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Published October 31, 2011, 09:51 PM

New smartphone app helps spot speed traps

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A speeding ticket or ticket for running a red light can be costly. But now technology is allowing drivers to identify speed traps and intersections that have cameras looking for red light runners.

A speeding ticket or ticket for running a red light can be costly. But now technology is allowing drivers to identify speed traps and intersections that have cameras looking for red light runners.

This is the old fashioned way to warn other drivers of a speed trap ahead….and this is the new way with your Smartphone. But the new technology relies on the same public input as flashing your lights. The app allows users to post locations where they have seen police on radar patrol. Then the app posts them for users and puts a date stamp on when the police were last at the location.

The same method is applied to stop light cameras. For both speed traps and cameras a voice will tell you when you are approaching one.

Because these applications rely on people reporting, we may not have the population densities that they do in the larger cities so it may not be as useful here. For instance on this Trapster Application right now its showing 3 speed traps in the Fargo-Moorhead area, the newest one of which was reported 13 days ago. As you get into the Twin Cities there are may more postings of speed taps and cameras.

Local Law enforcement says there is nothing illegal with the app. But they do have some caution for those using it.

Lt. Aaron Hummel – North Dakota State Patrol: “It might save you a couple of time but it can also give you over confidence as well.”

The app may even make some people slow down.

Lt. Tory Jacobson – Moorhead Police: “If cameras or the knowledge that officers are out there, because we are, deter somebody that's part of what we're doing by being out there.”

Of course In North Dakota Speed Cameras are banned and at this time there are none in this part of Minnesota. The Trapster app is free to download, but other services like the Phantom Alert will charge a monthly fee.

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