In the weeks before the Mid-America Trucking Show, my email is awash with invitations from companies who are introducing new products and want to set up an appointment to talk about it. One such invitation got me hot under the collar.

A major electronics supplier announced it was returning to the show with a stealth radar detector. I'm not going to say who it was because I'm not going to give them the free publicity.

I have a serious problem with the whole notion of truckers and radar detectors. The purpose of a radar detector is to allow you to break the law, i.e., exceed the speed limit.

Yes, I realize that there are speed traps that will nab you for going just a few mph over an artificially slow speed limit that you get absolutely no warning about. But does that justify breaking not only the speed limit law but also a federal law banning the use of such devices by truckers?

That's right, the federal government banned the use of radar detectors by interstate truckers (vehicles over 18,000 pounds) back in 1993.

So, maybe the company is only targeting local/regional drivers who aren't affected by the interstate trucking ban? Nope. According to their press release, the device is "critical for over-the-road drivers" and is "completely undetectable to any radar detector detector."

I've got a similar issue with an app that's now available to help drivers know when weigh stations are open. Why would you need to know when a weigh station is open unless you are trying to avoid them? Why would you need to avoid them if you're running legally and your equipment is well-maintained?

I'm sure some who read this will disagree with me. If you're one of them, I ask you, are you also someone who is sick and tired of the general public having a negative stereotype of truckers? This is exactly the kind of thing that continues to perpetuate the poor image of the American trucker.

Author

Deborah Lockridge
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

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Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

View Bio
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