I can remember a time that CB Radios and FuzzBusters were the craze to keep track of where the "Smokies" and "Bears" were hiding. Today, in this high-tech era full of social networking applications a new solution has been released to help motorist find out where speed traps are.
Trapster is a Windows Mobile application that relies on a social network to identify speed traps and then maps them for mobile and desktop access. Trapster's membership covers international locations as well as the U.S.
While we don't endorse speeding, if you want to know more about Trapster, ease on past the break.
When I'm not writing for WMExperts, my day job is with the local Sheriff's Office, so it's a little odd to find myself reviewing Trapster. Keep in mind that most traffic control efforts by law enforcement are designed to prevent accidents caused by excessive speeds. If Trapster gets you to slow down in these areas, in many ways it assists these efforts to keep our roadways safe. Avoiding a costly traffic citation is just icing on the cake.
Trapster can be downloaded directly from their website or by pointing your mobile browser to http://trapster.com. You will have to establish a User Account to report traps. The premise of Trapster is straight-forward. When you see a "trap" you report it from your Windows phone. The location is recorded on the map that is accessible by all users.
Alerts are sent to other user's phones and the system increases the credibility of these reports as other user's confirm or report the same locations.
Trapster has map icons indicating where active traps are located (Live Police), where red light and other speed cameras are located, where police checkpoints are located, and my favorite, where police often hide (and it's not only the doughnut shop).
Trapster also offers a TrapMap on their website allowing access from your desktop computer as well as your Windows phone. Traveling to Tasmania and need to know where the local cops are running radar? Trapster has a respectable number of international users contributing reports.
Trapster will only run on Windows phones with a touchscreen and running Windows Mobile 6.0 or higher. A GPS connection (internal or external) is required an you'll need .Net Compact Framework 3.5 installed as well.
Trapster reminded me of Waze, a Windows phone application that relies on a social network of users to map traffic problems. The credibility checks Trapster has put in place are a nice touch. Otherwise, I can see speed traps being generated on every block by an overzealous user. Still, Trapster is only as good as the information provided by users and while I have professional reservations about the application, if it helps motorists drive a little safer then it has some merit.