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New radar detector lets drivers 'un-friend' speed cameras

Tuesday - 10/25/2011, 8:31am  ET

Evan Haning, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- A new combination radar detector and social networking device alerts its owner and other nearby drivers whenever it spots a speed camera.

The ESCORT Live uses Bluetooth technology to transmit warnings about laser guns to smartphones, before drivers are in range.

When a driver is near a speed trap or speed camera, a "laser detected" alert is relayed to other drivers in the ESCORT Live network.

The alerts display a directional location arrow, distance-to-arrive, and change color and transparency, depending on the warning's relevance.

Rather than helping people cheat traffic laws, Triple-A Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson says the device may reduce speeding.

"Police often say that the purpose of speed cameras is to deter speeding, not to rack up tickets. Well, if that's the case, I think we may see a lot of police that are very happy."

Despite the possibility of radar detectors having an ultimately positive effect on traffic safety, they are illegal in Virginia.

"Even if you've got one in your car and it's unplugged, you can be ticketed for that," Anderson warns.

ESCORT Live went on sale Monday and is being offered to current ESCORT owners at an introductory price of $79.95.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)