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Having received 2 fixed penalties for speeding in 1 month, at speeds not significantly over the limit, nor at anything like some drivers you see flying past you (but that's a different story!), I decided to buy a radar detector. The models available differ vastly in price, ranging from about £100 upto £600, with the major differences being the detection range and frequencies covered. The cheaper models only cover 4 bands, missing out the new mini-gatso cameras, so I opted for the Snooper SD815is, giving 5 band detection and good range, upto 2 miles for radar and laser guns, 600 yards for the mini gatsos and 100 yards for gatso cameras.
The unit sits on either a frame using suckers to fix to the windscreen or with a bit of velcro to attach to your dash and is powered via the fag lighter, though you can hardwire the power lead into the 12v supply. In use, the unit works well, bleeping away, usually when there's no sign at all of any speed traps, which usually means there's a pelican crossing nearby, they use an infra-red detector on the top of the lights which the snooper picks up as well.
So far, it's picked up all of the gatso cameras I've been past, usually giving an adequate warning, enabling me to check my speed. Though this depends on environmental factors, such as whether it's raining as the signal from the traps deteriorates when the air is damp. There's a few cameras that I've been past that I've noticed aren't turned on.
On the motorway, the snooper comes into it's own, it's already given me advance warning of 3 laser/radar traps, allowing me to pull out of the outside lane, check my speed and let everyone else fly past me, only to notice the bloke in a yellow jacket stood on a bridge a mile up the road.
If you do a lot of travelling I'd highly recommend the Snooper as we all know, it's easy to cruise along at 80-85 and keep up with traffic but it's still over the limit and gatsos don't have any discretion, nor do some coppers seeing as I got done at 83mph at midnight on a clear stretch of motorway but as I said, that's a different story!
Noticed a comment that questioned the legality of radar detectors. I've done a bit of investigating and as far as I can tell, they are still legal following a judicial decision in 1998. There is however some question over the legality of radar jammers, somthing entirely different, which have not yet been subject to a test case.
great review about to buy one after 20 years of driving without a penalty got a gatso ticket 34mph in a 30mph zone what a criminal i am but hey at least the crime statitics show another successful conviction I know a bit synical but hey the great british motorist is entitled to be, thanks for the great advice my next purchase i believe
penguin1052 04.04.2004 17:54
good review, tho you may want to update the bit at the end about the legality - they are 100% legal and the boxes now also have a claim that snooper uses have 24% less accidents.
the bit that is illegal is the laser jammers and people found with these will be prosecuted for obstruction.
jamesdawson70 16.09.2003 08:29
hi doesnt this give false alerts at trafic light sensors all the time beacause i had the 715 before and that did and this is the next model up