Speed traps and red light cameras are NOT about keeping our roads safe… They are about revenue generation for cash strapped state and local governments. And with states and localities budget situations becoming even more dire, more speed traps, red light cameras, and expensive tickets for even the most minor of infractions are only going to increase.
In fact, cities around the country have actually been shortening yellow light times in order to nab more drivers with expensive tickets. You read that right. By decreasing the yellow light times, more cars get caught in the intersection when the light turns read, more tickets are issued, and more revenue is generated for profligate governments.
So, despite their claim that this is all about keeping the roads safe,cities are actually making the roads more dangerous in order to pickpocket otherwise law-abiding drivers. That’s just flat immoral.
Waze is marketed as a free GPS “turn-by-turn” application for mobile phones (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Blackberry) that also reports on traffic jams, road closures and accidents. Even if it was just limited to this functionality, it would be a fantastic application. But it’s real value is avoiding gun-toting road-side tax collectors and red-light cameras by crowd-sourcing their location.
The functionality is simple: Drivers who see a speed trap simply hit a button on the application, and as other drivers approach the trap a pleasant female voice alerts all other Waze users in the area that a “Speed trap is reported one mile ahead.”
We use Waze religiously in Panama, which is particularly notorious for speed traps along the Interamericana Highway, and even here it works brilliantly.
The application is free to download and can be found here.