"Your mobile phone alerts you as you approach speed traps." That's the idea behind Trapster, an innovative service that uses technology, not the age-old flashing headlamps approach, to notify other drivers of a police speed trap. Motorists who come across an enforced speed zone are encouraged to report the location via an application running on their cell phone, PDA, and other types of devices. The notification is then broadcast to other Trapster members who receive audio or text message warnings as they approach the area.

There are four default alerts: police, speed camera, red light camera, and usual hiding place. Each is displayed in a color that alters from green to yellow to red, based on the "confidence" of the trap (more reports on a single trap increase the confidence). In a helpful move, known traps can be viewed on a Google-powered map on the Trapster web site before you leave the house or office and jump behind the wheel.

According to the inventors, Trapster works with any kind of phone. However, it is optimized with devices that support GPS or WiFi. While you'd think law enforcement would oppose the exposure of their speed traps, it hasn't been met with much resistance, as it actually encourages motorists to slow down. Unfortunately, as others point out, it also requires drivers to take their eyes off the road as they fumble to send alerts with their electronic devices.

[Source: AOL Autos]


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