Google Maps Is Now Showing Speed Traps—and Law Enforcement Is Unhappy

Google Maps Is Now Showing Speed Traps—and Law Enforcement Is Unhappy

November 12, 2019

No one wants a speeding ticket, whether they deserved one or not—so many people are thrilled that Google Maps is now offering a feature for iPhone and Android users to help users avoid speed traps. Speed traps are the name given to stretches of road where police hide and use radar to catch speeding motorists. Maybe you’ve seen speed traps in Lubbock, TX before—you’re lulled into a false sense of security by the open road and no police in sight, when all of a sudden, flashing lights pull onto the road right behind you. Who wouldn’t want to avoid that humiliating and potentially expensive situation?

Unfortunately, law enforcement isn’t as appreciative of the new technology. The tech industry prides itself on freedom of information, but that can come with a serious public safety risk. After all, speeding tickets (or worse) aren’t designed to punish for kicks, but to encourage drivers to operate their vehicles safely and take those under the influence off the road. Law enforcement argues that this technology endangers the public, whereas Google insists that it actually helps drivers make safer decisions on the road.

In some cases, law enforcement has claimed that allowing users to report speed traps and DUI checkpoints is actively subverting the law by impairing enforcement of DUI, speeding and other traffic laws. Naturally, if a driver is questioning their sobriety and sees a DUI checkpoint listed, they will avoid it if at all possible. Is that safer for the general public?

In response, the New York Police Department has sent Google a “cease and desist” letter, demanding that they stop publicizing the location of traffic light cameras, DUI checkpoints and speed traps, citing public safety. Their argument is that at a certain point, this is no longer encouraging users to make better safety choices. Instead, it’s keeping unsafe drivers on the road and endangering everyone else in the process.

No matter what your position on the app notifications may be, be sure to take extra care while driving and avoiding speed traps. Although it may be tempting to shave a few minutes off your commute or skip the designated driver at the holiday party, your safety, as well as that of your fellow drivers, is at stake. Enjoy the convenience of being alerted to checkpoints and Google Maps speed traps in Lubbock, TX, but aspire to never need those alerts in the first place.

Have you been accused of a traffic crime? Our firm specializes in family and criminal law, ensuring our clients get the fair and just outcomes they seek from their legal pursuits. The Law Office of Rob Biggers is ready to take your side and fight for you. We practice West Texas values, meaning you’re always going to get our undivided attention and professional courtesy, regardless of the nature of your case. Count on us to always fight for your best interests and help you pursue the very best legal outcome for your case. We strive to ensure you have total confidence in your lawyer!

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