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Feb-12-2008 09:26printcomments

New Online Mapping Tool Shows Drivers Speedtrap Locations is working on exporting 50-thousand speed traps to GPS-enabled mobile phones and devices.

Oregon State Police traffic stop by Tim King,
Photo by Tim King

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Drivers who dial into new technology from the Oregon company, may have an edge when it comes to avoiding expensive speeding tickets in police speed traps.

The company expects to reach a landmark of over 50-thousand speed traps worldwide and map them online using the Speed Trap Mashup

Utilizing Microsoft Live Maps, the Speed Trap Mashup allows drivers to rapidly access speed trap information by country, state, city, zip code, or address. The creators of the new maps say that if locations are not listed, speed traps can be added anonymously by anyone.

The information will reveal the type of speed detection used, the posted speed limit, rating, and level of enforcement.

To make the site more useful, you can even access the map for real-time local traffic information. The next step is exporting this data to mobile devices with GPS capabilities.

"Over 50-thousand speed traps have been contributed to the site since its Thanksgiving public launch," says Shannon Atkinson, President of "This response reflects the feelings of motorists around the world."

It's no secret, Atkinson agrees. "The idea behind speed traps sounds good ... eliminating bad drivers. Unfortunately, study after study has shown no significant benefit to the installation of red light cameras or speed traps. It has, however, created a wealth of problems."

Aerial image of a police speed trap in the deep south shows how agencies
use multiple units in speedtraps to maximize local government revenues.

Atkinson says globally, these devices are becoming increasingly popular to generate revenue, despite evidence that shows an increase in the number and severity of crashes where red light cameras have been installed.

Highlighting the problem here in the U.S., a study by the Missouri Department of Transportation shows that although exceeding the speed limit is a contributing factor in accidents, it is far less a factor than inattention due to congestion ahead, failure to yield the right of way, following too closely, or improper lane changes.

In addition, a report from the Virginia Transportation Research Council, released in June 2007, shows that over a seven-year period, while the number of accidents caused by people running red lights decreased, the number of rear-end crashes increased significantly.

In Toledo, Ohio, as reported by WTVG, the City Council is the center of a controversy concerning red light cameras. Originally, the city received twenty-five percent of the fines. Under the new contract, the city gets back fifty-five percent. That means the city stands to collect $2.5 million each year from violators.

In Caney, Oklahoma, as reported by KJRH, an investigation uncovered in a 2004/2005 state audit shows the town's operating budget as $310,000, almost $200,000 of that coming from speeding tickets, 64% of the town's revenue.

"Stricter DMV licensing standards should be implemented to educate drivers and reduce accidents," Shannon adds.

"Implementations such as these add to drivers' frustrations and do nothing to resolve major issues on the road to increase safety."

In 2007, Shannon Atkinson founded to be a hub for the exchange of automotive information. In addition to awareness of speed traps worldwide, a discussion forum and news for serious car enthusiasts everywhere is available.

Atkinson says the mapping technology is not designed specifically to help people break the law, but to give them an edge so they can slow down when and where they need to and thus avoid expensive speeding tickets.

In fact, he told Salem-News that they are taking steps to ensure that the site has more of an appeal to mature drivers.

"You have those inexperienced drivers who will attempt to use the technology to directly violate the laws. We are doing what we can to isolate those people away from the site."

But he admits that the whole idea is going to draw fire from some opponents, and he also admits that it takes a certain type of courage and determination to provide a service that may directly impact how many drivers police are able to pull over and cite for speeding.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

James February 13, 2008 12:16 pm (Pacific time)

This is great. Now we police officers can set up on the side streets and catch speeders trying to avoid the "speed traps". I love technology!

Marc February 13, 2008 4:53 am (Pacific time)

Curmudgeon, Good strategy. Remember to stay in the right lane so the speeders can zoom by uninhibited.

Dave Parsons February 12, 2008 9:13 pm (Pacific time)

Where do I sign up?

shtdontstink February 12, 2008 8:26 pm (Pacific time)

curmudeon: it's just a matter of chance and of time until you get a speeding ticket... maybe you'll get lucky and go your whole life, probably though you will get one tomorrow

Anonymous February 12, 2008 7:47 pm (Pacific time)

"I can avoid expensive speeding tickets easily, and not have to "dial into new technology." I drive the designated speed or lower. Result: no speeding tickets. Speed traps, construction zones, inclement conditions . . . all negotiated safely and legally with the judicious use of my right foot." Old people shouldn't be driving to begin with...

Anonymous February 12, 2008 5:25 pm (Pacific time)

Well I'm glad to see it, sick of the boys in blue and their toys. Pace me and cite me, put your electronic junk back in the box, we're probably all getting cancer from your stupid radar guns anyway.

Curmudgeon February 12, 2008 11:15 am (Pacific time)

I can avoid expensive speeding tickets easily, and not have to "dial into new technology." I drive the designated speed or lower. Result: no speeding tickets. Speed traps, construction zones, inclement conditions . . . all negotiated safely and legally with the judicious use of my right foot.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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