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Radar detectors are lawful - Its Official!

A judgement of the Queens Bench Divisional Court dated 29th January 1998 makes it clear that the use of Radar Detectors is not unlawful as has hitherto been claimed by some. In the past prosecutions have been brought by claiming the use of radar detectors was contrary to section 5(b)(i) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 as amended by section 3 of the Post Office Act 1969. However the Acts refer to the interception of wireless communications for the purpose of obtaining information as to the content, sender or addressee of any message. The Court concluded that the radar transmission was not communicating a 'message' and therefore equipment designed to detect the presence of the transmission could not decode any such message.

It was further stated that section 1(1) of the Act, which requires a licence for the reception of radio signals, has been superseded by the Wireless Telegraphy Apparatus (Receivers)(Exemption) Regulations (SI 1989 No123) which exempts radar detectors and similar equipment from the need for such licences.

The bottom line - we believe it is perfectly legal to both own and use vehicle mounted radar detectors in the UK, and has been so since 1989. If you have been convicted of using a radar detector since 1989 you may be able to have the conviction quashed. We recommend anyone who is in this position to contact a solicitor for advice.

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