Cell Phones Used To Thwart Speed Traps
FILE - In this Friday, May 11, 2012 file photo, Cycling legend and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong attends a rally at a news conference at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles in favor of Proposition 29, a measure on the June 2012 California primary election ballot that would add a $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The money raised would go to cancer research projects, smoking-reduction programs and tobacco law enforcement. Fabled as a mecca for the health-conscious and fitness-obsessed, California is also one of only a few states that has not hiked its cigarette taxes in the last decade, meaning it is less expensive to light up in Los Angeles and San Francisco than many other places in the country. The tobacco industry wants to keep it that way. It has amassed nearly $50 million to kill an initiative on Tuesday???s primary ballot that is championed by cycling star Lance Armstrong and supported by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has donated $500,000 to its campaign. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) / Reed Saxon
And as you approach a known threat, you'll get an audio alert on your mobile device.
The developer of Trapster, Pete Tenereillo, said the system, which requires punching in a few keys such as "pound-1" to submit information to Trapster's database, should comply with laws banning talking on cell phones.
Tenereillo insisted he isn't encouraging motorists to break the law or drive dangerously, saying drivers who speed are bound to do so anyway.
And he said police officials he's talked to haven't complained about the service because it inevitably encourages drivers to slow down. (The International Association of Chiefs of Police did not respond to requests for comment.)
The free service can automatically detect location using mobile devices' GPS capabilities or tap their Wi-Fi and get location from a database run by Skyhook Wireless. (Skyhook sends trucks up and down streets to scan for home wireless routers or commercial hotspots and record the unique identifying code and location of each.)
Information about red-light cameras and where police tend to operate speed traps is kept in Trapster's database indefinitely. Information about active speed traps is kept for an hour, with the idea that officers may move on.
Users can choose the types of cameras or traps for which they want alerts.
To discourage pranksters and law-enforcement officials from flooding the system with bogus locations, users can rate others on the accuracy of their contributions, and those getting better ratings will carry more weight.
Trapster can be used with about 10 different wireless platforms, including Nokia Corp.'s smart phones, devices using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile and BlackBerry units from Research In Motion Ltd.
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