Speed camera detectors and jammers are used by speedsters to either identify when they need to slow down, or to block a traffic officer assessing how fast their vehicle is going.
While the roll-out of average speed cameras across South Africa goes a long way to prevent motorists from exceeding the speed limit, manually operated laser or radar speed cameras are still used by traffic police.
Detecting or blocking these devices, in combination with a GPS system which alerts you to the location of fixed speed cameras, allows fast drivers to slow down for short distances in order to avoid getting a speeding fine.
For those of you using a speed camera detection or jamming device – or contemplating acquiring one – here’s what’s legal and illegal in South Africa.
GPS with speed camera locations
Justice Project South Africa’s Howard Dembovsky stated that regulation 292A of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000 prohibits the use of detectors and jammers of electronic speed measuring equipment.
Speed camera warnings incorporated into GPS systems are legal in South Africa, as they do not “detect nor interfere with speed measuring equipment”, said Dembovsky.
“These warnings are compiled from a list of known fixed and portable speed trap sites,” he said.
Speed camera detectors and jammers
Unlike their GPS counterpart, speed camera detectors and jammers are illegal in South Africa.
“The possession and use of such equipment whilst on a public road is prohibited,” said Dembovsky.
According to regulation 292A:
- No person may operate on a public road a motor vehicle in which is fitted… any device that interferes or detects the use of a speed monitoring or measuring device.
- No person may have in [their] possession whilst travelling in a motor vehicle a device that interferes or detects the use of a speed monitoring or measuring device.
“Unfortunately, however, there is no prohibition of the sale of such devices. For that reason, importers and sellers of such equipment will happily sell them to uninformed motorists. They often make up stories that their equipment is legal.”
Dembovsky said a person found with one of these devices – which can be detected by modern police equipement – will be arrested and charged.
“It has been our observation that instead of charging such persons under the National Road Traffic Regulations, traffic authorities charge them with defeating the ends of justice.”
“These prosecutions usually fail due to case law in South Africa which held that in order to defeat the ends of justice a person would have to have been committing an offence to start with.”
“The very best way in which people can avoid getting speeding fines is to obey the speed limit. It’s really not that difficult to do and speed limits are generally there for a reason,” said Dembovsky.
Detectors and jammers available in SA
Speed camera detectors and jammers are available online from South African stores, and come in a range of prices.
Two items we came across were the Whistler CR80 Laser/Radar Detector (pictured above), and the Blinder HP-905 Compact-Quad Sensor.
Whistler CR80 Laser/Radar Detector
The Whistler CR80 “Laser/Radar Detector” sells for R2,400 on a local website, and promises “extra detection range” for advanced warnings.
“Detects Laser Atlanta Stealth mode, Laser Ally, and the new LTI Truspeed S,” stated the product page.
It also features “advanced speed detection capabilities” which respond to brief bursts of radar, and help “eliminate alerts from radar-based traffic flow sensors”.
Blinder HP 905 Compact-Quad Sensor
The Blinder “detects and jams all known police lidar/laser speed trap systems/guns in South Africa”, and sells for R9,250.
“Easily switch between options with the Blinder’s unique 4-way switch, i.e. parking Sensor (legal in South Africa), Laser Detection (legality is grey area), Full Laser Jamming (legality is grey area),” said the product page.
A disclaimer at the bottom of the product page states:
Shipped and used as a parking sensor, the system is legal to use in South Africa. Changing the mode to laser detection or laser jamming is a grey area in terms of legality in South Africa.