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'Police detector' monitors emergency radio transmissions

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 (Target Automotive)

Now it’s law enforcement that has nowhere to hide, and that may or may not be a good thing.

A Dutch company has introduced a detection system that can alert drivers if a police officer or other emergency services official is using a two-way radio nearby.

Blu Eye monitors frequencies used by the encrypted TETRA encrypted communications networks used by government agencies in Europe. It doesn’t allow the user to listen in to transmissions, which is illegal and would require advanced decryption capabilities, but can detect a radio in operation up to one kilometer away.

Even if a message isn’t being sent, these radios send pulses out to the network every four seconds and Blu Eye can also pick these up, according to The Sunday Times. A dashboard-mounted monitor uses lights and sounds to alert the driver to the proximity of the source, similar to a radar detector interface.

The company behind it, Target Automotive, says it’s meant to be used as safety device, giving early warning that an emergency vehicle is approaching so drivers can move out of the way, while reminding them to monitor their behavior behind the wheel. But critics see it as a likely tool for intentional scofflaws.

“As it does not distinguish between a police car, ambulance or fire engine responding to an emergency or one that is simply driving under non-blue-light conditions, this particular device is sadly just as likely to be bought by a minority of motorists who wish to evade being caught behaving illegally,” David Bizley, the Royal Automobile Club’s chief engineer, told The Sunday Times.

Blu Eye sells for $1,600 in the U.K., and is not yet available in the United States. However, Target Managing Director Jan Rijks tells FoxNews.com that a version is in the works that is compatible with the P25 protocol used by U.S. emergency services and could be on sale as early as next year.