CBS New York reported last week that the New York City Police Department sent a letter to Google to cease disclosing the location of police through alerts on the Google acquired application “Waze.” Waze is a directions-based application for motorists. Google purchased Waze back in 2013 as a crowd-sourced application for motorists. CBS New York quotes the letter, “This letter serves to put you on notice that the NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application, a community-driven GPS Navigation Application owned by Google, LLC, currently permits the public to report DWI checkpoints . . . and map these on the application,” the NYPD wrote as quoted by CBS New York.
Google Maps/Waze: Help or Hinder?
Law Enforcement believes that the technology is interfering with law enforcement’s ability to keep the motoring public safe. Interesting, since in most states the agencies are supposed to publish the DUI Checkpoints ahead of time. Moreover, the reason we have painted police cars is to show officer presence and deter illegal conduct. The same goes here by publishing the checkpoints. The same deterrent affect applies. Public awareness raises public concern and increased compliance with the law. The same as a painted visible police car published for all to see as it is driven or parked to deter illegal activity, publishing locations raises awareness and thus increases compliance. Most drunks aren’t going to be able to see their phone let alone discern locations through the use of small motor functions manipulating their phone (which experts will explain is the first thing an alcohol impaired driver loses – use of small motor functions of the hands.)
Google has it right, in wanting to put information out there and raise awareness thereby increasing safety. People who know there are checkpoints or extra enforcement on the roads tend to take an Uber or a Cab.
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