Caught Speeding? There’s an App for That

Posted October 1, 2012 in Criminal Law by


Did you ever wish you could know ahead of time where speed traps, radar guns and red light cameras hide, and get instant updates from other drivers on the lookout – all while you’re cruising above the speed limit?

Well, now you can.

An app called iRadar by Cobra combines social media with radar detection.

The app is used together with a radar detector. You attach your mobile phone to your radar detector so you can watch on your screen where all the speed traps are. Other iRadar users share places where they have been stopped or observe a radar gun or red light camera so you are always getting updates.

Seems like a whole lotta action on the dashboard. Especially while you’re supposed to be watching the road.

That’s one of the concerns attorney Matthew David Keenan sees with this type of app.

“Wow, I wouldn’t doubt that at some point it could help somebody avoid a ticket, but it will probably create more tickets for distracted drivers,” he said.

He also fears that drivers who use the app after having a few drinks will cause more accidents.

Another potential pitfall is that if other iRadar users are over-reporting every blind curve where a police car may be hiding, drivers will start to ignore the warnings and eventually get busted.

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The best way to avoid a speeding ticket is not to speed, Keenan advises.

Speeding cases are very difficult for a driver to win at trial because police don’t need speed gun evidence to prove that you were going over the limit; it’s usually your word against the police, Keenan said.

Many states have recently raised the stakes for speeding drivers.

“Speeding tickets are a big business. In my state [Illinois]…those suckers can get up to $2,500” depending on how high above the speed limit you are going, Keenan said.

Using radar detectors may get you in even deeper hot water if you do get stopped.

In some states, radar detectors are illegal. Virginia and Washington D.C. ban them completely, while New York and Illinois ban them in trucking only.

Attorney Matthew David Keenan

Even where radar detectors are legal, it could invite a search of your car by police who see the equipment on your dash and assume you’r up to no good, Keenan added.

“Police have huge investigatory powers. They are not going to be pleased to see it under any circumstances. They will think someone honest doesn’t need the device. My inclination is the police are not going to think anything good is going on. It’s like the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Sooner or later, something bad is going to happen,” he said.

Do you think apps like iRadar are a good idea? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.

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