Speed trap detector through cell phone

April 3, 2008 11:16:56 AM PDT
You may have seen police officers teaming up to catch speeding drivers.Now, there's a new Web site that's telling you where speed traps are located in the Houston-area.

Speed traps are meant to snare unsuspecting speeders. After being caught, drivers experience mixed emotions.

"Shocked [plus] mad at myself and them," said driver Susan Smith.

More and more frustrated drivers are banking on technology to spare them the frustrations. A new Web site called Trapster.com turns your cell phone into a radar detector. The site depends on information shared by users. It tells you where the traps are in real time by alerting you via cell phone. The site says it does not charge for this service.

"It's kind of cool to know there's something out there you can use in your cell phone," said driver Fahad Khan.

"That's interesting," said driver Jennifer Leonard. "I know a lot of people who would use that, not me of course, I wouldn't need to use it because I don't speed."

Registered users identified 31 speed traps in the Houston area. While local law enforcement supports any kind of tool that makes drivers slow down, how the service works is cause for concern.

"Their cellular phones are accepting these text messages so it's a smaller screen, requiring more dexterity and focus to view the message, which takes their eyes off the roadway," said Deputy David Crain of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "Never a good thing."

Joy Hall thinks it's a bad idea no matter how you look at it.

"There are so many ways people avoid the law instead of disciplining themselves to abide by the law," she told us.

As far as verifying the authenticity of the information that's posted, the Web site's creator tells me, while there's no way for him to tell, users themselves can rate the credibility of a particular posting. Those ratings can be seen by anyone who logs on.

This is not the only site focusing on user content concerning law enforcement. We told you a few weeks ago about a Web site that allows you to rate police officers. Anyone can find out about any officer in nearly every police department across the country.

The Houston Police Department says the Rate My Cop Web site puts officer's security at risk. They're worried officers could become the targets of criminals who can easily access their names and badge numbers. The Houston Police Department launched an investigation into the site.

- Headlines at a glance


Load Comments