[Warning: Several gadgets mentioned in this post are illegal to own and use in the province of British Columbia. If caught you may face a hefty fine, possible imprisonment, and the odd chance that your vehicle will be impounded or even crushed.]
As a petrol head I consider myself an expert at spotting unmarked cop cars and speed traps. But the truth of the matter is that I’m selectively forgetting about all the times I’ve been caught and ticketed. And while I certainly don’t condone venturing on the illegal side of the posted speed limit, it happens to the best of us. And to those who haven’t already been caught – you will get caught.
So here’s a few gadgets to stay out of trouble:
1) Trapster. A free iPhone App that warns you of anything from live police to red light cameras. It’s a bit tricky to work and it won’t work every time but it’s free and a great little thing to have running as you drive along. The best part is the many different accents and languages you can choose to be notified in. I have mine set to a New York cabbie’s voice who yells at me through my car speakers. Great fun.
2) Laser and Radar Detector. My personal favorite is the Valentine V1. The most effective detector which lets you know the direction, number of bogeys, and strength of signal. It doesn’t come cheap, but if you think about the money you’ll save on speeding tickets it’s well worth considering. Cheaper detectors generally mean more false bogies and a weaker signal.
3) VEIL Light Absorbent Coating. Relatively unknown, VEIL is a clear coat paint that absorbs light (laser) rays and makes it difficult for a laser gun to obtain a speed reading. It’s designed to work best in combination with a laser detector which then gives you enough time to reduce your speed from when you hear your detector beep to when your speed has finally been clocked. The paint costs around $100 and applies to all the reflective surfaces at the front of the car. It’ll slightly dim your lights and license plate but that may be worth it if you’re serious about not getting dinged with a ticket.
4) Laser Jammers. Illegal, but highly effective. Laser Jammers will create a bubble around your car which detects and jams any incoming laser signals from roadside speed traps. Typical results are an “error” reading on the laser gun’s first attempt at clocking your speed which usually gives you enough time to slam on the brakes. Total cost? If you opt for the very best M47 Blinder X-Treme Laser Jammer, which includes both front and rear jammers, it’ll set you back around $750.
5) CB Radio. If you have a buddy at the local police department that can tell you their radio frequency then a CB radio is definitely the way to go. You’ll also be able to chat with truckers ahead who are always on the lookout for “donuts”. The best part, it’s completely legal and highly entertaining. At a cost of only $57.00, the Uniden Mobile 40 Channel CB Radio is great value for money.
Lastly, when you do get pulled over for speeding and a ticket is imminent, immediately admitting you are at fault and providing one quick reason why you’re in a hurry is the best way to get on a cop’s good side. Or give batting your eyelashes and crying a try, just be sure to let me know if that actually works.