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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

iPhone App Warns of Speed Traps
and Sobriety Checkpoints

Technology. You have to love it.

From the simplest civilian radar detectors to an iPhone app that warns drivers of speed traps and sobriety checkpoints. Washington Examiner:

    Area drivers looking to outwit police speed traps and traffic cameras are using an iPhone application and other global positioning system devices that pinpoint the location of the cameras.

    That has irked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who promised her officers would pick up their game to counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints.

    "I think that's the whole point of this program," she told The Examiner. "It's designed to circumvent law enforcement -- law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives."

    The new technology streams to i-Phones and global positioning system devices, sounding off an alarm as drivers approach speed or red-light cameras.

    Lanier said the technology is a "cowardly tactic" and "people who overly rely on those and break the law anyway are going to get caught" in one way or another.

    The greater D.C. area has 290 red-light and speed cameras -- comprising nearly 10 percent of all traffic cameras in the U.S., according to estimates by a camera-tracking database called the POI Factory.


    Ralph Ganoe of Silver Spring said he uses detection software from a Washington-based company, PhantomAlert, to avoid speed traps and crowded intersections.

    "Well, my pocket has money in it," Ganoe quipped, when asked about the software's impact on his driving record. "Everybody's got a heavy foot. ... Now I don't have to worry about where [the cameras] are at."

    PhantomAlert mimics radar detectors — which are outlawed in D.C. and Virginia — by alerting drivers of nearby enforcement "points of interest" via global positioning system devices. PhantomAlert keeps up to date on traffic enforcement through its users, who contribute information online.

    Founder and CEO of PhantomAlert Joe Scott claimed nine out of 10 police departments across the country support his software.

    "If police come against us, it's going to make them look like they are only [after] revenue" from the camera-generated citations, he said.

Personally, the small "L" Libertarian in me concludes that red-light traffic cameras and sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional. And red-light traffic cameras are eyed by cities as nothing more than a revenue raiser.

What do you think of the iPhone App? Would you use it to circumvent a speed trap or sobriety
checkpoint? Minnesota has ruled both red-light cameras and sobriety checkpoints unconstitutional.

MADD is all for sobriety checkpoints, despite how - what I and other consider - they grossly violate the Fourth Amendment. Of course, again in my opinion, MADD went off the deep end of common sense many years ago and embraced a radicalized agenda regarding the issue of how to combat drunk driving.

What is the legality of sobriety checkpoints in your state? Are they used? Have you ever been forced to pull over to the side of the road for one? Have you ever received a ticket by mail, sent to you from a "traffic camera?"


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There's a new Iphone application coming out called "Buzzin" that finds DUI checkpoints in newspapers and verifies when and where they're going to be before hand. I think that'll cause a big debate amongst the law enforcement community because they'll think people, especially college kids, will use it to avoid checkpoints. I think it's a little ridiculous though because if you ask any law enforcement's Public Affairs officer they'll tell you that DUI checkpoints aren't meant to catch drunk drivers but to deter them from doing it in the first place. The main problem with that is most young adults don't read newspapers, which is the main marketing plan of the law enforcement agencies...
i bet you & your loyal followers get drunk from sunday to sunday and drive around running red lights killing people
Anony at 8:57 AM, July 17, 2009,

We do exactly what your comment says, but only when Fat Ted Tumor Head Kennedy, Druggy Al Gore The Third, Patrick Druggy Kennedys and Al "Cocaine Head" Franken is in town. We let Ted do the driving cuz he's such a good designated driver.
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