Laser shiftersgo by a few different names and some of those names often raise questions about whether or not they’re legal. You may be surprised to find out that there are no federal regulations regarding the use of laser shifters, but there are a few states that have passed laws prohibiting use.
If you live in Washington D.C., Virginia, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Colorado, or California, they are illegal. If you live anywhere else, do some research locally to see if they’re allowed.
Laser shifters are a great tool, so let’s take a look at how they work.
A laser shifter receives the beam from a police officer’s laser gun, decodes the signal, and sends back inconsistent bursts of invisible light. At just the right frequency and the same pulse-repetition rate, this return signal will confuse the laser gun, making it impossible to display an accurate speed.
While most high-quality custom radar detector installs come with laser shifters included, there are stand-alone laser shifters, too. These stand-alone varieties have three components – a head, a microprocessor, and an alert system.
The head of the laser shifter is waterproof and contains the laser detection and electronics transmission technology. Inside a small box is the laser shifter’s microprocessor and a wiring interface. The alert system contains audible and visual alerts that warn you of police running radar.
In the front of your vehicle, police target reflective surfaces like the license plate and headlights while they target the license plate and tail lights in the rear. They could also try to target backup lights, center stop lights, rear-mounted spare tires, and other reflective surfaces. With so many targets, extra protection is required.
One May Not Be Enough
Your laser shifters must protect the most prominent reflective surfaces to do the best job it can. A single laser shifter won’t protect anything bigger than a motorcycle, so the bigger your vehicle, the more laser shifters you need to use for adequate protection.
On cars, you need at least two laser shifter transceivers in the front and two in the rear, and even more on large trucks and SUVs. These numbers are sufficient for high-quality laser shifter systems. However, if you’re using poor quality technology, it won’t matter how many you use. They won’t work nearly as well.
It’s worth noting that some laser guns are shift-proof. Because laser shifters can’t detect their beams, you won’t receive a warning or be protected by any sort of defense. However, there are liquids you can use to coat your reflective surfaces so they become less reflective.
Today’s aerodynamic car designs leave very few aesthetically pleasing places to mount your laser shifters, which is why it’s important that you seek the help of a qualified professional for a custom install. Doing it yourself can leave your laser shifters sticking out like a sore thumb and draw the attention of everyone, including the police.
The bottom line is if you install the correct number of high-quality laser shifters effectively, you’ll get the protection you need from the detection and scrambling technology a majority of the time.