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New iPhone Apps Help Drivers Beat Speed Traps

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the ifuzzbuster dept.

Cellphones 330

Ponca City, We love you writes "Two mobile applications, NMobile and Trapster, are providing drivers with up-to-date maps of speed-enforcement zones with live police traps, speed cameras or red-light cameras. Each application pulls up a map pinpointing the locations of speed traps within driving distance and an audio alert will sound as vehicles approach an area tagged as harboring a speed trap. Both applications rely on the wisdom of the crowds for their data with users reporting camera-rigged stop lights and areas heavily populated with radar-toting police officers via the iPhone or their web-based application, creating the ultimate speed trap repository available to you when you need it most — while you're driving. To thwart false alarms and eliminate inaccuracies, Trapster enlists its community of nearly 200,000 members to rank speed traps on their accuracy. NMobile founder Shannon Atkinson declined to provide detailed data, though he did estimate that 'well over 1,000' users had downloaded the application since it became available last week. The company insists they've received only positive feedback from law enforcement officials and police officers regarding their products. 'If the application gets people to slow down, I think it's generally considered to be a good thing,' said Atkinson."

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330 comments

Illegal Tool (5, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865749)

When tools are banned.. oh, nevermind...

Re:Illegal Tool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25865985)

Enjoy!
http://mrfriendly.byethost4.com/

Re:Illegal Tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866055)

+5 porn!

Too Many Traps (4, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865777)

The problem I have seen with most attempts to list speed traps, is that eventually damn near every street in a city, or every few miles on a highway could end up on there.

But maybe it will result in some speeders slowing down all the time.

Re:Too Many Traps (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865885)

This is just a misunderstanding of the system. Truly, a cop can grab you for speeding anywhere. However, a system like this should be for "speed traps". That is, a consistent place where cameras/cops can almost always expect to be found. I possibly might even take it a step further and classify a speed trap to be a place where you would never think of being nailed, like when the speed limit drops from 55 to 35 at the bottom of a 70 degree slope.

Re:Too Many Traps (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865915)

1. Teflon coat a slope
2. Lower speed limit on said slope
3. Speed camera at the bottom
4. Profit!

Re:Too Many Traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866191)

As an added bonus, it's much easier to clean up the carnage at the bottom when somebody gets pancaked underneath a semi trailer.

Re:Too Many Traps (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866131)

You joke, but many Southern (USA) small towns are full of things like this. The speed limit may be 70 on a highway, but as it enters one of these towns it will drop suddenly to 30 or 35, often around a curve with little warning.

The small-town cops collect money from travelers but don't ticket locals. It really is a sort of highway robbery.

Re:Too Many Traps (3, Insightful)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866225)

Not that I support the tactics, but you should be driving so that you are prepared for anything around the next corner, be it a speed limit drop or a mad cow.

Re:Too Many Traps (3, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866241)

Agreed, it's how the smaller towns make their money. Good luck fighting the tickets in their court!

In my city, a big one in Southern California, I've seen plenty of "speed traps" but I've never see one twice in the same place.

As far as cameras are concerned, they're almost always at intersections and people shouldn't be speeding through those anyway! By the way driving while viewing a cell phone is illegal here even though everybody still does it.

Re:Too Many Traps (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866483)

Drive up Hwy 101. Between King City and Salinas the Monterey division of the CHP usually have a half dozen cars doing nothing but sitting with radar guns waiting to see who doesn't notice the speed limit change to 65.

Re:Too Many Traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866353)

That's okay: when you reach the bottom of a 70 degree slope, your speed generally decreases rather abruptly to zero.

More driver distraction (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865825)

Like the streets aren't dangerous enough without every iPhone user fiddling with their toy trying to "beat the system" while piloting a two ton juggernaut on public streets.

Re:More driver distraction (4, Informative)

MilesTails (1413987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865909)

Like the streets aren't dangerous enough without every iPhone user fiddling with their toy trying to "beat the system" while piloting a two ton juggernaut on public streets.

Yeah because speech alerts are really distracting. Did you even read the articles?

Re:More driver distraction (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866017)

Yeah because speech alerts are really distracting. Did you even read the articles?

I really did actually, and I noticed that voice alerts are a feature. However, voice alerts != voice control. And I've seen plenty of people start plotting their trip several minutes after they leave the house while driving.

Re:More driver distraction (5, Informative)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866417)

But this has nothing to do with planning a trip. GPS puts you on a map without you telling it ahead of time. When you are close to a reported speed trap, it tells you. That is no different than any other auditory clue. There is no control needed.

Re:More driver distraction (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866059)

let's see you read the article while trying to first post while piloting a 2 ton juggernaut on public streets while mixing another jack and coke.

Re:More driver distraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866499)

So, you think these iPhony toting idiots won't be trying to post new information to the web sites when they see a cop they just passed? Of course they will.

Re:More driver distraction (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866817)

Like the streets aren't dangerous enough without every iPhone user fiddling with their toy trying to "beat the system" while piloting a two ton juggernaut on public streets.

Yeah because speech alerts are really distracting. Did you even read the articles?

This guy was probably posting from his iPhone while driving, and skipped the article for safety reasons.

Obstruction of Justice charge in... (1, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865827)

5....
4....
3....
2....
1.... .....

Re:Obstruction of Justice charge in... (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866267)

Explain how this is obstruction of justice?

Re:Obstruction of Justice charge in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866579)

A little offtopic, but apropos your sig, chain-letters and social experiments. Last night I've sent an sms to one of my ex girlfriends:

"(Xx)~~~~ ...in memory of all the sperms that sunk into the bedding -- send it to your favorite ex girlfriends/boyfriends"

Surprisingly, it did came back to me. What I've learned is that now I know that I've slept with that girl from whom it came back.

breaker breaker (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25865865)

damn you, iphone. now you've gone and made the CB obsolete

Re:breaker breaker (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866065)

My take on it was "how on earth .. is this news?"
(yes, read the article)

In other news i teached my dog to stay away from milk, by trowing a iphone at his head. Tremendous potential, that iphone.

No flaming please, i perhaps do own one. Almost.

Ha (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865873)

'If the application gets people to slow down, I think it's generally considered to be a good thing,' said Atkinson."

Isn't the whole idea of this app to allow people slow down just before the speed trap? If they drive slowly all the time then they don't care about speed traps in the first place

Re:Ha (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866015)

There is an ancillary benefit. While what you say seems on face value to be true, anything that gets drivers to pay more attention to the road and traffic on it will increase safety. Even if that attention is somewhat fleeting, it will help. Public service minded police do not mind as long as you do slow down. There are those that want to catch you to fill the bank account with booty from fines, but for the most part people and police just want safe roads.

In other news (4, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866283)

Local police have found a new way to setup surprise speed traps. It stems from an application on the popular iPhone that allows drivers to avoid known speed traps. Now officers just avoid these locations and catch the drivers before or after they exit the alleged "safe zones".

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866193)

When driving at work I see no reason to speed (working with craft so I drive a lot) since I get paid in the car as well, but the only time I got caught speeding was last year about this time, on a straight road (as straight it can be) with my mind on something else (was speaking on the phone actually, but I usually stop for that).

This road was as clear in the countryside with no houses next to the road, just countryside stuff.

And there was a 70km/h bit (~45mph) when there "should" have been 90 (~65) in my opinion. I got caught doing 90.

I sure saved up for that ticket (I'm no angel when it comes to speed) for the last 10 years so I can't really complain, but then again, this app would have helped me and I would be morally fine with it, because this was a trap, not in front of a school or something important.

Re:Ha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866369)

on a straight road (as straight it can be)

because this was a trap, not in front of a school or something important.

So there was nothing stopping you from seeing any signs or changes in speed limits.

There are a lot of reasons for changes in speed.. maybe the road tends to ice up in certain weather, strong cross winds.. whatever.

Re:Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866235)

There are two categories of speed traps. One is one mostly intended to get money (this is one just after a turn at the bottom of a hill where the speed limit suddenly drops 10 miles an hour without any actual safety reason). Honestly a cop interesting in public safety won't care if you slow down second before that one and speed back up after. The other one, though, is the one where people often get into accidents because it's actually a dangerous place. If you slow down for *that* one, and then speed back up, you really are significantly safer.

Re:Ha (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866437)

Actually, what will happen is that people will drive faster when the phone says they are not near a speed trap.

Integrate with in-car navigation? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865879)

What would really be nice is for such a system to integrate with your in-car navigation system. I'd love to have a list of known speed traps overlaid geographically on the moving map, perhaps with a warning 5 minutes before you approach one.

Such a system could probably pay for itself within months, in the same way a good RADAR detector pays for itself.

Re:Integrate with in-car navigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25865987)

Read the article - that's exactly what this service was designed for. Trapster has been around well before this iPhone app came along. I used it this summer when making a 15+ hour drive to Michigan for a music festival. I plotted my course, then fed it to Trapster, which then created a customized list of speed trap POIs for my TomTom. I fed the list into my GPS, assigned a big red box for an icon, a loud, ominous gong for an alert, and told it to notify me when I was roughly 1 mile away.

My trip was uneventful, but the occasional BONGGGG! did keep my lead foot in check... (mostly ;))....

Re:Integrate with in-car navigation? (2, Informative)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866169)

That would be a fantastic idea wouldn't it.

That must be why my sat nav has had such a database of speed cameras in it for the last two years.

Re:Integrate with in-car navigation? (3, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866277)

I was going to post exactly the same thing. The only reason this is on slashdot is that the IPHONE is involved, and so the story is automatically valid news and not a slashvertisement.

My two year old Garmin also does pretty much exactly what the OP's describing, it will show an icon and play a sound when you're approaching a speed trap. Of course, since it doesn't have any wireless capability, the listed speed traps are mostly stationary speed cameras. I'd imagine newer models would be able to update the database often enough to catch all the cops hiding behind the bushes.

Re:Integrate with in-car navigation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866591)

Just drive the speed limit - that will 'pay for itself' one hell of a lot faster than some stupid radar detector or even some lame 'cheat the system' iPhony application. Don't speed, don't worry about speeding tickets or speed traps.
 
Learn to drive safely and legally dorks of the world!

Radio stations did something similar before (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25865881)

Back in the 90s in one of the Baltic countries, some radio stations let drivers phone in location of speed traps.

Of course, soon enough the law caught up with that and reporting of police locations because illegal.

However, that didn't phase the station operators a bit. They just requested that people report location of individuals in blue uniforms, using cars with bright flashing lights and shooting microwave radiation at passing cars. No mention was "police" or "speed trap" or anything specific was allowed.

Re:Radio stations did something similar before (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866051)

This is still done in the Netherlands. Nothing stealthy/sneaky about it. The police even pre-announces a couple of roads where they're going to check.

Bert
Driving within the speed limits saves on gas too.

Re:Radio stations did something similar before (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866161)

In the Netherlands, reporting the locations of speed traps isn't illegal, and all pop-music radio stations report the locations. There are even companies that have this as their core business.

Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865887)

They always manage to get some police officer to say "if NewSpeedTrapThingy makes people slow down, we're all for it". Doesn't matter what the thingy is, from radar detectors and people talking on CB Radio onwards... is there actually any research indicating that people with radar detectors or whatever drive slower, on average, after they start using these tools? Or is this just official bravado?

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (4, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865961)

I've always assumed they mean "We can't stop you using this, so we're going to pretend it helps."

I wish people would just, you know, drive slower without having to be forced to, but I guess that's wishful thinking.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866087)

I just wish speed limits were designed for modern cars and modern traffic, not increasing revenue.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866223)

I just wish speed limits were designed for modern cars and modern traffic, not increasing revenue.

Unfortunately speed limits are designed for the modern driver. You've all seen them - drivers with the attention span of a crack-addled squirrel and the reflexes of a hypothermic snail. These folks really shouldn't be going fast. In fact, they should stay in their driveway playing with all the little gizmos in the car.

Hey, this would solve a bunch of problems: Oil consumption, traffic congestion, road rage. Buying more gizmos will help the economy. In fact, everyone should go out and buy a new, shiny, gizmo-laden car.

And leave it in their driveway.

I'm calling Senator Obama right now....

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (4, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866309)

Perhaps its our driving instruction and licensing procedures in the US that are at fault. Go look up what they have in Poland. You have to drive on a skidpad during one test even!

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866751)

Perhaps its our driving instruction and licensing procedures in the US that are at fault. Go look up what they have in Poland. You have to drive on a skidpad during one test even!

We have lots of skid pads to practice on here. We just don't bother segregating them from the rest of the roadway. More efficient that way.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866351)

So we're going to eliminate ALL older cars? ALL older and younger drives? ALL trucks from the consideration of what speed limits should be? Speed limits are also adjusted due to possibility of vehicle failure and other unforeseen circumstances. Just because you're in a hurry and only care about yourself doesn't mean much to a lot of people.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866531)

Yeah because no one is driving around in a 20 year old hunk of junk Honda.

And claiming speed limits are designed for revenue is just down right retarded, no one has to speed, just make sure you get out of the door in time - most of us can manage.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866207)

When cops start obeying the law, I will.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (0, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866263)

Please tell me that you're being sarcastic.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (5, Interesting)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866365)

Consider the crap that the beat cops pull on a daily basis around here, no I'm not.

Pulling a U-turn when a sign clearly states otherwise, flicking your lights so you can go through a red light - then turning them off and parking at a diner for your break.

Cops here also have a bad habit of just grabbing people and their objects with no regard for the law. This has happened to me twice. The first time I explained to the cop that if he didn't release me I would be more than happy to defend myself - which got me arrested, but subsequently released - and the second time I reminded the office that I find the rough grabbing of my arms to be an aggressive act - he backed off.

I've also witnessed a cruiser fishtail a vehicle in the middle of the night, without pursuing him. No lights, no siren, nothing. The guy ran a red light, and the cop fishtailed him, THEN put his siren on. The guy in the car was arrested for failure to stop, failure to comply, and some other things. He was shocked - SHOCKED - when I showed up with a video of the event at court on behalf of the defendant.

The city dropped the case and last I heard the man is pursuing civil action.

This shit happens a lot more than is reported. Quite frankly, I think most cops need to be purged from their respective authority systems and shipped to clown college.

so, yes, when cops start obeying the law, so will I. Until then, fuck them.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (-1, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866415)

Are you twelve years old? "I saw that other guy do it" is NOT a valid reason for you to do the same thing.

You're not even disobeying the law for some kind of ideological difference with the law itself. You are literally seeing someone do something wrong and emulating because you can.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (3, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866545)

You're either reading too much into my statement, or you're a fucking moron.

I don't really understand where you think I'm executing illegal U-turns, speeding, or fishtailing other people because they run red lights. I've never stated that I did any such things, in fact I'm outright denying it right now.

But, hey, you seem to think the statement "when cops start obeying the law, so will I" is a statement of fact. If that was the case, I would've killed a few cops with a taser by now.

Just for reference - since you seem to be unable to think beyond statements - I have not, and have no desire to kill people.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (-1, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866609)

Clearly I'm the moron, because you made a statement and I assumed you actually meant what you said.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866523)

You must not drive in California. You'll never see anyone from "law enforcement" driving slower than the speed limit. Especially when they are late for lunch.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (0, Troll)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866543)

I'm not challenging that, I'm challenging the idea that breaking the law is fine and dandy just because someone else does.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1)

The Man (684) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866095)

More likely it's that if they say they don't like it, everyone will see that they are acknowledging that "speed enforcement" is mostly about generating revenue. Since they can't be seen to acknowledge that fact, they have to pretend it's about safety, in which case these tools probably do help even if only in a few spots (and speed traps are sited more often than not in places where excessive speed really might be unsafe).

Bottom line: when cops stop saying stuff like this, it's time to get outta Dodge. Then they're no longer even pretending to be accountable to their nominal employers.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866565)

The biggest problem I find is when they are in fact accountable to their nominal employers... the citizens of the shit-hole town you have to drive through. Where I live, what I'd classify as a large town (~60,000 people including students, I think), the police tend to look for excessive speeding, running red lights, and drunk driving... and except for the new red-light cameras that have been installed (the company that installs them takes a share of the profits and requires the yellow lights to be no longer than a certain period of time... I smell corruption), it all tends to be based largely on public safety... particularly on Friday/Saturday nights. But.. I got pulled over driving through a small (maybe 1000 person) town this Friday night, as I was going from the 70 zone into the 55. By the time the cop flipped his lights I was going the speed limit of the town, I began to slow down as soon as I saw the speed limit sign, and there was no one on the road, it being midnight. By any reasonable expectation I was obeying the spirit of the law and was in no way a risk to public safety. But there was no leniency, I know fighting it in the town's court would be a waste of time, because it is primarily a source of revenue for the town. For further evidence, I give you their fine schedule: 1-5mph over the limit warrants a $165 fine, while my 15mph over is $195. And they're not my cops, I can't hold them accountable for their abusive actions. This is Texas, which tends to reserve most things to the local governments, so there isn't much the state can do, and I'm not sure that's a good idea anyway. When driving anywhere from here, there is no way to avoid these kind of towns. I'm just not sure I see a good solution, beyond expecting people to be better than they are, or bringing down federal regulations which my gut tells me is almost always the wrong way.

Re:Sergeant Stronginthearm says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866363)

Police like these things because relatively few people are going to be using it. Of those who will use it, they'll speed somewhere else and might still be caught. It doesn't cost much, if any, ticket revenue.

It's the radar detectors we can't stand. Detectors don't require that you pay much attention to them. Most people will slow down immediately when it goes off, whether they were speeding or not.

Law enforcement officers are all for road safety. Nobody likes cleaning up road pizza, especially when the ingredients weren't old enough to vote. At the same time, if everybody were to suddenly begin obeying all traffic laws, a large portion of the annual budget goes out the window.

The large number of officers patrolling most cities and highways aren't there for safety reasons. If we wanted to slow down the general flow of traffic, there'd be a police car sitting very visibly on the shoulder every few miles. Reassign the two guys flying the airplane with a stop watch [1stradardetectors.com], sell the plane itself and it would be easy to pay for that. At least, until the revenue from traffic citations drops sharply.

Revenue stream (4, Insightful)

Xistenz99_2000 (1413985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865897)

I am sure that there are some that want people to slow down at the speed traps, however speed traps are intended to collect revenue for the city that they are in. Traffic tickets are one of the easy ways an officer can collect 140 dollars within 15 minutes for the city and supply his paycheck without doing any hard work.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

Xistenz99_2000 (1413985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866321)

I would also like to add that I go hit by a speed trap in a small town at 4 in the morning, I received 2 tickets, 1 in a 30 mph zone and the other in the 55 mph zone. That added 16 points to my license for 1 speeding incident. I argued in court that the officer should have stopped my at the 30 mph zone because there was a mile in between mph changes, but they ruled against me. 16 pts. and I wasn't drunk, just driving fast in small town when 0 people were on the road. These violations and ticketing makes me skeptical of the whole safety factor, I was speeding and I admitted as much in court, but my hatred and distrust for traffic officers is warranted becasue of this and other instances.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866485)

Hope they revoke your license ASAP.

Idiots like you should be kept off the road. So it's the middle of the night and that allows you to disregard other peoples safety because _you_ feel no one should be out driving/running/biking at that time?

Well then smart ass, why are you out?

When you crash - and you will - please make sure you hit the nearest tree rather than some poor innocent bystander.

And, they're stupid. (3, Interesting)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866521)

I agree, speeding tickets are a bullshit money maker 90% of the time. But think about it -- how stupid are they, using these old fashioned methods? Why not get serious and raise some real money?

I live in Massachusetts. The Mass Pike (I90) is a limited access highway with toll stations on all on/off ramps. Your time on is clocked. Your time off is clocked. By DeMoivre's Theorem, if your average speed is greater than the speed limit, you must have exceeded said speed limit at some point. So, just hand everyone a ticket as they leave the highway, if their average speed was X% higher than the posted speed limit (65) (or mail them one if they use EasyPass).

Here's a related revenue generation idea: triple the rent for all the McDonald's etc. on the I90 service plazas. Hell, open a bunch of new service plazas. People who want to speed will stop (they'll have to, unless they want a ticket). Here's another idea: for a buck, they can feed their turnpike ticket into a machine and it will tell them when it's safe to continue at the posted speed limit without getting a speeding ticket. Idiots who can't do arithmetic will be feeding dollar bills into these machines day in and day out.

Re:Revenue stream (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866801)

Well, how fast were you going? These parts, 10 over is only a couple of points, so to get 16 points, you must have been going ~80 mph. That means you are angry that it took the officer, based on what you say, about 45 seconds to pull you over. Of course, if you were a good way through the mile you are talking about, he had even less time than that.

Re:Revenue stream (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866553)

however speed traps are intended to collect revenue for the city that they are in.

Which is great. Honestly, taking money from people who routinely break safety laws regarding an extremely dangerous piece of equipment, and using that money to fund government services, e.g. schools, is a great idea. We should do more of it. And if you have a problem with that, stop fucking speeding. It's illegal and dangerous to others, and you are a complete asshole if you do it.

For revenue ? This is so stupid (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866673)

If people RESPECTED the FRIGGING speed limit, no matter what their opinion are on what the maximum speed should be at that place, then there would be NO revenue. The problem is that people think they are ENTITLED to have whatever the speed they think they can handle. I am on my side pretty sick of getting nearly killed once per year by stupid idiot which think law don't apply to them. Please : put a speed radar at every corner street....

it works both ways, so look at the bottom line (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865933)

'If the application gets people to slow down, I think it's generally considered to be a good thing,' said Atkinson

It gets them to slow down when there's a speed trap because they want to avoid the high probability of a ticket.

BUT, it also gives them the confidence to speed more when they don't believe there's a speed trap.

So it works both ways: It helps increase the "deterrent factor" of the speed traps, but lowers the overall effectiveness of discouraging speeding in general, in the process.

In the end it's probably about a wash for changing the amount of speeding going on. The only thing that's changing is the money that was going to speeding tickets is now going to the authors of the app. And of course since that's what's really important isn't it, we've gotta put a stop to it don'cha know?

Indeed PD Greed Needs Speedsters to Speed (1)

GMonkeyLouie (1372035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866043)

I like that way of looking at it. It won't really affect police departments in my area that much because, as this is a college town, the police focus on handing out PAULAs (possession of alcohol under legal age) as their cash cow, but could the mainstreaming of speed trap avoidance tech potentially have huge impacts on some county's cash flow through their police departments?

Not that you could even realistically dam this river.

On another note, I saw an ad for a "radar detector detector detector" a few years ago. It's amazing what lengths people will go to in order to speed without ticket paranoia.

Re:Indeed PD Greed Needs Speedsters to Speed (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866233)

If you are in the wrong pool (young, nice car, recent ticket, collision), a ticket can easily add hundreds of dollars to your insurance costs. If you are going to speed anyway, the detector is an investment.

(I don't have any evasion devices and don't make speeding a habit, but I know of other people's experience)

Re:Indeed PD Greed Needs Speedsters to Speed (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866551)

If you are rich, you sign up for "traffic school" and the point never appears on your license.

Re:it works both ways, so look at the bottom line (1)

eltonito (910528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866713)

I'm not sure users of such software are going to drive any faster outside of the tagged zones. In most places I drive the average traffic flow outpaces the posted speed limit by 10-15MPH. The POI's I have on my GPS for speed traps and red-light cameras aren't to help me speed/run red lights, they are to reduce my chances of getting a ticket. I find it even more helpful when I am driving in a new city or unfamiliar area. I generally go with the flow of traffic, but if I get an alert I slow down about 2MPH to make myself less of an obvious target in middle of the herd. I rarely speed up more than I slowed down after I get through the tagged zone.

Besides, there's always a sprinter in the herd that decides the flow is for chumps, and weaves in and out of traffic while going 20-25MPH over the speed limit. I think those are the folks who would exploit it to drive faster in non-tagged zones but I rarely see any technology on their dashboards that might assist their speeding habit. I assume it is because the idiot demographic aren't exactly early adopters.

Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25865941)

When I was a kid, I remember my dad got pulled over. After passing a speed trap, he was flashing his headlights at oncoming traffic to alert them. Soon after he was pulled over and ticketed for this. It was apparently illegal...

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866445)

Well, I'd assume the reason it's illegal to flash your headlights at oncoming traffic is that it's distracting the drivers. Distracted drivers -> higher risk of accidents. So your dad was just being an asshole in a way that happened to be illegal.

This is officer 419... (2, Funny)

Hertne (1381263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865957)

my iPhone has me listed as being here. I'm going to move up the street a couple miles.

On a side note, could these be considered illegal [wikipedia.org] in certain places, classified as a radar radar detector

obstructionofjustice tag? (0)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25865971)

"obstructionofjustice" tag? Really?? This is getting people to slow down...

Re:obstructionofjustice tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866171)

Oh, right. You know what really gets people to slow down? Getting too many tickets and having their license suspended.

Which is what's supposed to happen when you recklessly put other people's lives at risk on a regular basis.

If this new app works as advertised, speed demons can now get away with breaking the law by only slowing down when they approach a speed trap. So yes, this should absolutely be classified as obstruction of justice.

Re:obstructionofjustice tag? (2, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866185)

Yes, becuase the 200metres in view of the speed trap is so much more important than the other 10 km of the driver's journey where they're flooring it because they know there's no speed cameras. This will make people speed up, not slow down. If the drivers are driving too fast they should be punished- whether there's a speed camera around or not. Now it would be completely different if schools and playgrounds and roads with blind corners were flagged because it would be DANGEROUS to go fast around them.

Great police tool! (4, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866025)

Now all the police has to do is rate their actual speed traps low and catch the iPhone speeders!

I mean, I always said that Apple users would not pass a round of natural selection, this could be an example ;)

Re:Great police tool! (1)

eltonito (910528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866815)

Yes, that's exactly what they has to do.

Or maybe the cops would just pull over the other 93.5678% of the speeding population that doesn't own an iPhone.

Positive feedback my ass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866073)

The company insists they've received only positive feedback from law enforcement officials and police officers regarding their products. 'If the application gets people to slow down, I think it's generally considered to be a good thing,' said Atkinson."

Riiight. The main purpose of speed traps, photo radar and red light cameras is not to improve safety, but to generate revenue.

Where I live (Toronto, Canada), motorists have actually been ticketed for warning drivers about speed traps: http://www.wheels.ca/article/asset/167046 [wheels.ca]

However, the ticket for warning is complete BS - if you actually go to a judge, the judge will throw it out, since there is no law against warning other drivers. Of course, you have to take time off work to fight it, which is more expensive than paying (for some of us).

Speed up (3, Insightful)

Bezultek (1109675) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866125)

In California the problem isn't people driving too fast, it's people driving too slow. By all means, slow down when the conditions merit it. But why must people drive stop before turning, go slow because there is an accident on the other side of the freeway, etc?

I appreciate anything that keeps the traffic moving. What we really need is an app to disable the speed trap.

Crazy Idea (3, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866143)

``the ultimate speed trap repository available to you when you need it most while you're driving.''

Or you could just not drive so fast you would get a ticket. I know, I am totally out of touch with reality and my ideas are correspondingly crazy. But I'll happily take a few minutes extra travel time and have a relaxed ride, because I don't have to worry about law enforcement and other drivers slowing me down.

Re:Crazy Idea (3, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866745)

Unfortunately, there are situations when its not really about that... its small towns that have sudden speed drops and try to take advantage of it. Take the speed trap town I hit a couple of nights ago. The speed limit dropped from 70 to 55, I saw the sign as I was about to pass it (it was night, I didn't have my high-beams on), and began to slow down just as I passed into the zone. I didn't see the cop until I was in the middle of the town, at the proper speed limit (I think it was 35), when he turned on his lights and I noticed the car that had pulled out behind me was a cop.

He ticketed me for 15 over without any questions, no acknowledgement of the fact that I was in the process of obeying the limit, just didn't feel like slamming on the brakes, hurting my car and ruining my gas mileage. The fact that the 1-5mph over fine is $165, should be more than clear that this is not about public safety, but about trying to extract money from the people driving through. They finally put in a nicer convenience store that I was planning to stop at, not going to now... however, I think the $200 they made off the ticket is more than any loss of business the town as a whole will lose now. Also, though I don't recall exactly how the signs were arranged, I wouldn't be surprised if they set up the speed limit signs so that they were hard to see.

So yes, sometimes it is an issue of people needing to slow down, however, it isn't always... it's small towns using one of their biggest resources, the highways that go through them, to generate revenue at the expense of those traveling through.

Actually, it decreases security (1)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866145)

A scientific study showed that the deadliest parts of the road are those immediately after the speed traps [citation needed]. Of course, when they are publicly displayed (as they are required by law to be in Brasil).

Although I can't remember the source, it does make sense, as people generally slow down just before the speed traps, and accelerate after. Thus, you're just creating a zone in the road where everyone is accelerating, thus having less handling and increased likelihood of crashes.

Of course, that would only happen in this case if a significant percentage of the drives uses the service, which I find unlikely.

-ster (2, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866147)

The -ster suffix seems to have evolved to mean "We acknowledge at some level that this will probably get us shut down sooner or later."

Best way to beat a speed trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866149)

If everyone observes the speed limit, eventually it will become very unprofitable for cops to spend their time giving tickets.

Less cops with radars equates to less speed traps.

Federal, County and Cities make huge profits off of criminal behavior. Supposly getting $100 per inmate per day in jail, this in turn causes cops to act criminal and aggressive in getting more inmates "into the system" for profit.

Many states use this as a form of state industry, and with a poor economy, is only going to get worse.

No witnesses, no evidence, be polite and keep your mouth shut.

Stop rebelling and just pretend to be playing the lawful game.

What you do in secret is your business, if you keep it that way.

Phone.com (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866175)

I'm no fan of Phone.com, but they had a similar app years ago. We heard about it via the corporate (!) announcement when we (Software.com) merged with them. I thought it made the company look like a bunch of fucktards, but what do I know.

Bollocks to that (5, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866203)

Locating speed cameras means people can slow down to avoid a fine and then speed up again- not slow down to be safer. If they were truly trying to help people drive safer how about "WARNING! SCHOOL AHEAD" or "WARNING HIDDEN EXIT AHEAD", no, because slowing down for a speed camera is more rewrd than slowing down and driving safely around risky areas.

Speep-ups (1)

microhard_googler (1376563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866213)

And i thought the heading implied an improvement in running time of applications which were slowing down due to driver bottlenecks(i.e speed traps for drivers)

Corrected title (2, Informative)

quattr0 (1210192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866231)

New Apps Help Drivers Beat Speed Traps for Blackberry, iPhone and Nokia N95

There you have it. Even in alphabemodel orders.

Speed traps are old news anyway (2, Interesting)

lagfest (959022) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866379)

Stretch control is the new hotness.

On a freeway, set up ANPR cameras on all the ramps, and bust the drivers on their average speed.

Pretty intresting concept. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866419)

Pretty interesting concept, although doubtful this will be very useful in the long run as another user already noted the maps will eventually all be hot spots. I do think it would be great if car manufactures started to implement radar detectors with all GPS equipped models. I would like to see some sort of distributed radar alert system. I think it could essentially work like this : Car A, B, and C, are on hypothetical highway, car A is leading a mile or so in front of B, and C. I would like to see the systems pick up the radar from car A, and send an alert beacon to all the vehicles on hypothetical highway that are equipped with the same system, with the radar location pinpointed on the GPS navi display.

Not completely new (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866447)

Both of those apps aren't NEW as stated in the the title. Trapster has been out for almost 2 months, although NMobile is only 1.5 weeks old.

In Soviet UK ... (2, Interesting)

DrogMan (708650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25866527)

Speed, er "safety" cameras are everywhere - but most of the time they're fixed, so there exists databases of "point of interest" to download into most GPSs. (Along with the speed the camera is set to). Even the mobile/temporary ones are usually at known locations, so they're included too. So anyone with a GPS who gets caught speeding deserves what they get... We've also had average speed cameras for a while now too - number plate recognition (ANPR). I deal with these using cruise control, but it really irritates me when people decide "OMG, what speed have I been doing..." then slow down to a crawl 250 metres before the next camera... And I'm sure that as the variable ones are video, they'll just get added to the total surveillance society we're sleepwalking into...

Frist 5t0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866669)

for a moment and goals I persona#lly (I always bring my bring your own exploited that. A crisco or lube. 7ocating #GNAA, over to yet another to download the

good strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25866837)

Just drive a bit slower than the fastest driver on the road.

At a light edge forward like you are going to take off, then start normally. Many times someone will take the bait and tear off. If you can, let another driver clear the road for you!

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