Are Radar Detectors Legal in Missouri?

Receiving a speeding ticket while driving is one of the most common traffic infractions, but they can be a burden to many drivers. Police officers often use radar guns to gauge the speed of cars on the road and determine who to give tickets to.

Many people have debated that these speeding tickets are unfair, and technology exists to detect these radar guns before an officer pulls you over. These devices, known as radar detectors, are legal to use in Missouri, although they are illegal in some other states.

What Are Radar Detectors?

Radar detectors are devices that can detect invisible radar waves that come from the radar guns that police officers use to determine how fast your car is going. If you are driving using a radar detector and a police officer is nearby using a radar gun, the device will alert you to his or her presence. When you receive the alert, you can take appropriate action to avoid receiving a ticket, such as slowing down.

When a police officer uses a radar gun, it emits waves that expand around the area where he or she is waiting for cars to pass. The radar detector picks up these waves up to a few miles away from the point of emission thanks to its antenna and hardware. Proponents of radar detectors believe that these devices help reduce dangerous driving activities and accidents on the road. However, opponents of radar detectors question their interference with police activities.

Different Types of Radar Detectors and Jammers

Radar detectors can come in many different forms. You can use a dashboard or window mount radar detector; however, these devices are illegal in some states and you may receive a fine while using them. You can also install a custom radar detector in your vehicle or use a remote radar detector, which are legal in the states you can use radar detectors.

Two other devices that often come up when discussing radar detectors are laser jammers and radar jammers. While radar detectors are usually legal in most states, the laws differ when it comes to jammers. Laser jammers prevent police officers from reading the speed of a vehicle by emitting beams of light. Federal laws do not prohibit the use of laser jammers, but certain states do ban them.

Radar jammers scramble radar signals to prevent the police from reading a vehicle’s speed. Radar jammers are more destructive than laser jammers, causing interference with police and even airline activities. Radar jammers are illegal in all states, since it is a crime to interfere with police equipment. Using a radar jammer could lead to a felony charge, jail time, and significant fines.

Radar Detector Laws in Missouri

Radar detector laws vary from state to state, with differing regulations on the use and placement of these devices and their similar counterparts. For example, radar detectors are illegal in Virginia and Washington, D.C., but legal in every other state.

In the state of Missouri, it is legal to use a radar detector and a laser jammer to warn yourself of the presence of radar guns while driving. However, radar jammers, which directly interfere with the frequency of police officers’ radar guns, are illegal in Missouri. You must turn off your radar detector if you are driving on a military base.

If you drive a commercial motor vehicle in Missouri, the law does not allow you to use radar detectors, radar jammers, or laser jammers while driving. If you drive a passenger motor vehicle, you can attach a radar detector to your dashboard or windshield. Many states do not allow you to attach your radar detector to these areas, so take caution and research applicable laws when driving outside of Missouri.

Avoid receiving a ticket by researching applicable laws on these devices before you drive and always adhere to the speed limit. If you are in a car accident where a speeding driver caused your injuries, contact a Kansas City accident lawyer as soon as possible.