Google Maps has always been helpful when sharing unusual incidents with other people on the road. You’re able to do that by simply answering a question during slowdowns or by your own voluntariness. Maps had introduced some other features in the course of time, but the latest addition could be quite controversial. As per the latest updates, users are now able to report on-road hazards, slowdowns and most importantly, police speed traps via Google Maps. This means other users would be able to know if there is a police speed trap ahead on the way.
It should be noted that the feature does not have a new label. This particular feature was readily available in Waze, which is now owned by Google. Even after the acquisition of Waze, however, Google had kept this feature — along with many useful others — away from Google Maps, but that’s changing now. There was a situation where many drivers had kept both apps, Google Maps and Waze, opened at the same time. Now that this advanced reporting feature is rolling out to most of the Android and iOS devices, a lot of drivers will not have to do this multi-tasking.
As it goes without saying, police departments across the country have been critical about these features for a long period of time. It was in January that the NYPD had demanded Waze to take down a feature that let users report DWI checkpoints. The Waze app did not do that and the feature is now available in a relatively more mainstream app like Google Maps. The Sheriffs’ Association, among others, has expressed concerns over how this feature could be used by crime groups, gangs and terrorists for staying away from the police. This is because Waze used to allow users to report both speed traps and other patrolling officers.