Michael Buffington

The Valentine One

Tuesday, January 30 2007

I own the Valentine One radar detector, and this morning saw it pay for itself fully. Right as I pulled onto the freeway it went nuts, as a traffic cop on a motorcycle approached with radar in full force.

He pulled in right behind me and waited a few minutes until someone inched up over 50mph by a few more miles per hour. He pulled that car over.

Minutes later the detector was going bonkers again, showing the signal approaching from behind. He locked onto me again and waited. A few minutes later he pulled someone else over.

And he did the same thing again, zooming right up to me, waiting, then pulled someone else over a few minutes later.

This is just one reason I spent $400 on a device that tells me if there is radar present. In Oregon, the maximum speed limit on a major metro freeway is around 55. 65 if you’re out in the country, but no greater than 55 on my commute. And for most of the way, it’s 50.

Now, people scoff at my idea of paying $400 for a radar detector. They say “well, you shouldn’t speed”. These people have no leg to stand on given they also speed, even if just by a few miles an hour. A speed limit of 50mph was easy for my 1972 Datsun 510 to break. My Subaru WRX STI can break it in first gear. In California, if you drive 50mph on the freeway people will crash into from being at 30-40mph (given you usually do 80-90 there if traffic is moving).

And if the behavior of that police officer is any indication of things, in my car, I need a radar detector even if I’m going the speed limit so that I can be reminded of when I should drop down to 40mph when a cop is approaching.

At $150 per speeding ticket (not to mention moving violations on your record and insurance hikes), $400 pays for itself in no time, and I’m extremely pleased I did it.