There’s no doubt that speeding can be dangerous. In 2020, according to the United States Department of Transport, speeding was responsible for 29% of all motor-related fatalities.
Radar detectors are extremely helpful accessories. These not only detect your speed and alert you when you’ve crossed legal speed limits, but also save you from getting pulled over and penalized by detecting police radar guns in the vicinity.
That isn’t to say that radar detectors enable you to break the law and escape the police— au contraire, it can help you stay within legal limits and help you slow down if you’re speeding.
Each state has a different legal take on radar detectors, including West Virginia. Which brings us to the question: Are radar detectors legal in West Virginia?
While the state of Virginia doesn’t legally permit the use of radar detectors, West Virginia does. There are some conditions to be followed to be able to use these devices in the state.
Radar detector laws are outlined in Chapter 17C of the West Virginia Code. While mounting your radar detector on your windshield is outlawed in states such as California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida, it is completely legal in West Virginia.
Windshields are the ideal spot for mounting radar detectors, as a higher position allows better detection.
However, ensure that your radar detector is fixed in a safe way, where it doesn’t obstruct your vision while driving or distract you (or others on the road) in any manner.
Private and Commercial Vehicles
All privately owned vehicles are allowed to use radar detectors, however, not all commercially owned vehicles are allowed to use them. Commercially owned vehicles that weigh over 10,000 lbs are prohibited from using these devices in all states.
Radar detectors can encourage speeding through a false sense of security. The danger on the road is compounded when there’s a speeding heavy vehicle.
Along with this federal law, owners of truck and bus companies put in place various measures that alert them if a driver is using a radar detector.
Radar detectors and all radar devices are illegal in military areas. Federal law prohibits the entry and possession of such devices in all vehicles, except specified military vehicles, on military bases.
Dismount your radar detector, turn it off, and store it out of sight when passing through/by or entering any military territory.
You cannot be pulled over for using a radar detector unless you’ve mounted it in the wrong spot, if you’re driving a commercial vehicle that’s over 10,000 lbs, or you’re speeding. It should be noted that a radar detector is not a guarantee against speeding tickets.
While many folks get spurred by the false sense of security and confidence that radar detectors provide and use them as motivation to speed, authorities can detect a speeding vehicle as they use more than just radar guns to do so.
One of these is LiDAR, a more accurate and detailed technological system that uses light waves to better detect and map an area. LiDAR won’t show up on radar detectors but can help users (in this case, the authorities) easily locate a speeding vehicle.
In addition to the LiDAR technology mentioned above, GPS and phone applications such as Cobra iRadar, Radar Beep, and Radarbot are great alternatives.
State of West Virginia Info
The state of West Virginia lies to the south of the United States in the Appalachian region. It shares borders with Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The capital is the state’s largest city.
It is only the 38th most populous state and is relatively small in terms of area. It has a rugged landscape with protected woodlands. The Mountain State joined the Union in 1863 as the 35th state.
Registered vehicles: 1,657,362
Total lane miles: 80,167
Number of highways: 6