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February 11, 2022

Are radar detectors and laser jammers prohibited - what does "prohibited" mean exactly?

Radar detectors and laser jammers in Germany
For many years, the possible punishability of radar detectors was the subject of public discussion. For a long time, opinions were sometimes far apart. Jurisprudence was definitely of different opinion. Moreover, one often encounters the opinion "...that cannot be allowed at all...", or "radar detectors are forbidden", which is based on a personal sense of justice.

However, the legal situation for radar detectors in Germany has been clear and unambiguous for some time. The use of radar detectors or "carrying them in an operational state" is an administrative offence.

Administrative offences, which are often punished in road traffic, can be interpreted as "minor" or by no means serious violations of the Road Traffic Act (StVO). The well-known catalogue of fines contains a list of all administrative offences.
In contrast to an administrative offence, a criminal offence is much more serious, e.g. if others are endangered. Serious road traffic offences are then judged and punished as criminal offences. Criminal offences related to road traffic are mostly regulated in the Criminal Code (StGB) of Germany.

Using a radar detector is therefore a "minor offence" against the road traffic regulations and is assessed as a misdemeanour. The exact regulation is as follows:

Excerpt: § 23 para. 1c StVO: (1c) Any person driving a vehicle must not use or carry ready for use any technical device intended to indicate or interfere with traffic control measures. This applies in particular to devices intended to indicate or interfere with speed measurements (radar warning devices or laser jamming devices). In the case of other technical devices which, in addition to other uses, may also be used to indicate or interfere with traffic monitoring measurements, the corresponding functions of the device may not be used.

For this violation (use of radar detectors, laser jammers and similar devices), a fine of 75 EUR and a point in the traffic offence register in Flensburg may be imposed.

This is proof that radar detectors, which warn drivers of speed traps, actually work in Germany. The legislature has punished their use as an administrative offence. The Bundesrat passed an ordinance to this effect, according to which a fine of 75 euros is due if drivers "evade traffic monitoring by means of technical devices." In addition, there is the threat of points in the Flensburg register and, at the time of discovery, confiscation of the device, which may have to be removed and then handed over to the authorities.

Radar detectors and laser jammers in other EU countries and Switzerland.

There are different laws on the possession and use of radar detectors in the countries of the European Union. In some cases the use is permitted, in others not. These may also be subject to regular changes. We would like to point out that in some countries the possession and/or use of such radar detectors and laser jammers may be prohibited. Therefore, please familiarise yourself with the legal situation in the respective country before using the device locally. In the case of stationary devices, you can deactivate the radar detector function if necessary.

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