|Once upon a time, when radar
detector makers were in one of their Bullet-List wars—that
is to say, competing amongst themselves to see who could
advertise the longest bullet list of features—they
made a big issue of “safety radar.”
were two competing formats, Safety Alert® and Safety Warning System™
(SWS). But the basics were the same; both depended upon
and fire trucks—sending
out various coded K-band signals that would be picked up by radar detectors.
An SWS detector
would have the ability to translate
these signals into text or voice warnings. Radar detectors without the
feature would respond to them as normal K-band alerts.
never had such
a feature. My view of it was always the same, “Show
me the system.”
the problem. An expensive transmitter would be needed
in those emergency vehicles. Would police and fire departments
and ambulance companies ante up something over $1000 to
buy a transmitter for each vehicle just to warn a few
radar detector users when they were already warning all
motorists in the vicinity with very effective sirens?
chances of that happening: slim and none.
the makers of ordinary radar detectors flogged safety
radar hard in their ad pages. Escort® and Passport®
had their trademarked SafetyPilot™ Technology, complete
with a cute little symbol showing a red car in a blue
bull’s-eye. It was based on Safety Alert at first,
then switched over to SWS.
now, you might say that Safety Pilot Technology has run
off into the ditch. The Passport® 8500 X50—“The
Expert’s Choice” according to its advertising—was
born without any sort of “safety radar.” Why?
One of the company’s spokesmen said. “We decided
to stop incorporating that in our detectors because there
just isn’t much of it out there.”
That’s what I’ve always said. But they advertised
SafetyPilot Technology for years, just as if it had real
benefit. And it did—to the company. If you can make
your old models obsolete, then loyal customers will feel
they should buy the latest. We don’t do that. No
V1 we’ve ever made is obsolete. Every one can be
upgraded to today’s technology at a reasonable price
offers superior warning against radar and laser. No red
herrings, no froufrou, and no cute little symbols to distract
from the only reason to buy a detector in the first place.
more fact: Some folks think those highway warning
signs, usually on trailers, that set off radar detectors
are Safety Radar. They aren’t. Instead, they are
shams to get around the FCC prohibition on drone transmitters
(the anti-speed forces love the idea of drones as a way
of annoying radar detector users). There’s no encoded
message here, just plain old radar. Still, after years
of my competitors advertising Safety Alert and Safety
Warning System, I guess I can’t blame folks for
expecting to find it somewhere.
and Passport® are registered trademarks of Escort,
Inc. SafetyPilot™ is a trademark of Escort, Inc.
SWS™ is a trademark of SWSLC. Safety Alert®
Traffic Warning System is a registered trademark of Cobra