Monday, October 29, 2012

Radar Rally: Insanity Loves Company

LTI laser HUD view of  one contestant
Can a radar detector plus a smartphone app and the  Internet really protect against speeding tickets? We aimed to find out in our First Annual, Every-Other-Year Radar Rally earlier this year. 

Competitors used different systems, mainly Escort Live and Cobra iRadar, some tried their luck with other hardware; one volunteered to drive with no countermeasures at all, serving as a control sample--or maybe a sacrificial lamb.

Orchestrated like an intricately-planned combat mission, we were confident of success. And like most such campaigns, ours started to unravel almost immediately.

In the middle of a record Arizona drought, after months without moisture, it rained. There were no-shows. Otherwise-competent drivers forgot to adjust the settings on their detectors. 

Almost as troubling, roads that had been cop-free during both of my solo practice runs now were teeming with fuzz. Although we'd deployed our own radar and laser speedtrap teams, there were enough real cops present to shoulder the entire burden without assistance.

What did we learn? Plenty, but judge for yourself the value of the painfully-acquired experience.


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