Are Radar Detectors Legal in Connecticut?

An early example of a radar detector.

An early example of a radar detector.

In almost all states, radar detectors are legal in some form, with the exception of Virginia and the District of Columbia. In Connecticut, specifically, they’ll allowed in passenger vehicles but illegal in commercial ones, which include those over 10,000 lbs.

Why have a radar detector? While the myth of illegality continues to circulate, they serve a practical purpose for many drivers. What many don’t realize is, police radars may be incorrect up to 20 percent of the time. Radar detectors, then, allow residents to monitor use of these law enforcement devices and to protect themselves from such inaccuracies, which can lead to a potential speeding ticket. Adding one to a car helps you avoid false readings and ultimately from falling into a speed trap.

However, in Connecticut, they weren’t always legal:

False Assumptions

Believe it or not, it was actually illegal for any vehicle in this state to have a radar detector until 1992. Before then, Connecticut was just one of two states and Washington, D.C., to outlaw these devices.

According to reports from the early 1990s, state representatives opposed bills to make them legal. In fact, then-governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., told the press they’d only be used by drugged or drunk drivers and individuals “who would imperil the lives of others.” Additionally, other officials at the time thought radar detectors would encourage motorists to drive faster. As a result, Connecticut started banning them in 1972.

But, researchers in general found these assumptions to be false. Data taken from Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, New Mexico, and Texas in the 1980s revealed that, when an unmanned radar was applied across sections of interstate highways, most motorists slowed down.

Thankfully, in Connecticut, the governor’s veto in the early 1990s was over-ridden by a two-thirds vote.

Think you might benefit from a radar detector in your car? Get a high-quality K40 model through My Audioworks today.


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