A new update to Google Maps will allow more users to warn other drivers about speed traps — and police officers across the country aren’t happy about it.
On October 17, Google announced via a blog post that they are expanding a popular feature already available on Android phones to iPhones.
The feature allows Google Maps users to report several different types of roadway events like crashes, traffic delays, disabled vehicles, and debris in the road.
The feature allows a user who spots a speed trap to simply tap on the + sign and then on “Add a report,” possibly warning numerous other drivers about the police presence.
Waze, which is owned by Google, offers a similar feature.
Law enforcement across the U.S. have called Google to put a stop to the new features.
The National Sheriff’s Association says that the technology threatens officer and community safety by alerting users to the location of police. The New York Police Department has also sent a cease and desist letter to Google over the speed trap feature, claiming that it promotes criminal activity.
Google Maps project manager Sandra Tseng writes, “Google Maps has always helped people get from point A to B in the easiest way possible. Today, we’re adding more tools that reflect real-time contributions from the community so you can stay even more informed when you’re behind the wheel.”
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