Police Radar on Google Maps Driving Directions

I just noticed for this first time while driving along a highway that Google Maps shows “Speed Traps”. Apparently user-reported (where? maybe in Waze?) data where police are using radar speed guns to measure your driving speed, and pull you over and ticket you if you’re speeding.

I don’t hate it, it just seems a little fuck-da-police-y for Google. It says: we want to help you speed. We’re not interested in safety, we’re interested in you not getting caught breaking laws. Surprising stance for big tech β€” or is it?

I tried searching for “robbable gas stations”, assuming it would show me locations where there are no squad cars that could respond quickly enough for a reasonable getaway β€” but nothing. Maybe that’s coming on a new paid tier.

9 responses to “Police Radar on Google Maps Driving Directions”

  1. We’ve had this for years in Spain in Google Maps for both fixed radars or otherwise.

    Not sure if this is country specific?

  2. Ricardo Magalhaes says:

    I see it differently: I know a police officer who reports himself on Google Maps when he’s doing this type of work. He mentioned something along the lines of “look, I don’t want to pull you over and I don’t want people to speed. If it makes people slow down, all the better”.

    Whether this behaviour and sentiment is shared between other police offers, I have no idea. But this perspective made sense to me and it clicked with me.

    (I believe data is both from Waze and Google Maps β€” you can add a speed trap by tapping that + button in your screenshot)

  3. Jarek says:

    You can these alerts with the plus in a comic bubble button. It’s been there for years in Poland and we have many other ways to warn each other about police control. I can tell you that everyone drives much below the speed limit when this happens, and I believe it’s what matter ultimately – more safety. You can treat these alerts as a speeding allowance because it’s not that accurate and if you are speeding, you’d be speeding anyways – so it’s the only thing that makes speeders go slower.

  4. Curtis Wilcox says:

    Apple Maps’s reporting feature lets you report a “Speed Check” and other Maps users will be told by the app when they’re approaching one (only in the U.S.).

    Report an incident in Maps on your iPhone

  5. Apple Maps has this too. It’ll even announce it to you which is nice. It does it for other hazards too.

  6. Brennen says:

    Yeah, this has been around for years. Regardless of country. Maybe people in Oregon (US 97) are better drivers and have never feel the need to report speed traps? Or maybe it’s how often you use Google maps to see one? Sometimes there is not a cop there too. Because they are user reported, it’s not entirely accurate. But nevertheless, it does make you more attentive and aware of your speed.

  7. Pete says:

    Our police force publishes the locations of most fixed and mobile speed camera’s online – https://www.police.wa.gov.au/traffic/cameras/camera-locations

    It’s their opinion that by publishing the location, it’ll encourage people to slow down prevent serious or fatal crashes. Would love to know if this has an effect (no idea how you’d measure the long term data on it) but it’s an interesting approach.

  8. Tim says:

    To report one, tap the button in your screenshot on the right that has a plus sign in a speech bubble.

  9. Jo says:

    “Robbable Gas Station” is that a GTA thing?

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