App for avoiding traffic tickets speeds toward smartphones

PhantomAlert, due out this fall, relies on database generated by users

A smartphone application coming to the US this fall could help drivers use GPS to detect speed traps, cameras at red lights and more than 200,000 related alerts based on a database of locations compiled with updates from drivers.

PhantomAlert, based in Harrisburg, Pa., said today it plans to plans to ship its PhantomAlert software for Android devices in early October and for iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia devices before Thanksgiving. The company is currently taking orders at its Web site and is charging US$100 for a lifetime fee for the software and GPS updates.

The company has been offering the application for use with popular GPS devices from Garmin, Tom-Tom and Magellan since May. About 100,000 users have already downloaded the application, CEO Joe Scott said in comments via e-mail.

The system works on reports from drivers and spotters who record their findings on the PhantomAlert.com Web site. Scott said two people have to verify a speed trap or other location for the warning to stay in a database, and users are asked to comment about whether existing reports are accurate.

Sometimes, the locations of speed traps are left in the database for weeks at a time because they are spots along highways where the speed limit suddenly drops from, say, 55 mph to 35 mph and those locations "lend themselves to police monitoring," Scott said. In one example confirmed by a reporter today in Framingham, Mass., an icon was placed on a map along Route 9 west of Boston where it was first posted in mid-August.

Icons on GPS maps are also used to post locations of school zones where speed limits are lower than nearby streets, but the system also records intersections where red light traffic cameras are installed to automatically record violators. In still more situations, speed traps and stops for Driving Under the Influence are located.

PhantomAlert's Web site and press releases say that the system is legal and will help drivers avoid costly tickets by driving safer with the visual and audio alerts offered in the application.

"Now, drivers will have an in-car reminder to obey traffic laws and stay alert," a statement from the company says. "As more and more cash-strapped cities are deploying photo radar to generate revenue, PhantomAlert is stepping forward with a service that will quite possibly level the playing field."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NokiaBlackberryiPhoneGPSmobile applicationsnavigation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?