Friday, April 4, 2008
Trapster Website Provides Real-Time Information On Speed Traps And Red Light (Photo Radar) Cameras Throughout The United States
On April 4th, 2008, KSL Channel 5 is reporting on the existence of Trapster, a website dedicated to providing real time information on speed traps and red light (photo radar) cameras throughout the United States. Click HERE for an assortment of other media stories about Trapster.
Upon accessing Trapster, you will see a map of North America. you will see live updates being posted on this map even while watching. The real-time information is actually being posted by registered users of Trapster. You can click on a state or type in the name of a city of interest. For example, I typed in "Salt Lake City", and the map showed me two speed traps in the downtown area, one on the corner of North Temple and 600 West. You can also pan out the map and see additional traps which may be deployed elsewhere in the greater metro area.
However, speed traps can be mobile, making the information perishable. Trapster users (who must register to start an account) report the location and type of trap. The color of the report indicates recency and reliability; reports posted in red are the most recent and, presumably, the most reliable. Red light cameras are generally permanently affixed, so you can note the locations in advance and deliberately choose a route to avoid them.
But the most pertinent value of the website is mobile. You have to register on the site and establish an account to get mobile service (the service is FREE, by the way). The site offers a list of compatible mobile phones. Once you register, then you take your mobile phone with you when you drive and tune it into Trapster. Upon approaching the location of a speed trap or red light camera, your mobile phone will emit an audible warning tone. Your mobile phone must be Internet-capable, by the way. In addition, the service is said to work with a GPS unit.
So far, no questions of legality have been revealed, unlike "Fuzzbusters", which are permanently installed in people's vehicles and whose uses are constrained in one way or another in many states. KSL found out that Utah cops generally don't object to motorists using Trapster because it causes them to slow down.
Read more public comments about this service at Digg.com. Other bloggers providing actual feedback on the service include Downloadsquad.com and Thetechdon.com.