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US Senators call for removal of drink-drive apps


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 24 Mar 2011

pocketgpsworld.com
Four U.S. Senators have asked Apple, Google and Research in Motion to stop selling apps that encourage or facilitate drink driving. There are a number of apps that seek to provide real-time alerts for drink drive checkpoints with users filing reports on their locations.

Google has responded to say that none of the apps infringe on any law or their store policies, Research in Motion have said they will remove those apps and Apple have not yet replied.

At first glance I think most of us would agree that apps that seek to enable drivers to drink and drive in such a way cannot be condoned but it raises an issue about the law itself.

As Google have pointed out, the apps don't transgress any US legislation and so are perfectly legal albeit distasteful so should it be the role of politicians to lobby app stores in this way or should they instead be debating the issues and updating legislation where necessary? It cannot be acceptable for four politicians to band together and effectively circumvent the law and seek to have a product removed from sale when it does not breach any legislation.

Is it the thin end of the wedge or justified action?

Comments
Posted by NickG on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:49 am Reply with quote

Surprised at this article with PGPSW being very pro-speeding. I would have thought you'd release your own iPhone app to help people drink-drive without getting caught? Smile


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:04 am Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
Surprised at this article with PGPSW being very pro-speeding. I would have thought you'd release your own iPhone app to help people drink-drive without getting caught? Smile


Oooh, thank God for that smiley!!!


MaFt®

 
Posted by Darren on Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:58 pm Reply with quote

It seems that two apps were explicitly mentioned, PhantomAlert and Trapster.

Trapster some of you will know of, it's our US based competitor, recently bought by NAVTEQ.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by Philip on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:28 pm Reply with quote

Darren Wrote:
I think most of us would agree that apps that seek to enable drivers to drink and drive in such a way cannot be condoned

So would you equally say:

"I think most of us would agree that apps that seek to enable drivers to exceed the speed limit and drive in such a way cannot be condoned"

If not, why not?


Philip

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:37 pm Reply with quote

Have to agree. Why do people need know where speed cameras and drink-drive traps are? I hope that all apps designed to allow people to drive while drunk or speeding eventually get banned so we can get these idiots off the roads (along with those who've adopted the new trend for texting while driving).


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by MaFt on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:43 pm Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
Why do people need know where speed cameras ... are?


because the government tell us that they are placed in accident blackspots (and many are) so by alerting to where cameras are we are alerting to dangerous places and thus aiding road safety.

MaFt


MaFt®

 
Posted by NickG on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:56 pm Reply with quote

MaFt Wrote:
because the government tell us that they are placed in accident blackspots (and many are) so by alerting to where cameras are we are alerting to dangerous places and thus aiding road safety.


I wish I believed that that's why people use alerting devices. Unfortunately when I see a camera detector on someone's dashboard - they're usually driving like an idiot with clear disregard for the potential for any accident. Two people I know have got camera detectors and both of them have speeding points. Interestingly, both of them also got all their points while their speed camera detectors were in use. One guy just said he didn't notice it beep because he was using an iPhone (and claims it's inaudible on a motorway with music on) and the other was caught twice in the same month by police with handheld guns while it going through Hampshire villages at 40.


Twitter: @nickg_uk

 
Posted by Skippy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:11 am Reply with quote

With anything like this, you are going to get people from both ends of the spectrum.

Does the camera database warn of "accident black spots" where you might inadvertently stray over the speed limit or does it allow people to flagrantly break the law by warning of fixed and mobile camera sites?

Does an app warning of where the drink driving check points are deter people from drink driving or facilitate drink driving by helping drivers avoid the law?

Does encryption software protect people's private information or help terrorists and paedophiles hide from the law?


Gone fishing!

 
Posted by BigPerk on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:28 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Interestingly, both of them also got all their points while their speed camera detectors were in use.
...So not the strongest argument for saying detectors help people to speed 'safely'?? Rolling Eyes

I DO have mixed feelings about camera databases, and am much happier with the specs coming into use, as they must surely reduce the stupid braking which takes place with GATSO types (but DOESN'T happen if you are using PGPSW!! Razz ), and give a fairer chance to keep your speed within the limit.

If all limits were signposted clearly and were always logical, then I would say 'get caught - go to court' and no messing, but unfortunately we all know that strange limit changes take place at odd places, and repeaters are oddly missing or obscured, so it is useful to be reminded of them where necessary.

But PGPSW specifically does NOT include ANPR locations, for instance, because there we are really talking about definite premeditated criminal intentions being monitored, and presumably would not include drink check locations for the same reason (if they existed in the UK).

But speed camera locations surely CANNOT be said to condone speeding, because if they are used then no offence is committed - if they are ignored, then the offender deserves everything they get! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil


David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

 
Posted by Darren on Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:49 am Reply with quote

Philip Wrote:
So would you equally say:

"I think most of us would agree that apps that seek to enable drivers to exceed the speed limit and drive in such a way cannot be condoned"

If not, why not?[/color]

No and we have been very clear on this from the outset. The warnings are not there to enable people to speed but to remind them of the limits, the need to curtail their speed and to be more aware of the road speeds.

It is an aid to safety, not an aid to speeding and I firmly believe that the vast majority of users are subscribers for just that reason.


Darren Griffin - Editor

 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:54 am Reply with quote

NickG Wrote:
MaFt Wrote:
because the government tell us that they are placed in accident blackspots (and many are) so by alerting to where cameras are we are alerting to dangerous places and thus aiding road safety.


I wish I believed that that's why people use alerting devices. Unfortunately when I see a camera detector on someone's dashboard - they're usually driving like an idiot with clear disregard for the potential for any accident.


...and you subscribe to our database.... why?

MaFt


MaFt®

 
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