World News: Website shows location of 50,000 speed traps

World News: Website shows location of 50,000 speed traps

Having mapped more than fifty thousand of the world’s speed traps online using the Speed Trap Mashup, is working on exporting this data to GPS-enabled mobile devices.

Using Microsoft Live Maps, the Speed Trap Mashup gives users quick access to speed trap information by country, state, city, zip code, or address.

Zooming in on a local speed trap provides detailed information such as the type of speed detection used, posted speed limit, rating, and level of enforcement. You can even access the map for real-time local traffic information.

Users can add speed traps anonymously.

"Over fifty thousand speed traps have been contributed to the website since its Thanksgiving public launch," says Shannon Atkinson, president of "This response reflects the feelings of motorist around the world."

The idea behind speed traps is theoretically sound – eliminating bad drivers. Unfortunately, one study after another has shown no significant benefit from the installation of red light cameras or speed traps. It has, however, created a wealth of problems.

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.

In Toledo, Ohio, as reported by WTVG, the City Council is the centre of a controversy concerning red light cameras. Originally, the city received 25% of the fines. Under the new contract, the city gets back 55%. 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 that speeding tickets account for almost 64% of the town’s $310,000 operating budget.

A study by the Missouri Dept 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.

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

According to Atkinson, stricter DMV licensing standards would do more to educate drivers and reduce accidents than cameras that record traffic violations, which add to drivers' frustrations while contributing little to road safety.

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