Now, there are even apps to help you avoid speed traps!
Looking to steer clear of speed traps? There are several apps for that. (even though I don’t agree with them…if you’re speeding, you should get caught!) Just sayin…
Drivers hoping to avoid costly traffic tickets and demerit points are now turning to increasingly popular high-tech apps on their smart phones, much to the chagrin of police.
One of the most popular apps, Trapster, relies on its 11 million users to report speed traps and other road hazards to help fellow motorists. Thus far, more than 4 million traps around the world have been marked and reported by drivers using the free app.
Another popular app, Cobra iRadar, takes it one step further, allowing drivers to connect their phones to conventional radar detectors to scan for radar and laser speed guns, as well as red-light cameras.
Like Trapster, the app also allows drivers to view previous alerts marked by other motorists.
These apps, while a boon for road-wary drivers, are getting mixed reviews from police. They’re a double-edged sword, says Sgt. Tim Burrows, of Toronto police traffic services.
“On the surface if people are more aware and cognizant of red light cameras and speed traps, they’ll drive slower and be more mentally focused,” says Burrows. “On the down side we do like to identify violators when they break the law. We’ve had great things happen during vehicle stoppages, from major weapons seized and suspects arrested.
“In a perfect world, when we reduce collisions, we’re increasing road safety. And these apps do make people slow down…. In terms of road safety that’s a win-win.”
However, one app that is very popular in the U.S. is getting a lot of heat from police for a feature that alerts drivers to DUI checkpoints. PhantomAlert gives drivers the heads-up on drunk-driving checkpoints reported by others, in addition to alerting drivers of speed traps and red-light cameras.
“What other purpose are they going to use them for except to drink and drive?” Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County (Md.) Police Department told USA Today. “They’re only thinking of one consequence, and that’s being arrested.”
Burrows shares the same sentiment. But he adds that in Toronto, it’d be tough for drivers to keep track of mobile R.I.D.E. checks as these patrols are constantly on the move.
And while he’s generally supportive of these new apps, Burrows warns motorists to “know before you go” — that is, use the apps before hitting the road, not while you’re driving.
Motorists caught fiddling with their phones while behind the wheel won’t be able to avoid the $155 ticket if caught.