This device compares your location to a database of red light and speed cameras, warning you when you approach one. It's isn't a radar or laser detector, so cannot warn you when cops are performing random speed-traps. It sounds useful, but in practice this device is woefully inadequate.
1. For $50 on Amazon, you can buy a TomTom ONE which not only provides directions but also has a red light camera database available. This $150 device only provides the second part.
2. The database is not up to date. Driving through San Rafael (CA), it triggers every few minutes, often on intersections with no cameras.
3. You get warned if approaching a camera, regardless of whether it's on the same road or not. For example, if you're driving on the highway and there's a camera on a side road, it's triggers an alert - the TomTom only warns you if you are going to physically pass a camera.
4. The design and interface is like a 1970s alarm clock or digital watch. There's nothing intuitive about the controls or menu system, so you need to have the manual on hand anytime you want to modify anything.
5. It calls everything a speed camera, and insists on telling you to fasten your seatbelt, which gets annoying. There are only a handful of speed cameras on California (mostly around LA).
6. The update software is nowhere near as slick as TomTom's PC integration. This is a minor issue, but illustrates the technological gap between the two devices.
Overall, I wouldn't buy this gadget - it needs to have a radar detector component built in to have any value. Unless you're intending to frequently run red lights, you would be better off buying a TomTom and a separate radar/laser detector. Incidentally, I approve of the British voice-over it uses, and it would probably be very useful in England where the socialists have installed cameras on practically every road.
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James Beswick (jbeswick)
Lunch.com's "token Brit".
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Whistler RLC-100 Red Light Camera detectors (RLC) compares a vehicle's current location through GPS satellite technology against an on-board database of thousands of known red light camera and speed camera locations. Product features: High Sensitivity GPS Antenna, Updatable Camera Database, Free Updates For One Year, Dual Alert Display, 7 Segment Digital Readout, Current Speed Reading With Max Hold Feature, Manual Entry Function for up to 100 Locations, Digital Clock, MPH / KPH Option, Tripmeter, Selectable Speed Warning, 12 Volt Power Outlet.