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Speed trap reporting system

Automatically report (and receive reports about) speed traps
  (+3, -5)
(+3, -5)
  [vote for,

Most of the components necessary for this idea are already in place, I think, in cars that have an in-dash navigation system. What needs to be added is a button you hit whenever you see a police officer operating a speed trap. Your location (determined via GPS) would be reported to a central server, which would broadcast updates to other drivers in the same vicinity. On the map you would see dots indicating where other drivers were when they hit their "speed trap button". These dots would be color-coded by how recently the officer was spotted, and would gradually fade out altogether.

A much cheaper version would not even require the display screen -- just the button for reporting, and a warning bell for when you're approaching a speed trap.

schnitzi, Sep 13 2002

(?) Speedtrap.com http://www.speedtrap.com
Why do you need to do this from your car? No special equipment needed. [waugsqueke, Sep 13 2002]

500SL stats http://www.pistonhe...stats.asp?modelId=2
302 bhp. [bristolz, Sep 14 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Speed Buddies http://www.halfbake...dea/Speed_20Buddies
Perhaps this could be an additional service. [waugsqueke, Sep 14 2002]

Association of British Drivers http://www.abd.org....ras/east_sussex.htm
Baked [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004]

Northamptonshire Police http://www.northant...fetycameratable.htm
Police publish the location of their own cameras [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004]


       Kick ass! You could totally build this idea into current in-dash GPS systems. Good work! Those new mercedes SL sport cars should come with one, cause you know your gonna want to tear it up with 550 HP under the hood!
ecolonsmak, Sep 13 2002

       The revenuers don't like it when people try to avoid paying their tribute...
supercat, Sep 13 2002

       It would take the police about half a second to figure out this is going on and then either:
A) Push for legislation to ban the possesion of equipment that uses this system (like many areas already ban radar detectors), or
B) Turn the system against the users by cluttering up the system with false reports of speed traps everywhere constantly. Signal to noise ratio would drop so low that nobody would know which traps were real, and the system would be useless.
BigBrother, Sep 13 2002

       I don't think (A) is a problem, because it wouldn't be like radar detectors where the thing needs to be visible. There'd be no way of them knowing you had it. Really, as far as the technology goes, it's essentially like a web site that people post information to and check on periodically, and would be about as impossible to prevent.   

       B) is even easier to get around. Make it a service where you have to register an account (anonymously if you like). Members who report speed traps that are confirmed by other account holders become more trusted users, and add to the warning level of a particular speed trap. Reports from new or untrusted users will only be treated as tentative. Kind of like the eBay rating system.
schnitzi, Sep 13 2002


       1- Having your location constantly beamed to GPS satellites might infringe on your privacy rights.   

       2- My radar detector does a fine job of ringing a warning bell when I approach a speed trap.   

       3- Most speed traps are just that- traps. You usually don't see officer Jones because he's sitting behind that billboard on the side of the road. Most people never realize they just zoomed past a cop until he flicks the lights on.   

       Now, if you could get it so the cop cars had the beacons, we'd be all set..   

       BigBrother: Several major freeways in Detroit have a "traffic monitoring system" that radars the flow of traffic on the freeway and uses the average speed of traffic to display estimated drive time to exits ahead of you on illuminated billboards. Because these monitoring poles are 80 feet off the ground and all over the place, my radar detector goes off non-stop in some areas from all the reflecting radar waves...(like you said, it's pretty much useless in those areas)
Mr Burns, Sep 13 2002

       Police in my town are typically set up around blind corners or hills. That's something no radar detector will ever pick up, especially if they're using laser. Besides, radar detectors are currently illegal in many places.   

       You also wouldn't be constantly beaming your location to GPS satellites; only when you see a speed trap. And you'd be doing it anonymously.
schnitzi, Sep 14 2002

       <rolls eyes at the notion of beaming anything _up_ to a GPS satellite>   

       <rolls eyes up even further at the "550 hp 500SL" comment. You're high by quite a lot.>   

       How about this: in a metro area people pay a subscription fee (a hefty one) and in return, they get a special radio receiver for their car. Runners from the service agency drive around looking for radar traps in all of the likely places and when they find one they do two things:
A. They toss a small, cheap transmitter "beacon" off to the side of the road near where the radar trap is, and
B. They radio back to service central which transmits an alert about the radar trap.
The receivers in the customers cars can pick up the general alerts of course (maybe a voice alert that says "trap at thus-and-such an address") as well as being able to pick up the much more localized transmissions from the little beacons that the runners tossed on the roadside near the trap. Both serve as warning systems.

       Radios are getting so cheap that the roadside beacons can be thought of as disposable.   

       The service might need to be combined with, say, a small package delivery business to be economically viable.   

       Commercial driving operations like taxis and limos might be willing to pay the price (maybe $50USD/mo).   

       The service might be cited for obstruction of justice.
bristolz, Sep 14 2002

       I like this idea. However, everyone just utilizing the age-old practice of flashing their lights at oncoming traffic to warn them of an impending speed trap would render this technology unecessary, wouldn't it? I know that seeing an '86 Pugeot coming at me, flashing the brights with fervor, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling all over. There's a spiritual connection there...anonymous partners in the trials of life.
PurpleBart, Sep 14 2002

       Flashing lights from oncoming traffic where I reside (PA) means to beware, there are deer in the road ahead.
waugsqueke, Sep 14 2002

       Either way, you slow down and save yourself either a fine or a bloody bumper!
PurpleBart, Sep 14 2002

       avoid speed cameras by going to a track day for gods sake.
kaz, Sep 15 2002


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