Some police believe smartphone driver apps add to chance of car accidents

Drivers wanting to gain knowledge on road conditions, car accidents and speed zones are turning to apps on their smartphones for the information. Drivers are also using smartphone apps to get information on the location of red-light cameras and Palm Beach DUI checkpoints. Some law enforcement officials believe the use of smartphone apps to detect DUI enforcement areas will likely increase the number of car accidents caused by drinking and driving.

Names of smartphone apps that track road information are Fuzz Alert, Trapster and Cobra’s iRadar. The most popular online database that drivers can download to smartphones or GPS devices is PhantomAlert. The application alerts drivers to speed limits, school zones, red-light cameras, speed traps and DUI checkpoints. Information on DUI checkpoints is by far the most controversial aspect of this smartphone app and others.

Some police believe that the only reason a driver would use a DUI checkpoint warning system is to drink and drive and avoid getting caught. One police officer from Maryland believes that people who use the app for that purpose are not thinking about the lives they are putting at risk. Other information the apps provide is less controversial and is deemed helpful by some officers.

One police officer in Virginia actually helps GPS companies identify red-light cameras in his jurisdiction. The officer believes the GPS devices and apps make drivers more aware and if an app helps them comply with highway laws then according to him it’s fine. One retired firefighter who uses PhantomAlert says the application helps him be more aware even in areas he is familiar with.

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