What is MRCD Radar?

picture of speed camera
20th Sep,2023

Drivers in the United States have had to worry about police speed traps for years, thanks to the use of speed traps. But a new form of radar is on the block, and cops have successfully used it to beat the majority of radar detectors.

This new method is called MultaRadar CD, or MRCD for short. In this post, I’ll examine what MRCD Radar is and why it’s different from traditional speed trap devices. I’ll also detail methods that you can use to try and avoid detection.

What is MRCD Radar?

MRCD Radar is part of a new wave of radar devices used by police to detect speeding drivers. It works using the principles of photo radar. When the MRCD device catches an offending driver, the system takes a picture of the car’s license plate. The offender is then mailed a speeding fine.

picture of speed camera

This technology has been used in Canada and Europe for quite some time, but police forces in America have begun to utilize it in recent years.

However, the principle behind MRCD Radar is not solely designed to catch a speeding driver. It has many other uses as well.

Modulated Radar and the uses of MRCD

The modulated radar technology that allows MRCD to be an effective speed trap system is also extremely useful in the safety systems of modern cars.

Several newer safety features such as blind spot monitoring and radar cruise control all rely on the principle of modulated radar. This technology is the basis of how MRCD works and why it’s so effective.

What sets modulated radar apart is its ability to determine both speed and distance. This is why modulated radar is used in safety features. It can detect the proximity of other objects, such as other cars or obstacles that might be hit.

For this reason, modulated radar waves are commonly used by automated parking systems or parking cameras fitted to modern vehicles.

The sheer amount of cars featuring these safety features can generate false alerts and interference when trying to detect MultaRadar CD devices.

MRCD versus older methods

For decades, police speed traps used measuring devices that worked using specific frequencies, like K Band, to detect speeding cars. These devices used continuous wave radar, which involves keeping the detection device at a single frequency.

Red Light Camera

Because detection methods like traditional K Band radar guns remain at a predetermined frequency at all times, they are fairly easy to detect and identify.

This has made it easy for most radar detectors on the market to warn drivers about upcoming speed traps.

But now that MRCD devices are becoming increasingly common for law enforcement across the United States, it’s much harder to avoid hidden speed traps.

Why is it harder to detect MultaRadar?

While continuous wave radar is easy to predict and detect, modulated radar is much more difficult to identify. This is because modulated radar devices, particularly MRCD systems, can change the frequency that they use.

This fluctuation is constantly going on and is the reason that MRCD is so hard to detect. While continuous wave radar devices usually used by cops work on a single identifiable frequency, MRCD devices will cycle through several different frequencies to confuse radar detectors.

red light speeding tickets

To make the task even harder, the frequencies that MRCD devices work with are also on the same K-band as traditional speed trap devices. This same band is also used by the safety systems used in modern cars that were mentioned earlier.

The difference between the two types of radar can be illustrated using a guitar. A continuous wave radar device plucks one specific string over and over to make the same noise. However, a modulated radar system sounds as if someone has strummed all of the guitar strings at once.

Thanks to this ability to modulate their frequency, MRCD devices cannot be detected by radar detectors designed to focus on the specific signals generated by traditional K-band speed trap technologies.

Instead, a specialized radar detector designed to find MRCD signals is required.

But with so many different signals flying around on the same bandwidth, it can be extremely difficult to actually know which ones are coming from MRCD devices and which ones are simply false signals generated by other cars.

MultaRadar CD devices are also usually low-powered, which also makes them harder to detect and almost invisible even to specialized radar detectors.

How are MRCD devices deployed?

To begin trying to combat the newer MRCD speed trap devices, it helps to understand how they are deployed by law enforcement agencies. Some MRCD devices will be mounted on police observation vehicles.

radar detecting sign

In these instances, MRCD devices can be hidden within police vehicles.

One commonly used place is the rear window of a pickup truck, with the device concealed by the tinted window. Another device is also placed somewhere on the front of the vehicle to catch drivers in both directions.

Both devices are accompanied by a camera that captures a photo of the license plate of the offending vehicle once the MRCD devices are triggered.

In some areas of the country, MultaRadar CD devices are also being incorporated into traffic lights.

These usually take the form of a semi-circular box attached vertically and work in concert with the camera on the traffic light to catch speeding drivers.


As if it wasn’t difficult enough to detect MultaRadar devices, there are also two separate variants used by law enforcement agencies. These are MultaRadar CD (MRCD) and MultaRadar CT (MRCT).

The differences between the two types are actually nominal. MRCD and MRCT are essentially two different generations of the same technology. MRCD is the older, more common variant used across the country, while MRCT devices are just newer versions.

Which States use MRCD?

At present, MRCD devices are not widespread across the United States. They have been established or encountered in Arizona, Illinois, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

However, more and more states are beginning to run trials using MultaRadar CD devices with a view to deploying them more frequently. MRCD devices are very common across the border in Canada, so drivers who regularly travel over the border should beware.

How to detect MultaRadar CD devices

Because MRCD devices can be difficult to distinguish from other signals, such as those given off by modern car safety features, MRCD detection is a tricky business.

There are several radar detectors on the market that have been designed to detect MultaRadar devices.

Due to the complex frequency modulation used by MRCD devices, these specialist radar detectors will have a very limited range and will only detect MRCD devices from three blocks away at max.

These specialized radar detectors will also come with specific filters that can drown out interference from car safety systems that use modulated radar such as blind spot monitoring (BSM). These filters can also sift through the usual K-band interference.

To successfully detect an MRCD signal, the distance must be very short and outside interference from false signals needs to be filtered out. Specialized radar detectors will helpfully emit slightly different sounds and also give a spoken alert when sorting MRCD signals from other types of alerts.

As MRCD devices become more common across the United States, radar detector manufacturers will gain more and more data about how MultaRadar devices work. Eventually, the manufacturers may discover more effective methods of MRCD detection.

It’s always worth checking with the provider of a radar detector to see if any firmware updates are released that could be more successful at detecting MultaRadar systems.

Overview of the best MultaRadar CD detectors

Whether MultaRadar is being used in your local area or not, it may be a good idea to invest in a radar detector capable of identifying MRCD signals. Think of it as future-proofing, just in case these MultaRadar devices start being used in other areas.

Escort Redline 360C

Best MRCD-compatible radar detectors available right now.

Radenso Pro M

So far, Radenso’s Pro M model is looking like one of the best radar detectors capable of detecting MRCD signals. Its alert system blips more frequently the closer you get to the MRCD device, measuring the distance and giving you plenty of time to react. It also marks the GPS location of the device.

Escort Redline EX

The Escort Redline EX is another MRCD radar detector that helps give you plenty of warning. Its national coverage helps protect you wherever you’re driving, and it also allows you to record places that you have encountered MRCD systems before.

Uniden R7

The Uniden R7 has great detection range to keep you one step ahead of MRCD devices. You can also mute false alerts that you encounter regularly and the system will remember them. The GPS works in all four directions to keep you protected from all sides.

Because of the relative newness of MRCD technology, radar detectors capable of detecting these signals are going to be relatively expensive for a while. But with MultaRadar technology becoming more prevalent across the country, it’s a worthwhile investment.


In this article, I’ve covered what MRCD [1] radar is and why it’s so hard to detect. This modern radar technology uses modulated radar to change its frequency and make it harder to identify. These devices are also low-powered, which also helps them escape detection.

Thankfully, some radar detectors on the market can help identify MRCD devices. While the range may not currently be brilliant, these devices will help you stay one step ahead of this new speed trap method spreading across the United States.

Make sure to check out the new detector/dashcam combo’s. Best of 2 in 1s. Escort or Cobra who wins this battle?

William Johnson

William Johnson is the owner and founder of RatedRadarDetector.org. He writes about car accessories, with his passion stemming from a deep enthusiasm for all things automotive. His website, RRD, focuses on in-depth reviews of car accessories to help people find the best and latest products in the market.