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FAQ on Radar Detectors and Laser Jammers

Our team at KMPH presents the most frequently asked questions from our customers on radar detectors and laser systems. Based on our thorough hands-on testing and reviews as well as customer feedback, we will assist you in making the best shopping decision.

You can also visit our News Blog and Review Blog for the latest police speed measurement technology as well as comprehensive reviews on radar and laser countermeasure systems.

See Also...

Radar Detector FAQ

1. How does a radar detector work?

A radar detector scans for microwave frequencies transmitted by the police radar units or hand-held radar guns. The radar detector will give advanced warning so the driver is able to slow down before the officer is able to check the speed of the vehicle.

2. Are radar detectors legal in Canada?

Radar Detectors are legal in British Columbia (BC)
Radar Detectors are legal in Alberta
Radar Detectors are legal in Saskatchewan
Radar Detectors are illegal in Manitoba
Radar Detectors are illegal in Ontario
Radar Detectors are illegal in Quebec
Radar Detectors are illegal in New Brunswick
Radar Detectors are illegal in Newfoundland
Radar Detectors are illegal in Nova Scotia
Radar Detectors are illegal in Prince Edward Island
Radar Detectors are illegal in Yukon Territory
Radar Detectors are illegal in Northwest Territory

Don't worry if you live in the latter provinces on the list! Read on for our recommendations. KMPH ships radar detectors to ANY city in Canada (directly from Vancouver BC).

3. Can police detect my radar detector?

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Quebec Police (Sûreté du Québec), and RCMP across eastern Canada use Spectre radar-detector-detectors (RDD). Spectre RDD will notify the officer if a radar detector has been detected near-by. Penalty includes a minimum fine of $350 in Manitoba, $170 in Ontario, and $650 in Quebec, and the radar detector will be confiscated.

See below for a list of 100% undetectable radar detectors.

4. Which radar detectors are 100% undetectable?

Escort Redline (regular and MRCD), Beltronics STi Magnum (discontinued), and STiR Plus are the only stealth radar detectors undetectable to police Spectre RDD. They are recommended for Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and PEI.

Some other radar detectors are listed as "VG2 undetectable". VG2 is an outdated technology as police agencies in eastern Canada have upgraded all to the newer Spectre 4 and Spectre Elite units. Models that are only VG2-stealth can still be detected by new Spectre RDDs.

5. My radar detector did not detect a police car. Is there something wrong?

If the police car does not have a radar unit, or the radar unit is not turned on, your radar detector will not pick up any signal.

6. What are the police radar bands used in Canada?
  • Ka-Band - the most widely used radar band on the highways (34.7 GHz and 35.5 GHz) 
  • K-Band - also very popular and widely used
  • MultaRadar (MRCD) - heavily used in some areas of Alberta and Quebec
  • X-Band - obsolete in most area; only used in remote or rural regions 
  • LIDAR (laser) - while laser is not a type of radar, there are increasing number of laser enforcement in BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. See Laser Jammer FAQ below.
7. Can a radar detector detect police laser (LIDAR)?

All radar detectors we carry on are also laser detectors. However, police laser guns will not give any advanced warning, and if your detector goes off, it is already too late to adjust your speed. Chance of a radar detector picking up laser scatter signal from ahead is extremely low.

You need a Laser Jammer to defend against police laser.

8. What are GPS features on some radar detector models?

Escort Radar, Beltronics, and Radenso have incorporated GPS chipset into some of their radar detectors. No, we don't mean GPS navigation like TomTom or Garmin. GPS functions on radar detectors are:

  • GPS Truelock / AlertLock: eliminate false alerts from fixed automatic door sensors
  • Camera Database: warns drivers when approaching a fixed red-light or speed camera.
  • View our selection of Radar Detectors with GPS Features
9. What are Escort Passport Max, Max2, and Max360 models?

Escort Radar releases their high performance radar detector - Passport Max in late 2013, featuring high-definition DSP technology, OLED colour display, and GPS Truelock and Defender camera database.

A year later, Escort releases the Passport Max2, adding Bluetooth connectivity so user can run Escort Live app on their iOS or Android smartphone. There's no performance difference between Max and Max2.

In late 2015, Escort finally took advantage of Valentine 1's expired patent on direction arrows. Max 360 adds a rear-facing antenna, and a directional arrow pad indicating signal coming from ahead or from behind.

Canadian Buyer's Guide - Recommendation by Region

1. What's the best radar detector for Vancouver BC?

Vancouver laser speed trap

In the Greater Vancouver Region, police mainly use LIDAR in the city. AL Priority laser system will benefit much more than a radar detector.

A radar detector will be more useful on BC highways such as Hwy 99, 91, and Sea-to-Sky. We recommend the following high performance models:

  • Radenso XP - long range performance with best-in-class filtering; camera database
  • Radenso Pro SE - flag-ship extreme performance; camera database included
  • Escort Max 360 - top Escort radar detector with directional arrows
  • Escort IX - latest Escort detector with strong IVT filtering

Learn more about speed measurement and recommended countermeasure for BC.

2. What's the best radar detector for Alberta?

Radar detectors are legal in Alberta. So you can use any radar detector based on your budget. Models supporting GPS Camera Database will be useful for those living in Calgary with fixed speed cameras.

Edmonton's DragonEye Photo Lidar

We can't stress this enough - LOTS of laser speed traps from Calgary through Red Deer, Edmonton to Fort McMurray. Edmonton is also the capital of DragonEye LidarCam. We recommend AL Priority Quad / Quint with 4-5 sensors for front and rear laser protection. See laser FAQ for more details.

MultaRadar CD Photo Radar Enforcement in Edmonton - this is the new MRCD photo radar that is becoming widespread in Edmonton and other 780-area. You will need a MultaRadar / MRCD capable radar detector.

Edmonton MultaRadar photo radar Edmonton photo radar truck / van

3. What's the best radar detector for Saskatchewan?

Saskatoon and Regina have fixed speed cameras, similar to Calgary and Winnipeg. A radar detector supporting North American camera database will be very useful.

Not only are laser guns frequently used for roadside speed traps, Saskatoon runs PoliScan Photo Lidar system. This can be blocked by AL Priority Quad / Quint with at least 2-3 sensors installed in the rear. See laser FAQ for more details.

4. What's the best radar detector for Manitoba?

Oops, Manitoba bans radar detectors. Make sure you choose from our of our undetectable models.

Winnipeg is also another city infested with DragonEye Photo Lidar, second to Edmonton. Only AL Priority can defend against it. See laser FAQ for more DragonEye details.

5. What's the best radar detector for Ontario and Quebec?

Radar Enforcement / Spectre RDD

You already learned that the provincial laws ban radar detectors in Ontario and Quebec. And the OPP and SQ use Spectre RDD to catch detector users. No sweat! Follow our recommendation for a stealth radar system. Escort RedlineBEL STiR Plus, and 9500Ci-MRCD are recommended.

OPP still uses K-band, so remember not to turn it off on your radar detector.

MultaRadar Photo Radar Enforcement in Quebec - the new MRCD photo radar is spreading across province of Quebec (confirmed sighting in Montreal, Quebec City, and Gatineau area).

Ontario premier has just announced re-deployment of photo radar in late 2016. We shall see the new MultaRadar units throughout Ontario soon. Stay ahead of the game by considering a stealth detector that is MRCD-ready.

LIDAR / Laser Enforcement

In Greater Toronto Area and Montreal, just like any major city in Canada, use LIDAR extensively to nab speeders in urban area. Invest in additional laser protection.

Toronto Police laser speed trap OPP laser speed enforcement

6. What's the best radar detector for Maritimes / Atlantic Canada?

Same as Ontario and Quebec, you need an undetectable radar detector for Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. Follow our recommendation for a radar system invisible to RDDs.

While LIDAR isn't as popular in the Atlantic, it doesn't mean they don't exist. Watch out for your local speed enforcement. If you see any handheld or tripod-mounted units, they're laser. And you will need a laser jammer.

Laser Jammer FAQ

1. What is a laser jammer and how does it work?

Let's start with a little intro on police laser technology. A police LIDAR (laser) gun sends out IR pulses as the officer pinpoints the target vehicle. The laser gun then receives the reflected pulses and uses the timing data to calculate the speed and range of the car. It takes about 0.5 second to acquire target speed.

Laser jammer, also known as laser defense, blocker, shifter, diffuser, etc, is designed to complement the shortfall of a radar detector's laser detection. A laser jammer equipped on a vehicle constantly scans for IR pulses from a firing police laser gun. When hit by a LIDAR's pulses, the jammer will transmit much more powerful signals back to the gun and prevent it from calculating a speed measurement. The driver can slow down in the meantime.

See a real-world laser encounter captured on dashcam below:

2. Are laser jammers legal in Canada?

There is no federal law in Canada against the ownership or use of a laser jammer. It is simply an infrared transceiver (receive and transmit with laser diodes) using Class 1M eye-safe pulsed laser with 904nm wavelength.

Our most advanced high performance AL Priority is actually marketed as a multipurpose laser parking system, running factory-installed parking-only firmware. Who can't have an aftermarket parking system installed?

3. Are laser speed guns used in my city/province?

It's not difficult to spot and identify a LIDAR (laser) gun from conventional radar. Laser speed traps are used across Canada, especially heavy in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

LIDAR speed guns used in Canada

  • A speed measurement device is handheld by the police officer, with lenses in the front
  • A speed measurement device is mounted on a tripod with an operator
  • A police vehicle is parked perpendicular to the main road, hiding in a side street or off to the road side
  • Speed enforcement on a high traffic city road, with officers pulling cars over to the side.
  • An operator on a bridge or overpass, with chase cars lined up on the road side.
  • LIDAR must be used while in stationary. If the police vehicle is moving in traffic, then he would be using moving radar or pacing.
4. What is AL Priority?

AL Priority Canada

AL Priority is Antilaser's 12th generation multipurpose laser defense and parking system, and it has been rated and tested to be the best in 2014 and 2015.

Up until late 2015, AL Priority remains to be the only laser system to defeat DragonEye and Laser Ally laser guns, which are widespread in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. Learn more about AL Priority by clicking the link below.

5. How many AL Priority sensors should I purchase?

AL Priority, in regular, HiFi, or Bluetooth version, comes with 1 laser sensor at its starting price. Please follow our recommendation below on the number of sensor you should go for.

AL Priority 1 Sensor:

  • Front protection only
  • Installation on a compact car
  • Not concerned with the new Laser Ally / DragonEye LIDAR

AL Priority 2 Sensors:

  • Most popular front protection coverage
  • Coverage up to an SUV or pick-up truck
  • Front protection again Laser Ally / DragonEye LIDAR

AL Priority 3 Sensors:

  • 2-front 1-rear configuration for those not worried about DragonEye LidarCam from behind.
  • 3-front for a big truck with lots of front chrome
  • Front protection against newest DragonEye Compact (DETC Fw 4.0)

AL Priority 4 Sensors:

  • Most popular front and rear protection coverage, especially for Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg, where DragonEye LidarCam is frequently used.
  • 2-front and 2-rear protection again Laser Ally / DragonEye LIDAR

AL Priority 5 Sensors:

  • The ultimate front and rear laser protection (3F-2R or 2F-3R)
  • Maximum number of sensors that can connect to an AL Priority control box
6. So laser jammer exists, what about Radar Jammer?

There is no effective radar jammers available in the application of radar speed countermeasure. It is also highly illegal to broadcast or transmit microwave / radio wave without a license in Canada and the USA. You simply need a good radar detector to pick up a signal from a good distance away.