Smart phone app helps avoid speed traps on the road - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/30/10

Smart phone app helps avoid speed traps on the road

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - If you plan to hit the road this holiday weekend, watch out for troopers on the highway. The department of public safety will have as many officers as possible out looking to write tickets. If you're looking for some help avoiding them there's an app for that.

Manuel Alday drove from Odessa to Lubbock to go to Buffalo Springs Lake, and he noticed lots of cops along the way. "Yeah, we've seen a lot. Quite a bit," he said. 

Last Memorial Day weekend Texas DPS troopers wrote about 8,500 speeding tickets, but there may be a way to see where officers are stationed before you get there.  It's called Trapster, and you can get it for free on your smart phone. 

The Trapster app can help you see where potential speed traps or red light cameras are when you hit the road. You can also set it to tell you when you're approaching an accident, school zone or dangerous intersection, or to show you where gas stations are - among other things.

When another Trapster user is driving and sees some sort of speed trap they report it using the GPS on their phone. Then, when the next user approaches, it alerts them to be careful. The content is mostly user generated, so the more people who use Trapster, the more accurate it gets. If you look at a map of Lubbock on the app you can several spots where users have reported cops stationed and school zones.

We contacted local law enforcement for their opinion on the app, but they did not get back to us.  Reports from other areas show that some officers are against it, but others actually support and use it because they say it gets people to slow down when they know the officers are out there.  They also say not to look at it while driving because you should keep your eyes on the road.

Critics say it's a distraction, but drivers who have gotten a ticket before say it would be useful. "I'd slow down. I'd be more aware of the are that I'm driving in," said Scott Cowin.

If you don't have a smart phone you can still go online to www.trapster.com to look at an online map of reported speed traps before you hit the road.  If you do have a smart phone just search for the app under "Trapster".

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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