"The letters from people who hate me are often fun to read; but the letters from people who love me are usually spelled better!"
- Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes.
The Quick Stats - I installed the counter because it keeps good and interesting stats; and 2) because it keeps interesting information about how my site is used by people - which I was curious about. Nominally, this site attains hit counts between 250 to 350 per day. Saturdays start at 250, the counts then slowly increase until reaching the highest level of about 350 on about Monday, when it all repeats the cycle again. Occasionally, this site has had up to 600 hits per day! 75-percent of my users are travellers from within the United States. 25-percent of my visitors are from outside of the United States who want to know the laws, here, presumably before they actually visit. While not the NASA Shuttle Web Site's counts of one-million or so hits per day, I had no idea this site would get so much widespread use as it does - nationally as well as internationally. As of February, 2002, the averages come to 2207 hits per week, 9562 hits per month, 115,000 hits per year; and the counts slowly increase as time goes by. Not bad for a meer personal web page. (However, the September 11, 2000 terrorist attacks greatly skewed things, making accurate statistical record-keeping difficult, lately. I suspect that without the attacks my average numbers would actually be much higher.)
Whoozitfor? - These pages are a collection of my own research that I originally intended for my own use while travelling. When I first started this, I discovered that a tabular list was available about the same time which sort of did the same thing; however, it was useless because it was never updated on a regular basis and I wanted current information. AAA's list was the same way. You'd open the TripTik and the info there would be a couple (if not a few) of years old - making its info, too, pretty much useless. As well, it only covered radar-detector laws, and didn't keep up with scanning-related laws. Furthermore, I also wanted to be able to read the actual text of the laws, so that I could see what each state was actually intending. Eliminated any confusion, that way. None of the other sources offered the actual text. At the time, even our own government didn't have information such as what I was looking for on the web. I decided to be the leader, the forerunner.
Wassitdo? - These pages reference the actual written laws which in some way EITHER restrict to any degree OR completely deny the usage of scanners and radar detectors in vehicles. I simply did something most citizen's don't do...I went to the local library and looked them up.
Currently, they deal with the UNITED STATES state-level laws ONLY. I used to cover other outside countries, but I've found this to be a bit too tedious and time-consuming.
These pages started out as an idea for my own personal use. But then I got the idea to advertise them in various search engines so they could be viewed - as a nice favor I thought - by others around the world. I knew that the info was (at the time) hard to find on the net. I figured a lot of other people would probably also appreciate the info being available in one place. Boy! Talk about being clueless! I had no idea how much use these pages would actually end up getting! After a while, though, it literally started becoming an unpaid, full-time job. So, to allow myself SOME time to enjoy life, I decided to stick to my own country. My apologies to those in other countries if this has become an inconvenience in any way. I hope you'll understand, though. But I also run some 12 or so other web pages, too - covering 12 or so varied other subjects. All of which also require regular maintenance, too! I'm also Coordinator of our local SKYWARN program, and I help coordinate our local Malicious Interference Tracking Team, for example. Then I have a life to live, too. (smile)
Note that just because a state is listed as having some kind of law regarding the use of scanners or RADAR detectors, it does not necessarily mean that possession or use is, in fact, illegal. Please go in and read the particular law first to find out exactly what each state intended. For example, if you're a Federally-licensed ham radio operator, you might be exempt. You may be exempt as a member of the Press, or being a licensed alarm system contractor, an EMT, etc. Read the law carefully.
Though I list the laws for both RADAR-Detectors and Scanners here on the same site, the subject of this site is simply the laws themselves. On occasion I have been asked what the significance or philosophy was over the use of scanners and RADAR-Detectors together. [chuckle] You interpret the word "and," here, just a little too literally. That's not what this site is about. I am neither advocating for nor advising against the use of both while mobile. Quite simply, scanners are commonly used while mobile in local situations while RADAR-Detectors are commonly used while mobile everywhere. Both are regulated, usually near to each other in the lawbooks. If you're a storm chaser, though...this site is probably great for you. (grin)
I'm not at all too sharp on the technical aspects of individual types of RADAR-Detectors and scanners, so I can't answer those kinds of questions about them, either. And please don't ask. Not trying to be a pig about it but, I really have no idea which scanner or which RD is the best model, and I have no idea which model provides the best reception or detection capabilities. I own but one RD, and one scanner, personally. Both are old as the hills by now, and as such, kinda limited in thier capabilities. They are all that I know about, unfortunately. As well, when it comes to the technical, you don't want me holding a soldering iron. I'll solder two of my fingers together if you're not watching me. (Maybe even your's...and that would be bad.) Therefore, instead, I have provided pointers to other sites which may be able to help you more efficiently, there.
A Little History - The information here started out originally as a one-page, descriptive list of the laws in each state, with clickable links to the actual text of the laws. Both the scanner-related and RD-related laws were on the same page. It's original home was as a subpage underneath my North Florida Area Scannist's Page. But the URL to get to it was kinda rediculously long, I thought. (Used to be http://www.afn.org/~afn09444/scanner/scanlaws/index.html.) So, not being able to open any new accounts at my ISP - Alachua County FreeNet (because they'd halted new account creations due to space limitations), I created a new directory under my current account called "/scanlaws", and threw the page in there, where it has remained ever since. Soon after that, I got the idea to split the information up into separate pages, to lessen the "clutter" and to make the pages smaller. The scanner-related laws went to scanner.html and the RD-related laws went to radar.html. But I had a counter on the main front page - index.html, and I began to notice that people were linking to the subpages instead, making it difficult to keep up with actual user counts. So I installed counters on the subpages, too. This was fine for a while until I started noticing that people were actually starting to create their own pages which pointed to my subpages using link descriptions like "here's my scanner laws page" and here's my radar-detector laws page," evidently trying to make people think that they were doing the work, not me. And I could NOT help noticing something else: every time someone listed the Speedtrap Registry's site, they'd credit SPEEDTRAP with having a list of scanner and radar-detector laws. I wondered why, and checked out Speedtrap's link to me, and it was vague. When the user saw the link, it kinda gave the user the impression that the link, and thus the work, was part of Speedtrap's efforts. Even USAToday got taken by that, and they too credited Speedtrap with having a list of scanner and radar-detector laws when they wrote an article about them in 1999.
To try to prevent all that, being an HTML novice and not knowing much about scripting and the like, I began implementing a process of changing the subpage names in order to try to prevent that: scanner.html became scanner1.html; and radar.html became radar1.html. Every six months or so, I would repeat the process: scanner1.html became scanner2.html; etc. It worked, as people quickly began pointing to the main page again. When people went there, they saw the big new logo that I'd made and placed across the top - which said "Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detector Laws In The United States - by Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH." No chance of a user being confused over who actually did the work, now.
All sounds rediculous, doesn't it? But I was quickly becoming inaugurated into the wild, wacky, and weird world of the World Wide Web. ...But it would get far WORSE as the years went by! People really have no CLUE how to handle copyrighted material on the WWW. They literally do as they please. Then when you complain, and tell them to cease and desist, they get nasty and rude, and indignant. "How dare you tell ME how to handle MY web page! I'll damned-well do what I want, and you can't do anything about it! So bug off, buddy!" That's the attitude most have. Nowadays, as of 12/10/2002, I'm currently fighting a guy who runs multiple commercial, for-profit web pages, trying to get him to remove work he actually stole from my site and put up on his own site. He's trying to use my own intellectual property to help increase his user (i.e., customer) count, and thus, obviously, his profits. I DON'T appreciate that. He gives me no credit at his site for my work being there. We made no arrangements or agreements. He stole my work, verbatim - literally, my own words intact at first; and he has slowly been making changes to it to make it look no longer like that verbatim work. It ain't gonna work. I'm not going to let him. What's he's got at his site now is just called a "derivative," and I still own the copyrights to it, regardless.
First, grab your favorite fluffy ear muffs, as this part may sound kinda harsh; but you wouldn't believe some of the questions I used to get before I added it. SO...just bare with me, here.
1) This site does NOT deal with the use of Radar JAMMERS; but ONLY with the use of RADAR DETECTORS and RADIO FREQUENCY SCANNERS while mobile. The text of some state's laws may concurrently mention the use of jammer devices within them, though. This does not in itself mean that I am keeping up with laws regarding thier use. RADAR JAMMING devices are active, non-passive devices designed to deliberately interfere with a signal used by law enforcement that is used to determine whether or not you are speeding. They take the signal from the police, work it a little bit internally, and then rebroadcast that modified signal out so that it will wash out the signal generated by the police. It does not INITITATE it's own signal, but it takes the signal generated ELSEWHERE, modifies it so that it is not the same signal again, and then re-emits it back out again. That is STILL a TRANSMITTING device. (Don't give me your personal technical disagreements. They don't matter. What does matter is what the FCC thinks, and they think different.) The signal generator is simply located elsewhere - at the police vehicle, that's all. In my book any device so designed as to emit signals designed to deliberately interfere with another signal - especially those being used by law enforcement - is technically defined as malicious interference, and that is illegal. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (see Memorandum Opinion and Order) agrees. Manufacturers are aware of this and they aren't so nice that they'll warn you of it as you're forking over the bucks for the device. Those states which do NOT currently ban jammers probably soon WILL for the same reason. It's a waste of effort to cover them; and a waste of money to buy them. So don't. Just because noone has yet been prosecuted for causing malicious interference and for obstructing justice YET doesn't mean that someone, somewhere, won't get smart and START doing that. But BE AWARE...YOU ARE OPEN TO THAT POSSIBILITY.
2) This site deals ONLY with state-level laws. It does not dare attempt to track city- or county-level laws. There are just way too many cities and counties to be able to keep tabs on. The counties in the United States number in the thousands. I don't even want to guess how many cities we actually have here in the United States. [A chill goes up his back, and goose pimples form on his arm.] ...Scary!
3) I'm not a lawyer. I do not pretend to be a lawyer. So I'm not able to answer legal questions about how to get out of speeding tickets. This site is not intended to be a cheap "lawyer replacement." I did not design this site for those who are attempting to FIGHT tickets obtained because of lead feet, but for those who would like to avoid problems regarding the use of scanners and/or radar detectors in states which have laws prohibiting them. The ONLY method to avoid a ticket there is to remove said device to the trunk and remove it from the power source BEFORE travelling through the state(s) which prohibit them. I advocate nothing more. If you've obtained a ticket for speeding, this is not a site where you will find help in legal recourse. So PLEASE ... do NOT ask me how you should go about fighting your ticket, or tell me your stories about how you got them. I will ignore them. Instead, please see my Links page for other sites which might be able to better help you. But I link to them only because people are constantly questioning me about these things, and not because I agree with, work with, or endorse them.
4) I'm not a technical guru. I only own one RADAR Detector, and one scanner, myself; so I am unable to advise anyone on which types and models of either are better than the other, or what features this model has versus the other, or like that. I neither wish nor intend to research it, either. Again, it's just too much for one person. Please see my links page for a list of manufacturer sites which might be able to better help you, there.
5) I'm kinda surprised that I have to say this, actually, but... Speaking of links, if you're a manufacturer, yes, you can provide a link to my site, and I will return one should you request me to, but do not ask me for ad space (Alachua FreeNet doesn't allow this), or ask me to test or endorse a product, or give you any extra attention over anyone else other than the simple link that everyone else gets. I do this free for "John Q. Public," not for "John Make-Me-Money Enterprises." Should you provide the link, the name of this site is "Mobile Scanner and RADAR-Detector Laws In The U.S.", not "another scanner laws site." And the name of the author - the guy who worked so hard to do all this research on his own - is "Todd L. Sherman," not "(insert name of your company here)". Thank-you.
I've also added some coding which intercepts Speedtrap users and makes it clearly understood that they are leaving Speedtrap and that the work here is mine, not Speedtrap's. (You would not BELIEVE the incredibly irritating problem that I'd had with this for a long time - on a daily basis.) Speedtrap points to my page with a nondescript link. While it may not be Speedtrap's intent, FAR too many people get confused because of it, and send me "Thank-you, Speedtrap" e-mail, or "Screw you, Speedtrap - for being [censored]-holes" e-mail. It gets on you after a while. I've tried for 6 years to get Speedtrap to try to make a more obvious kind of link. However, for some odd reason, they've done nothing but blow me off. I've given up, and simply added the JS code mentioned above. It took care of the problem immediately. Noone is confused anymore when they visit my site.
* More about SpeedTrap: The confusion was compounded by an article that ran in USA Today on October 19, 1999 (see here), which did me such a GRIEVOUS injustice when they gave SpeedTrap credit for having a list of scanner and radar-detector laws in a review of their site. That was a totally inaccurate description. ...Totally incorrect. Of course, not being sent any e-mails to notify me of this error - because they thought the info belonged to SpeedTrap, I did not notice this article until Dec. 25th, 2001. (Interestingly enough, that happens to be right about the last time I actually heard any word at all from the people at SpeedTrap. Interesting also, I notice that noone at SpeedTrap has bothered to CORRECT USAToday, either. And that makes me feel so bummed! ...SO bummed! I can't describe it. What a Christmas present. They gave LAURELS to SpeedTrap for all that work on scanner and radar-detector laws being available at "their" site [and I KNOW they were referring to MY site]; and they had this big "SpeedTrap" banner graphic on the page...and yet, I can't even refer people to that very reference. If that happened to you, how do you think that might affect YOUR pride?) SpeedTrap actually has no such laws available on their site. ...None! Zip! Zero! Nada, whatsoever! However, they do have a vague link to THIS site - which DOES have those laws. By "vague," I mean that SpeedTrap does not make it clear in their link that the person is being redirected to another site that is NOT of their own creation, and I think the fact that it even confused USAToday just backs up all my frustrations with SpeedTrap for refusing to politely change that link to make it more clear. To this day, SpeedTrap has ignored all my e-mail requests to take care of the problem, and I can only assume that they do not mind the added publicity they are gleaning from the work done at my site, and that until they get some sort of official legal notice in the mail, nothing will ever be done. That makes me so angry, though, that my site actually got publicity in USAToday, but the credit for the work was actually given to someone else. So here I sit Xmas day, 2001 with 355,000+ hits since my site has been running, and everyone thinks that all my hard work has been done by someone else. That also now ruins any future ability to take pride in any future USAToday article about my site at all. The reason is, if I complain, one of a few things will probably happen. 1) They'll simply hit the delete key and remove that one line that indirectly refers to my site. This is probably simplest and the most likely to happen. But that was the major part of the brag on that page, though; and if removed, there goes my USAToday "reference." 2) They might actually contact me, apologize, and THEN ask me if they could do an article specifically on my site. Sounds wonderful at first but, not really. It would just seem like a "kiss-butt maneuver" now. I'd never know if they were really doing it because they liked my site, or if they were doing it because they felt bad, or if they were doing it because they thought they needed to cover their butts or something. But I'd never be able to feel any confident pride in whatever article they then wrote...all because one writer got it all bass-ackwards. (Or, the other possibility is, the writer got it correct...but the person being INTERVIEWED greatly exaggerated. I can't leave THAT possibility out, either.) Meanwhile, the world thinks SpeedTrap does this site.
I do NOT sign "Agreements" when providing links.
Lastly, if I'm going to borrow a quote, or a page from even an UNcopyrighted book, then right at the top, I make it perfectly clear where I got that information from. I quote the full title of the source (and the author, if known). I give proper credit where properly due. I wish more people would learn how to do this. It's a little extra typing...yes. But you get this really nice, warm, fuzzy feeling inside when you do that. (grin)
Okay, Soap-Box Mode off.
I apologize if the above sounds kinda harsh, but I get so many questions, and people just seem to refuse to read this side-bar stuff, and it kinda gets on you after a while.
A Lot of Hard Work
This took a lot of my free time sitting in the University of Florida Law Library perusing the law books and photocopying the laws, then going home and retranscribing them so that they could be posted here on the Web. It was a lot of work and long hours. While the intent of putting up this page was to make these laws more easily available on the Internet (where they had not been available at all, for the most part, before then); and where I don't mind these retranscribed laws being copied from my site to yours (as it only helps to further that goal)...please, DON'T just copy my work -- original code, formatting, and deliberate typos still intact -- and then delete my name and thus remove any credit for all the hard work that I did. Please leave credit to me for the properly deserved recognition of my work. I'm beginning to see other new sites out there now who have done just that -- original code, formatting, and typos still there -- with only very minor changes...and my name and any reference to my hard work removed from the bottom. If you do it yourself, that's another thing. These laws are not copyrighted themselves, being created by our own government; but the retranscription of it all was of my own blood and sweat. Every time someone thanks you for all the "hard work" you do, and you gracefully accept it with a "you're welcome," then you do me wrong.
Once a year, as updates become available, I intend to go back and recheck the laws to be sure they are up to date for you.
On another subject, I find it interesting that after all this time, people STILL insist upon referring to my site with link descriptions such as `this site' and `another scanner/radar detector laws by state.' Sigh! I won't name names. Such respect! That would be akin to me referring to, say, The Automotive Help Page (which doesn't exist) as `here' or `that car site' in my link. Really helpful descriptions, right? And doesn't do them much justice, either. You would not believe how many people actually do this to me, but I'll give you a clue. Just about every page on the net which deals with scanners, radar detectors, or automotive- or traffic-related subjects, points to my page. 99-percent of them uses that very word..."here"...as a link to me. Please try to do me kinder. Eh? 8-) You'll note that when I provide a pointer to an external site I provide the full name of the site as well as the name of the author of that site (if known) -- as a courtesy to that web author. Proper recognition... I wish more web authors would take the time to give the same recognition to me as I do for them.
Though I have made great effort to try to list every state law I could find pertaining to scanners and/or RADAR detectors, I make no guarantees that I have found them ALL. This is because some states' law books use a keyword/indexing method which are sometimes absurdly rediculous (in my own opinion, of course) and therefore make it incredibly difficult to identify such laws. I *think* I've found them all. If anyone knows of a state which DOES have a law -- relating to either scanners or RADAR detectors -- and it is NOT listed here, or has been changed since I last checked, please let me know immediately. And vice-versa, too. The laws, they are a constantly changin'. A state which had a law one year, may have abolished it by the next session. Conversely, a state which had no law one year, may have one by the next, or the previous law may have even gone through some subtle or major changes come the next year. (This usually depends upon which state's government officials got caught with their pants down the year before, and is directly proportional to how angry and embarrassed they were as a result of their initial stupidity. Then they start yelling and waving their arms about, ignore all research into fairness, and blindly attempt to make outright bans on all comm-related equipment, period. [...Usually.] Then someone whispers to them "...you can't do that, the FCC has been designated as the one and only proper authority to be able to do that" and the proposals either die as quickly as they were proposed; or, if made a law, the law disappears as quickly as it was enacted, in order to prevent further embarrassing reminders of the past...if it doesn't disappear because someone actually challenged the law and pointed out its jurisdictional flaw.)
But the point is: watch out, these laws are volitile and constantly change.
So you should always check the laws yourself before you leave. Your local Law Library should have law books for the states you intend to travel through. Check there to be sure. I could miss something. Something could pop up BETWEEN law book updates. A new law could go into effect the day AFTER I check...in which case you won't know for anywhere from 6 mos. to a year...whenever that state prints its next update; or if someone sends me an e-mail and says something about the new law, and gives a reference. As I said, this is not Joe Cheap Guy's Home Lawyer Site. I take no responsibility for inaccuracies. Use this site at your own risk.
Please send e-mail to: Todd L. Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Contact me and we'll see what we can do. I may redisign my pages to allow for advertising. But if I do it it must be worth it for me. I don't want to deal with working for pennies per click. I need to pay for this page and I'd like to someday give it it's own much more easily recognizeable domain name, etc. I can design ads on my own for you. Just need a logo from you and a mottot or something. But I'm thinking of more of a pay to rent space kind of a deal rather than pay by the click options. Throw me an offer and let's see what we can do. When I last had a counter this site was getting a thousand hits a day or so. So it gets good attention.
Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detector Laws In The U.S.
c/o Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
Last updated: December 06, 2002.
All information Copyright © 1995- by Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH. All Rights Reserved.
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