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As someone who travels frequently, I tend to rent cars pretty often. Thanks to elite status from credit cards, you can now skip lines with most car rental companies. When I’m renting a car, I tend to rely a lot on Google Maps. Waze is another app that’s quite popular amongst a lot of frequent travelers. Google owns both Google Maps and Waze.

Google Maps Feature

Inc.com reports that Google Maps just rolled out a new feature. This feature will likely be loved by drivers, but not by cops.

This week, however, Google announced the next best thing: Starting immediately, drivers will be able to report hazards, slowdowns and speed traps right on Google Maps. Apparently this has been rolled out in some cases to Android phones, but it will not be available across the board — on Android and iOS.

The NYPD, LAPD and the National Sheriff’s Association have already voiced their concerns about the rolling out of this particular feature.

The NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application … currently permits the public to report DWI checkpoints … Accordingly, we demand that Google LLC, upon receipt of this letter, immediately remove this function from the Waze application

The Pundit’s Mantra

There are multiple interesting facets to the case. Firstly, I wonder if this will end up in the courts once the feature rolls out and becomes more popular with users. In a way, Google makes the argument that people tend to drive more carefully when they know that a cop may be patrolling the area. There’s also the suspicion that the police are actually opposing this as it will affect their revenue as they’ll be able to issue fewer speeding tickets.

The counterargument states that if people know where cops are stationed, it will encourage bad driving behavior when people know that cops aren’t around in the area. Also, it will provide gangs, organized crime and terrorists with a tool to slip under the radar of law enforcement. I use Google Maps pretty much all the time while driving. I just refer to the speed limit stated on Google Maps to avoid falling prey to any speed trap.

What do you think about the arguments from both sides? Do you think drivers will find this useful, or criminals will simply abuse this to their advantage? Whose arguments hold more weight? Let us know in the comments section.

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