Motorcycle radar detector: what are the penalties?

August 27, 2019

This is a trend that is anchored in the road landscape. Two-wheeled riders are increasingly using guidance solutions, especially to avoid traffic jams or to determine an alternative route. The problem is that these driving aids can also be used to indicate the presence of fixed and mobile speed cameras.

However, using these devices is strictly prohibited. As a reminder, excessive speed is the leading cause of death in France, according to road safety figures. Riders of two-wheelers represent less than 2% of traffic, but constitute almost half (43%) of those seriously injured.

Motorcycle radar detector: what are the penalties?

Use a GPS or an application to warn of speed cameras

There are a multitude of devices or applications that can be downloaded on your smartphone. Driver assistants and radar detectors are two separate tools in the eyes of the law, but in reality, the difference is slim.

Classic navigation solutions such as Tom Tom type GPS (satellite tracking), or the Waze application, the Coyote, Wikango XL or Inforad box, which the law authorizes, have the function of signaling dangerous areas in real time..

They are useful for bypassing a traffic jam or being alerted of an accident, for example. But these legal devices are not allowed to send messages specifying the exact location of speed cameras. The manufacturers have therefore decided to play with words.

Now the driver can be warned of a "danger zone". In addition to speed limits or accidents, this "risk zone" also makes it possible to implicitly inform about the presence of fixed and mobile speed cameras…

In short, icons and the word "radar" have been banned from screens, but the tool still warns of checks. Simply, it is no longer a specific point that is signaled, but an area. These are generally sections of 300 meters in built-up areas, 2 km on national roads and 4 km on motorways..

What about the detector, the warning device or the speed camera jammer ?

More than motorists, two-wheeled riders tend to speed excessively, especially on the handlebars of a sports car.

Some therefore use the jammer, detector or radar warning device. This practice is totally prohibited ! This type of product comes at a price. These three devices can cost up to $ 500. They all take the form of a small, discreet box. But how does it work ?

The radar detector

This is the most common, as it picks up both camouflaged and fixed speed cameras. Its operation is simple. It is based on the detection of magnetic waves emitted by the radar.

Because to calculate the speed of the vehicle, the radar sends a frequency which abuts against the vehicle (car or motorcycle) and returns with a new frequency. The speed is calculated by making the difference between the transmitted and received frequency. The detector therefore uses a frequency sensor and sends a sound or light signal to the driver..

The radar warning

It works like a conventional GPS, but gives the exact position of the radar. You just have to download from the Internet the public list of speed cameras and checkpoints established by the police authorities with their GPS coordinates and load it into the device.

Each time you move, a warning is issued when the speed camera approaches. These alarms work mainly thanks to the collaboration of a "community", or a set of users sharing the positions of mobile radars in real time with other users.

The Radar Jammer

These are boxes fitted with a sensor, installed at the front of the vehicle. Completely illegal, these anti-radar devices do not only detect automatic radars, but make it possible to jam the emitted waves.

Based on the detection of a single frequency, the detectors become less efficient with the new sweeping radars and with the laser radars.

What are the risks of driving with a speed camera warning device on a motorcycle? ?

Since January 3, 2012, the use but also the simple possession of any device capable ofinform the driver in real time of the presence of a fixed or mobile speed camera or a police check are forbidden in France, as specified in article R413-15 of the highway code.

Anyone in possession of such a device is liable to a 5th class fine, i.e. a fine of € 1,500 and the withdrawal of 6 points on the driver’s license, as well as the device being seized. During a traffic stop, the police can indeed check a device in your possession.

Likewise, after an accident, the check may be carried out in order to examine the possible liability of the driver.

The law also provides for additional penalties, namely the suspension of the license, for a period of three years at most and the confiscation of the vehicle..

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