Tennessee Radar Detector Laws

Radar detectors allow you to identify nearby police radars that are deployed with the intention of monitoring the speed of oncoming vehicles. These devices alert you when you’re being monitored, which probes you to slow down and return to the permitted speed limits.

By installing one in your car, you can make it easier for yourself to stick to speed limits and avoid fines. You’d be right to think that devices like these are probably illegal in many states, and they are. But is Tennessee one of them? Read this article to find out.

Relevant Restrictions

Radar detectors are legal in Tennessee, but there are a few caveats to their legality. The proper use of radar detectors is outlined in various sections of the Tennessee Code.

Here are the laws regarding the mounting and usage of the devices in different vehicles.

Windshield Mounting

Stinger radar detector

The higher you mount the radar detector, the better it’s going to perform. More height equals a better detection range, making windshields an ideal spot for mounting radar detectors.

Tennessee, unlike some other states which deem windshield-mounted radar detectors as safety hazards (they could distract the driver or obstruct vision), permits this.

If you’re worried about your radar detector being a potential hazard, you can choose to mount your device on your dashboard, sun visor, or underneath your rearview mirror — all perfectly legal spots!

Privately Owned vs Commercially Owned Vehicles

Radar detectors are permitted in privately owned and commercially owned vehicles in Tennessee. However, commercial vehicles need to weigh less than 10,000 lbs to be legally allowed the usage of a radar detector.

Heavy vehicles that exceed this weight cannot use or install radar detectors on or in any part of the vehicle.

Driving in a Military Area

Speed limit sign in Tennessee

The use of radar detectors in military areas is illegal, as dictated by federal law. This is the case in every U.S. state. Using such devices could interfere with the equipment being used by military vehicles and facilities.

Visibly mounted radar detectors must be dismounted and turned off while on military territory, as well as when driving past it.

In What States Are Radar Detectors Illegal?

Radar detectors are legal in all states except Virginia and the District of Columbia. Both states believe radar detectors allow offenders to slip through the law’s fingers and instill a false sense of security that encourages speeding.

In Virginia, radar detectors may be installed in vehicles as long as the device isn’t readily accessible to any of the passengers or the driver.

Radar Detector vs Radar Jammer

Radar detectors only detect radar guns in the surroundings, while radar jammers jam radar guns and prevent them from obtaining any readings from vehicles.

Radar jammers are usually in the form of many tiny sensors that can be installed on the vehicle’s front side, whereas a detector is one singular device.

Unlike radar detectors, radar jammers are illegal in every state. Tennessee treats the usage of the latter as a criminal offense, as laid out in Title 39 “Criminal Offenses” of the Tennessee Code.

State of Tennessee Info

Flag of Tennessee

This southeastern state of the United States borders Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina. It is the 17th most populous state.

The Mississippi River runs along Tennessee’s western border, and the Appalachian Mountains stand tall on the eastern side. The state’s largest city is Memphis, followed by its capital.

Population: 6,456,243
Capital: Nashville
Registered vehicles: 5,855,373
Total lane miles: 203,850
Number of highways: 7

Wikipedia | State Website

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