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for the reception of radio signals, has been superseded by the Wireless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
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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