 12:53 AM
V1 technology is rather dated, I replaced mine with a Passport 9500ix, nice unit with built in GPS and the ability to update the unit with speed trap data, red light locations etc. You can also lock out known false alarms by GPS.

Very happy with the upgrade, unless Valentine decides to do a major overhaul of its product, I won't be going back.

I honestly can't understand why anyone would drive without a radar detector of some sort, never have I received a ticket using a detector.

Prime
08-25-2009, 06:28 AM
I hear you on the 9500 Rik - wish I could afford one right now. But I'm sure it wouldn't have helped me in this case. I've always been told that the only thing a LASER detector is good for is telling you that it's time to pull over, and sure enough, that's how I got nailed. I didn't have a chance.

FWIW, my car has a nice, but old, installed Bel detector, but someone stole the actual radar sensor from behind the bumper. So I'm using a $100 Cobra. It detects many bands and really has some nice convenience features, such as auto-mute any time engine rpms go below a programmable setting (so it doesn't beep at you while you're sitting at a traffic light), but it's slow compared to my old wireless Escort Solo, which I loved. Unfortunately the Solo went to radar detector heaven.

550Maranello
08-25-2009, 07:42 AM
Well, I would not take my chances here in Virginia. Please read on.

While the days of the Virginia State Police sniffing out your FuzzBuster (tm) radar detector and seizing it are gone, it is still illegal to use radar detection devices in Virginia. Contrary to the state statute, some local government web sites such as the City of Fairfax advise that drivers may possess a detector even in a vehicle if the device has no power source and no one in the vehicle can access it. The actual statue, however, still prohibits possession in a motor vehicle, even if disconnected and not in actual operation.

Orazio

TerryA
08-25-2009, 09:12 AM
Prime,

Can't afford a dectector?

Nowdays you can't afford not to have one.

It sounds good but I still don't have one but with the tickets I have recieved over the years (1 every 2 to 2-1/2 yrs on avg) I could have bought at least 4 high quality dectectors.
Radar has been responsible for every ticket I have recieved.

Almost any speeding ticket in California is at least $250.00 plus if you don't want your insurance jacked up you have to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 more and go to "Traffic School". In Orange County you actually have to attend the traffic school. LA County you might be able to take it on-line for a lot less money.

My first red light ticket (also radar) cost me $425.00 last year.

With the ecomony in the dumper law enforcement is ramping up the ticketing as a source of revenue for both the city and state. They are out to get us all!!

Bottom line every time I recieve a ticket I say to myself.

SELF, WHY DIDN'T I BUY A RADAR DETECTOR???

need2speed
08-25-2009, 02:51 PM
SELF, WHY DIDN'T I BUY A RADAR DETECTOR???

And...what's the answer? :stickpoke:

gsxr
08-25-2009, 03:19 PM
A radar detector is not a police detector, nor is it a license to drive like an idiot... but it can defintiely help reduce the possibility of getting nailed with a "revenue generation" ticket. IMO, the majority of traffic tickets issued are for revenue generation (in other words, to meet quota)... not for public safety.

You Californians are lucky, taking traffic school in CA hides the infraction from your insurance company, although it doesn't take points off your license. In Idaho, it's the opposite. Here, traffic school removes points off your license, but doesn't hide it from your insurance company! I greatly prefer the CA rules... you can get a ticket there every 18 months without messing up your insurance rates (although the fine + school ain't cheap).

:choochoo:

Prime
08-25-2009, 05:36 PM
Prime,

Can't afford a dectector?



I didn't say I can't afford a detector. I just said I couldn't afford THAT detector, and I went on to talk about the detector that I own. If you want to talk cost-effectiveness - even including this $250 LASER ticket that no detector would have saved me from - I have had a grand total of $250 in tickets over 28 years of driving. The detector Rik was talking about would have cost me almost twice that much, and would have a life of what - 5 years? From a strictly financial standpoint it seems clear that I came out ahead.

With sensible driving habits, I'm not sold on the necessity for "the latest technology" in radar detectors. What I'd really like is to find a replacement for the sensor on my (outdated) installed detector, but Bel doesn't make it any more and nobody seems to have one.

TerryA
08-26-2009, 10:47 AM
Neil,

Very cute Neil, but "SELF" is a procrastinator.

I keep thinking that as soon as I buy one and I like the V1 system of arrows but have reversations that Valentine will as Rik says "do a major overhaul of its product" just as soon as I buy one. I think they are due for more updates to keep up with the others.

Prime,

No one is accusing you of being cheap. Remember I don't have one either. I commend you for your excellent driving record.

As for myself I drive 70 miles a day round trip to work. It is all freeway and the traffic speed is anywhere from 0 mph to about 90 mph. It is a way of life out here. I make time where I can. When the freeway moves around here the average speed is around 70 to 80 mph and everybody is doing it.

With the exception of the brain fart that caused me to blow a red light (actually a bluetooth earpiece distraction at 6:00 AM before coffee) I have only recieved one speeding ticket in my 500E in the 5+ years I have owned it. I also only drive it around 2K miles a year and it is all for fun. Can't resist mashing the pedel once in a while.

Also I have recieved no other tickets in my other cars either and never a ticket on the freeway. It is always some cop hidden behind a parked car or bush or something on a surface street. Usually one that looks very inviting to speed on.

I don't think I drive like an idiot but I do drive around 20K miles a year (mostly because my job requires it) eventually you are going to get busted for something.

I have been driving for 52 years 48 of them in CA and although a ticket once in a while hurts I guess I would have to consider it a cost of living here.

I am still going to wait for a new V1 to hit the market.

Take Care

gsxr
08-26-2009, 11:39 AM
I've been waiting a long time for V1 to revamp their product. I don't expect any update in the next several years, although I suppose I should call and inquire if they have anything planned. The V1 still has some features which I really like, over the Passport or other units out there. However the V1 requires some "advanced programming" to reduce the annoying X-band falsing that you get out of the box, beyond the normal Advanced Logic mode. Once set up properly, it works quite well. I'd like different LED colors for each band (green for X, yellow for K, red for KA, and blue for laser) and better Ka range, but otherwise I'm happy with both of my V1's.

:wormhole:

2phast
08-26-2009, 12:07 PM
I didn't say I can't afford a detector. I just said I couldn't afford THAT detector, and I went on to talk about the detector that I own. If you want to talk cost-effectiveness - even including this $250 LASER ticket that no detector would have saved me from - I have had a grand total of $250 in tickets over 28 years of driving. The detector Rik was talking about would have cost me almost twice that much, and would have a life of what - 5 years? From a strictly financial standpoint it seems clear that I came out ahead.

With sensible driving habits, I'm not sold on the necessity for "the latest technology" in radar detectors. What I'd really like is to find a replacement for the sensor on my (outdated) installed detector, but Bel doesn't make it any more and nobody seems to have one.

Well, I don't agree here. This detector does have laser detection cababilities and of course if your leading the pack and there are no cars around, you don't get much warning before the police have you locked in, but I would have to say that 8 times out of 10, the police are using the laser on other cars ahead of you, thus chances are you will get an advanced warning.

That said, there are laser jammers (shifters) available that do their job just as they should. So if you are leading the pack, the police can not get speed reading. This has saved my ass a couple of times, so its a worthy investment.

As for legality of using radars, well, most high end units allow you to go "dark" (no lights) plus, these units are not detectible by the police. If your really paranoid, you can go with a hidden remote style detector (Passport SRX/SR7 for example) so there is nothing visible at all inside your vehicle

Ebay is a good place to find pre-owned detectors, thats where I picked up my 9500ix from. Sold my V1 for more than I paid for the 9500ix and my V1 was probably 8 years old!

gsxr
08-26-2009, 01:29 PM
... if your leading the pack and there are no cars around, you don't get much warning before the police have you locked in, but I would have to say that 8 times out of 10, the police are using the laser on other cars ahead of you, thus chances are you will get an advanced warning.
That is the primary advantage to using any detector... you get warning when cars ahead are being clocked. If you are at the head of the pack, you have to be a lot more careful (i.e., slow down).




That said, there are laser jammers (shifters) available that do their job just as they should. So if you are leading the pack, the police can not get speed reading. This has saved my ass a couple of times, so its a worthy investment.
Where do you mount it on the 500E where it's not obvious? How about cost? I wouldn't mind getting one.




As for legality of using radars, well, most high end units allow you to go "dark" (no lights) plus, these units are not detectible by the police.
That's one of my few complaints with the V1... no "dark" mode. I mount mine above the mirror and use the flip-down center visor to create my own makeshift dark mode, but it would be nice if it had a real one.


:cheers2:

Prime
08-26-2009, 05:50 PM
Well, I don't agree here. This detector does have laser detection cababilities and of course if your leading the pack and there are no cars around, you don't get much warning before the police have you locked in, but I would have to say that 8 times out of 10, the police are using the laser on other cars ahead of you, thus chances are you will get an advanced warning.


I have always read that the big issue with laser detection is that the beam does not scatter like radar, making it very unlikely that you'll detect it when it's aimed at other cars. Once it's aimed at you and you detect it, it's too late. Do you have experience to the contrary? I certainly didn't hear a peep until it was too late, and I wasn't leading the pack - traffic was pretty evenly spaced.

Honestly, in this particular case I probably would've been busted even with standard instant-on radar. It was a classic speed trap, just over a rise, and I broke my own cardinal rules of speeding:

1) Try to be the SECOND fastest moving car around

and

2) Stay to the right as much as possible (I'm convinced the cops concentrate on the left lane. I know I would.)

PLUS, my car was freshly detailed, looking shiny, black, and mean (on the way to a concours event), so I'm sure that attracted some attention too. As stealthy as this car is, it can still attract attention if it's shined up nice and moving at a blur. :driving:

gerryvz
08-27-2009, 02:32 AM
A few points with regard to detectors:

Disclaimer: I own two V1 detectors (and have for many many years) that are hard-wired, respectively, into my 560SEC and E500 between the top of the rear-view mirror and the headliner just aft of the windshield.

Valentine-One has for the past 10-15 years always had the capability to UPGRADE units to their latest version of the hardware and software. The units have differed very little physically (although there are "short" and "tall" versions) but they have ALWAYS been upgradeable. The original units were "short" versions, and for a while when they added laser capability they had a "tall" version that was about 1/2 inch taller, but physically & functionally near-identical to the original units) and later on they went back to a "short" version. To upgrade, you enter your unit's serial number via a form on their web site and it tells you whether you can (or should) upgrade based on the age and capability of your unit's hardware and software. I wouldn't upgrade a unit that is much less than 5 years old, myself.

I've upgraded mine a couple of times over the years (it's not cheap) and at times they have switched out the entire unit, other times just upgraded the guts of the unit that I originally purchased. To say that V1 technology is outmoded is absolutely wrong - they have continually updated and upgraded the capabilities and continue to do so.

I think it's a testament to the design of the units themselves that they've been able to maintain a similar physical design, but provide users with the opportunity to upgrade at a significantly lesser cost than purchasing a new unit.

I know that other brands such as Passport have some "bells" and whistles (pun intended) such as GPS, and this perhaps provides some interesting and compelling capability. However, you can be VERY sure that Valentine has studied and tested these competitive units and capabilities thoroughly and come up with no compelling reason to ape or mimic these advanced features. I believe if they felt that the features provided significant additional capability, they would implement them as long as they weren't infringing on others' patents (and that could well be a reason why they haven't).

Various magazine tests have continued to rate the V1 as "top" "mid-pack" and "bottom of pack" but overall the units generally score quite high in the rankings -- usually in the top 3-5 units tested. And this has been quite consistent over the years. It's also important to note that magazine, independent and web-site tests of radar detectors have always been hugely political things -- in some cases notoriously biased and usually always with an element of subjectiveness -- over the years. This could be driven by advertising dollars, writers' personal preferences, or just plain industry infighting spilling over to the writers themselves. In any case, I've always taken these "tests" with a bit of a grain of salt.

I've never felt compelled to change brands or units primarily because of the upgrade policy as insurance, but also because fundamentally the units have always worked quite well for me. The directional feature is probably most useful to me, as well as the ability to count multiple threat sources. I agree with GSXR that different colored lights (in addition to the current distinctive sounds provided) would be beneficial in determining the type of threat, but at its simplest this is often irrelevant - a threat is a threat, and it's more the ACCURACY and selectivity of the detector in determining what is threat and not that is more important here. The Passport units seem to provide this with the GPS capability (for fixed radar/laser sources) but in no way is this foolproof. I'd rather have my detector "on" all the time and over-warning me a bit than ignoring a previously known and marked threat that actually has an additional source adacent to it. For example, a convenience store on my way home from work trips my V1 with a weak radar signal -- it's the automatic entry/exit door of the store. But passing by the rear of the store (the side of the store -- no door - is parallel to the road) I often see a Harris County constable or sheriff parked behind the building with his radar on. I'm not so sure that a Passport unit would pick this up if the store's door radar was itself marked as a "non-threat" previously. But I could be wrong on this -- perhaps a Passport unit with GPS would sense the additional/incremental threat and alert. But the V1 always tells me there are TWO sources (often X and K both) and thus I always know there is a law officer present.

In terms of "dark" mode - V1 has a remote unit that can be discreetly mounted to control the unit, and if this is engaged it will make the main unit dark. I have a remote unit but have never used it, as my detector sits very high up and no police I've encountered has ever spotted it (they are usually looking DOWN INTO the car, not at window level UP into the rear-view mirror area. In my year in Texas, I've been stopped twice (once in my 560SEC and once recently in my E500) but both times received warnings -- once for going a bit fast (5 MPH over) in a school zone, and the other time in the E500 for not having a front plate (note to self: put front plate in trunk and tell officer it fell off next time I'm stopped). I never got stopped in Oregon for not having a front plate on the E500. Texas officers seem reasonable overall.

Of course, I just received the attached "ticket" in the mail from the City of Zurich, Switzerland. Caught on camera in my rental MB C-class doing 6 km/hr over the speed limit on a Zurich city street in June ... they give you 5 km/hr "leeway" so the 40 Swiss-franc fine was effectively for 1 km/hr over the speed limit...LOL. :burnout: Luckily it would never go against any points or insurance because it's from a foreign country.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Gerry

Prime
08-27-2009, 06:18 PM
I will add this - in addition to the aforementioned rpm-triggered mute, my $100 Cobra detector gives me bright, dim, and dark modes as well as different visual, audible, and voice indications of different threats. It does not indicate multiple threats per se, but it has saved me when I was passing by a known benign threat that was X-band and all of a sudden it started telling me there was Ka-band present. However, as I mentioned before, all of this is tempered by the base performance of the detector, and this one is s...l...o...w.

With the Passport now having GPS, what I'm really waiting for is a GPS/Navigation unit with built-in radar/laser detection in a single unit. Why hasn't anyone built this yet??? Especially with our (older) cars with a single power outlet, it would be a godsend. As it stands now, if I don't know where I'm going, I have to drive the speed limit!! :buggin: