Radar detectors can be very helpful when used correctly — they alert you of nearby radar guns that are used by law enforcement to track speeding vehicles. They give you an opportunity to slow down at the right time.
However, many people tend to misuse radar detectors because they incentivise being as close to the speed limit as possible. That’s why there are laws around the use of these devices.
It’s worth noting that radar detectors are not the same as LiDar detectors — though similar, the latter uses pulsing light beams to map the surroundings, unlike the former, which uses radio waves.
Which begs the question, are radar detectors legal in Maine? Though prohibited earlier, radar detectors are completely legal in Maine at the time of writing, but there are certain exceptions to the rule.
In this article, we discuss everything to know about the legality of radar detectors in The Pine Tree State.
All laws relating to radar detectors are outlined in the Maine State Legislature. Here are some of the technicalities surrounding the use of radar detectors.
This includes mounting points, usage in private and commercial vehicles, and usage in and around military bases.
Windshield mounting of radar detectors is considered hazardous by many since it can obstruct the driver’s view and serve as an unnecessary distraction.
However, radar detectors work best when mounted higher, which makes the windshield a prime spot for mounting these devices.
Therefore, most states, including Maine, permit radar detectors to be mounted on the windshield as long as it doesn’t interfere with the driver’s view or present some sort of hazard.
Privately Owned vs Commercially Owned Vehicles
Maine legally allows both privately owned and commercially owned vehicles to have radar detectors installed.
Federal law prohibits commercial vehicles beyond 10,000 lbs from installing and using radar detectors. Such vehicles are liable to pay fines even if the radar detector isn’t switched on or in use.
In addition to the above, federal law also prohibits the usage of radar detectors in private and commercial vehicles around military bases.
Entering a military base with a visibly mounted radar detector is against the law; the device needs to be removed and kept out of sight while on military land.
Even while driving past, visibly mounted radar detectors may need to be dismounted. This is because private radars could interfere with the functioning of radar machines and devices used in military facilities.
Law enforcement agents can detect your radar detector with a radar detector-detector. These devices allow agents to identify vehicles that are actively using radar detectors and also locate them from considerable distances.
These devices are standard features in police vehicles, in states where radar detectors are prohibited.
Radar detector-detectors function by picking up the leaked radio frequency signals from radar detectors that are in the same frequency. There are two main types: Spectre and the VG-2 Interceptor.
Some states, such as the District of Columbia and Virginia, consider radar detectors illegal.
In such states, some alternatives to consider that provide the same functionality are laser jammers, LiDAR, GPS systems, and even apps on the phone.
LiDAR is similar to radar and is commonly used by the authorities to detect speeding vehicles. It’s more accurate, precise, and detailed as it uses light waves instead of radio waves.
Be advised that you should check the legality of each alternative before using it in the concerned state.
State of Maine Info
Maine is a northeastern state of the United States.
Situated in the New England region of the country, the state has 16 counties with an abundance of forest areas and water bodies.
Its rocky coastline stretches for 3,500 miles. It attained statehood in 1820, becoming the 23rd state in the country.
In terms of area, it is the 12th smallest, and in terms of population, it is the 13th least populous state. It is also the only state to share borders with a single US state.
Registered vehicles: 383,228
Total lane miles: 46,750
Number of Highways: 2