No More Radar Detectors?
A familiar fixture on many Florida dashboards may be a thing of the past.
Senator Steve Oelrich, the former Alachua County Sheriff, has filed a bill that would fine drivers between 125 and 200 dollars for using a radar detector. Oelrich says his bill isn't targeted at the majority. He says he wants to cut down on what he calls the professional aggressive driver.
"This is the person that you see out on the interstate that cuts in and out of lanes and is going not five miles over the speed limit, but fifteen or twenty miles over," says Oelrich (R), Cross Creek. "These people almost universally have a radar detector in their car."
If the bill becomes a law, Florida would join Virginia as the only two states to outlaw using radar detectors. But that's an unpopular idea for many people at an interstate rest stop who see their detectors as a standard piece of equipment.
Greg Vaughn says he turns on his device as soon as the engine starts. He says it's not just about preventing tickets, but it's also a safety feature.
"I always use it to see if there's an accident," says Vaughn. "Usually if there's an accident it will pick up the sheriff's radar detector."
Other drivers agree with Vaughn. But they are divided on what they think about Oelrich's bill.
"It wouldn't bother me that much," says Robert Brooks of Fort Meade. "I've got it so I use it, that's the way it is.
"I'm sorry I voted for him because I think it's our right," adds Vaughn.
The bill will go to committee once lawmakers reconvene on March 6th. If it's passed with no changes, using radar detectors would be banned beginning July 1st.
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News
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