It’s a nice Friday afternoon. You’re off the freeway, heading home. In the mirror you see blue flashing lights. A cop pulls you over and hands you a speeding ticket.
Do like most persons. Suck it up and hand over the cash to pay the ticket. Or you could go to court and fight it. Now, there’s an app that allows you to contest the ticket from home, in your pajamas, while finishing off last night’s pizza.
“Off the Record” is built for the iphone and claims a success rate of 97%. To make use of the app, users capture an image of their ticket, answer a few questions and pay $250. The app then assigns the case to a nearby attorney to contest. Users can send and receive messages and updates from their attorneyy through the app so having to meet their lawyer in person — or show up in court — isn’t necessar.
Presently, the app handles only small violations like speeding or running a red light. Most of the fines are around $150. The app’s creators believe it’s worth the $250 fee involved to keep insurance premiums from going up and points getting tacked on.
Remember that most minor speeding tickets don’t always raise insurance, so retaining an attorney to fight the fee may not be worth it. A person can always fight a traffic citation with an attorney.
According to the app’s creators, over 80% of the time, the lawyer will get the ticket waived and 15% of the time the ticket is reduced to a non-moving violation.
The service, while not available in every city, can still be gotten by singing up on a waiting list.
You’re cruising down the interstate rocking to Billy Joel, and you see blue lights begin to flash in the mirror. Your butt bites a donut hole in the seat as you pull over, cut off the motor and wait for the trooper to ask you “the” question, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
Fines are nothing to ignore. Some are more expensive than others, and there are always hidden costs. That device beside the driver has made it possible to avoid many types of traffic citations.
All don’t do everything. Some offer one or two features while others provide more.
Each potential user should evaluate as many apps as they can to make sure they’re getting one that fits their needs the best.
A top manufacturer of consumer GPS devices, Garm has developed an app which alerts users to speed cameras and upcoming red lights. $45.99 through the iTunes Store, the Garmin StreetPilot Onboard isn’t for everyone.
Windows-based phones are reliable alternatives to other options. Many developers have forgotten the platform, so the Police Radar app is a must have for any Windows users.
Waze could be the most popular app of its genre. The app already has an extensive, dedicated user base. The information provided includes details on speed traps and traffic cameras. Consistent and more reliable than many competitors, Waze includes other useful features such as traffic jam warnings, gas station locator and more. It’s free for Apple and Android.
Today’s younger drivers may not be familiar with the old-school radar detector made by Cobra. Cumbersome and bulky, there were many hardware makers for the device which could cost upwards of $200. Cobra radar doesn’t cost that much, and its reputation alone is sufficient reason to take the plunge. Cobra iRadar is available for iPhone and Android.
Trapster’s strength relies on the user. The app’s users are expected to report ‘enforcement points’ including speed cameras or DUI checkpoints. With five million users nationwide regularly reporting law enforcement’s presence the information can be spotty with zero information available about some roads.
The app depends on the user to set the speed limit and uses that data to know when to notify the driver. With three different settings — urban, highways and freeways — its popularity is increasing.
Critics of using technology frequently point to the legality. Modern traffic apps have a real potential to impact our roadways’ safety, and that makes it better for the more than two-million travelers each year.
There’s still room for improvement.