December 18, 2012
Trapster is a California-based startup that was acquired by Nokia's Navteq and has an app that “alerts you to police speed traps and other roadway hazards.” It's available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and a few other phones. I first learned about Trapster when they tweeted me, referring to my previous article here about Waze. In that article, I had mentioned that I wished Waze had the ability to tell me the speed limit along the roads I was traveling. Trapster responded to my wish on Twitter:
@shashib guess who DOES have speed limits?! Trapster. Check out our app! Would love to do an interview
— Trapster (@trapster) November 19, 2012
After testing Trapster, here are five reasons that I like Trapster, and why it is useful for safe driving.
- School Zone Alert: If you have the app on or in the background, Trapster will alert you when you are entering a school zone. Even if you are distracted, the alert from Trapster is sure to make you pay attention and prevent you from getting a speeding ticket. I also love the “Children at Play” option and would love to add more places to alert drivers to be careful.
- Speed Limit Alert: I missed this on Waze. I have driven on new roads and gotten at least one ticket because I missed seeing the speed limit. This app will alert you when you drive above the speed limit. The setting in Trapster is very high, i.e., you are alerted when you are traveling 35 mph, 50 mph, or 65 mph. I would like to be alerted when I am 10 mph above the speed limit, but I don't see that option.
- Cameras: Trapster has several features to alert drivers to red light cameras, mobile speed cameras, and fixed speed cameras. Again, a good option for the safety-conscious as these cameras are sure to be at dangerous places.
- Police Speed Enforcement: Along with user-reported places where there is a speed trap, there are options for alerts in “Known Enforcement Points.” You can set the alert interval to whatever distance you want to be alerted. The alert reminds you not to speed, which is nice.
- Road Conditions: You get alerted on dangerous curves, intersections, flooded roads, ice on the road, and narrow bridges. I hope I will never have to be alerted to “brush fire.” Electric car owners note that there is an alert in this app for “EV charging station.”
Trapster is crowdsourced since its users report on speed limits, traps, and road conditions. The company's messaging focuses on avoiding speed traps, police enforcement, and saving on tickets to attract new users. In my opinion, using Trapster is useful for safe driving. My only issue is that Trapster does not offer navigation, so I use Waze for navigation, and have Trapster running in the background. Maybe one day both these startups will share data and have an API to talk to each other.
Do you use Trapster or any similar app for safe driving ?
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