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How To Avoid Radar Speed Traps

Have you ever been driving along and minding your own business when all of a sudden you see those dreaded flashing red or blue lights behind you?

You may have been focusing on the road and accidentally pressed the gas too hard when suddenly your speed was recorded. Or perhaps you didn’t even realize what the actual speed limit was!

Either way, radar speed traps can be a pain – especially for people who travel a lot to new locations. 

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about radar speed traps including what they are, how to avoid them, and which apps are most helpful. Let’s begin! 

What Are Radar Speed Traps?

Radar speed traps are speed cameras placed alongside highways and roads in certain jurisdictions in order to monitor and record the speed of vehicles passing by. Also called “photo radar” and “automated speed enforcement”, these speed cameras are programmed to take a photograph of a vehicle if it exceeds the speed limit threshold. 

While studies have shown that radar speed traps significantly reduce crashes, they’re annoying nonetheless (not to mention, a government money grab). You don’t have the ability to talk your way out of a ticket or provide context behind your speeding – you’re simply given a ticket or fined for the violation. 

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How Can You Avoid Radar Speed Traps?

Unfortunately, it’s not always clear where speed traps are located. Therefore, the best way to avoid getting ticketed by photo radar is to avoid speeding in the first place.

Okay, now that we’ve said the obvious, let’s look at a few other methods. 

First, it’s helpful to know where they’re not. After all, radar speed traps aren’t legal everywhere in the United States. Certain states and towns have laws prohibiting radar enforcement at red lights or to enforce a speed limit. These include Arizona, Colorado, Montgomery, AL, and more. To see a full list of radar enforcement laws, visit the

And lastly, the best way to avoid radar speed traps is to use a GPS app that alerts drivers when and where speed enforcement is present. Let’s take a look at the most popular apps. 

How Do You Find A Speed Trap? 

To find a speed trap, you’ll want to use a GPS app such as Google maps, Radarbot, Police Detector, or Waze. All of these rely on community reporting to indicate police presence or automated speed enforcement.

Many times, there will be an icon along your route showing where others have reported the speed trap. Usually this is a policeman icon or a radar gun icon. If you don’t see them, make sure to check the filter settings of that particular app. 

What Is The Best Speed Trap App? 

Many would say Waze is the best app to spot speed traps. It’s extremely popular, user-friendly, and has countless community-based alerts to help guide you along your journey.

Because of the various social features, it’s an app that truly brings motorists together to alert one another about road hazards, alternative routes, and yes, police presence. 

Is Waze Illegal?

Luckily for motorists everywhere, Waze is completely legal. And although many police organizations wish speed trap indicators would go away entirely, it would actually be illegal for any court to require Waze to get rid of this feature. 

Do Cops Report Themselves On Waze?

There’s always a possibility that individual cops report themselves on Waze, but in general, you probably won’t see a large number of police reporting their presence on GPS apps.

In fact, police in California and Virginia have asked Waze to turn this feature off, stating that it puts cops in danger of “police stalkers”. Thus, it’s highly unlikely that police want to make their presence known in this way. 

Does Google Maps Warn You Of Speed Traps? 

Yes, Google Maps is one of the popular navigation systems that alerts drivers of police presence and radar speed traps.

Essentially, when you’re in an area where the speed limit has dropped, you’ll get an alert to your phone that says “Speed Trap Ahead”. You also have the ability to report speed traps to help other motorists in your area.

To activate this feature, you can tap on the alerts and either mute or unmute the indicator. 

Stay Informed and Avoid Fines

So, is it actually a good idea to avoid radar speed traps? We think so! Not only could it prevent you from getting a speeding ticket, speed trap alerts are a great gentle reminder to remain mindful of your speed. After all, no one wants to break the law.

Sometimes speeding is caused by nothing but absent mindedness. In this way, we think speed trap apps are beneficial to everyone. 

What do you think? Do you use a speed trap app? Let us know in the comments below! 

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  1. Jim says:

    I have been using Waze for over 10 years. Great app for road work, slow downs, accidents, also. Wish you could upload vehicle size.

  2. Al says:

    Yes- A Speeding summons is a HUGE $$$ grab for the local government. I’ve been a Police Sgt for 36yrs, my brother Highway enforcement for over 30yrs. We both never took this job to be a tax $$$ collector for the government!!! Every year “they” want more and more summonses for the $$$. Fines keep increasing because they want the $$$$. If they can’t balance their budget, let the cops do their job of protecting our life and property!!! And let them leave office!!!!

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