As long as I am a driver, I always remember people were flashing their headlights at oncoming traffic, trying to warn fellow drivers on the speed traps and police cars on the road. Whether it's right or wrong, that sort of helpfulness has gone high-tech.
At first, there were anti-radars. In some countries they are legal, in other – they are outlawed. The lack of the international consistency tells a lot on the controversial subject. Let’s admit, if we are not violating any traffic laws, we should not be afraid of police. Definitely, I refer to the civilized countries only, where traffic police is not one of the multiple money extorting government-supported groups. So, the gadget assists the violators to get unpunished? True, and wrong. Look on the topic from other perspective. Driver gets warning and slows down, “wakes up”, becomes more alert and assertive. The overall outcome is quite positive. That is why, most of the schools and government buildings are equipped with radar-type devices, forcing the passer-by cars, equipped with anti-radar to slow down.
With Internet penetration, the new web communities were developed, sharing information among users on speed traps, hidden cameras, and other annoying elements of the enforcement agencies. However, their usefulness was quite limited before these services became really mobile, in a form of smart phones applications. In this post, we will review several apps for your mobile phones.
Trapster, is probably one of the most popular such applications. With improved mobile phone GPS and location detection, it allows users of iPhones, Blackberies, Droids and other GPS devices to do much more than just warn of speed traps, but to offer tips on enforcement cameras and road hazards. With nearly 15 million users (reporting on more than 5 million traps), chances are the road you’re driving at any given time has somebody reporting what’s up ahead. You can also make it a mobile social network, spotting your friends on the road in real time…kind of the smartphone equivalent of CB Radio.
The app can deliver voice alerts as you approach a trap or if you exceed a speed limit. You have the option of becoming a member of Trapster's network and reporting speed traps, cameras, or other traffic hazards, or confirming existing ones. Users can also mark road hazards, breakdowns, and construction sites for the benefit of their fellow drivers. On trips over unfamiliar roads, this app is essential.
Another very popular app is Waze. It also works with the major smartphones, but it functions more like an online driving community. You get tips on how to outsmart traffic jams, directions and navigation info and, of course, warnings of traffic enforcement zones. You can even make it a game, racking up points by making frequent reports. Just drive around with the app on and it gathers and shares traffic conditions, alerting you to slowdowns and hazards up ahead.
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