Our favorite speed trap-tracking app has just given itself a complete overhaul. Trapster 5.0 is complete, with a new interface, 3D tracking and day/night modes. It should all make it easier to stay one step ahead of your next ticket.
The reason why we like Trapster so much (other than that it's free) is that all its information is user-submitted. You know exactly where the next speed trap is because the driver in front of you tagged it.
And it's not just about avoiding cops; it's a tool for keeping you at the right speed for the stretch of road you're on. It can alert you to any changes in the speed limit in real time. It can alert you to any traffic, accidents, road hazards or red light cameras up ahead. Your route will light up in blue on the little vector map if your route has been verified as clear of any cops. Of course it lets you know where any waiting police officers are, but that's just part of the whole speed-management equation.
This isn't just good for you; it's good for the cops. If the goal of a cop getting paid to wait on the side of the road is to get people to slow down, Trapster is nothing but a good thing. Getting people to drive slower without having to write tickets is a boon for the police.
The make-or-break question for Trapster is if enough people sign on for the service. It's the users who mark out where there are accidents, jams, and cops. There are already 15 million users, and something between 8,000 and 20,000 people sign up per day. The new user interface under their new Nokia ownership looks interesting and a lot cleaner than old versions, and their claimed 5.5 million registered speed traps certainly seem comprehensive. We'll see how those user behaviors change with Apple's new services.
Speaking of Apple, Trapster is just submitting the new iOS version to Apple for approval, and it should be up for download in the next week or two. We can't wait to see how well it keeps us safe and out of trouble on the road.