When I whipped out my Beltronics Vector 995 radar detector and secured it on my windshield a couple weeks back in my 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L, there were more than a few questions from my friends who were riding along in the back. "Is that a parking sensor?” one of the girls asked, as my V995 went through cycles of beeps during its startup cycle. Another guy inquired if it was one of those "police detectors". It seems to me that, despite these little gadgets being legal in most of US and three provinces in Canada (One of which I reside in), there has been much confusion and misunderstanding about the very purpose of these devices.
Some people flat out don't know what it is, as they have never seen one before. Others who know what they are and what they do, but are not thoroughly educated on this subject, have a tendency to think that radar detectors are merely products notorious speeders use in their cars to get away from the police. As yours truly is an enthusiast in police radar and laser in conjunction with a background in Electrical Engineering, let's take a look at how automated speed measuring devices -- both radar and laser -- work, as well as discussing this subject in more detail of these controversial products to a surprisingly large amount of people.