Today more and more people are
getting caught for speeding than crime. Although speeding is thought of as
a crime as it causes road death, most people do not intentionally speed. When driving along
a road if someone jumped out in front of you with a Vascar laser gun, would you
know what the speed limit of the road was ? Most people wouldn't! It's
not that people aren't paying attention, it's that roadside speed signs are
sparse or in a lot
of areas are hidden by growth of bushes, tree's and in several cases,
someone has been inconsiderate and put a larger sign in front of it.
The problem with speeding today is not necessarily
the monetary fine, but the points on your license, and depending on road
conditions and how fast over the speed limit you were driving, and if it was
considered to be reckless driving, you can easily get a ban for a couple of
years on your license. Most people couldn't afford to have this happen,
more and more people are commuting longer distances to work and need their driving license
clean and intact otherwise their lively hood goes by the way side.
Over the past years there have been many different
radar detector's that will detect the very latest GATSO cameras and laser
guns, but also offer added protection in blocking an anti-radar device which
Police use a lot in today's aim in cutting speeding. The law has
changed from the "You're innocent until proven guilty" to "You're guilty, and we
can prove it". According to various motoring organisations, the Police are given far too much power and are allowed to
spend far too much time in trying to cut
speeding. They also say that although there are still a lot of
deaths on our roads each year, most of these aren't due to speeding, more reckless driving, and
the two do not necessarily go hand in hand (but sometimes do).
For over a year now there has been a product
called TrafCam available on the Palm OS which has a database of thousands of
different speed enforcement cameras, black spots and locations where police tend
to hang out trying to catch you over the speed limit, this product has now been
brought to the Pocket PC.
On writing this review, TrafCam now currently supports over 3700 different
camera locations including GATSO, Mobile, and Laser. The application is simple, but practical. Coupled
with a GPS receiver, which tells your Pocket PC exactly where you are in the
world, if you become within close range of a speed enforcement camera, TrafCam
will alert you both on screen by showing you the rough direction and distance,
but also give you an audible alert. The screen is very basic looking, and
to be honest you really don't want anything that's going to distract you from
driving. TrafCam is great, once it's obtained it's fix, it just sits there
showing your current speed until you reach a camera and it will then spring into
Road Angel Detector
There are several hardware devices that do similar
things like the Road Angel and Geodesy, these are expensive devices, in most
cases coming onto the cost of a radar detector, TrafCam only costs £79 for a 12
month subscription and is really great value for money!
TrafCam won't detect all cameras, but it will
alert you to known cameras and allow you to add your own and allow you to report these back
to TrafCam for consideration on adding these to the main database which will
in-turn boost the overall country-wide detection rate of camera locations
TrafCam can locate.
We put TrafCam through the test and drove past 8
GATSO cameras and 2 frequent motorway bridge Police hangout points where they
will use Laser guns to detect motorists speed and pull you over a little further
down the motorway. We couldn't just use TrafCam on it's own, so we put it
up head to head with a Target Euro 550 radar detector which is classed as the
top UK mobile radar detector and here are the results.
Target Euro 550 Radar Detector
TrafCam Fair ?
|4 Live GATSO
3 of the 4 cameras
|2 Dummy GATSO
expected didn't detect any
|2 frequent Police
Laser Gun sites
As you can see, TrafCam did a pretty good job.
It must be said though that TrafCam does have a lot of false positives like
Mobile camera sites where there may not be Police when you pass, but this is no
different compared to a radar detector as although radar detector's will detect
laser beams, radar and tell you if a GATSO camera is live or a dummy, you will also receive a lot of false positives from shop
automatic doors that open/shut. One of the great bonuses we found with TrafCam is the configurable option of how much notification you have. We
found we could easily extend the notification time by a factor or 2, 3 or 4
times more time beating any radar detector giving us much more time to react and check and drop our speed if we
were over the limit. TrafCam configurable notification settings allow you
to receive anything from a quarter of a mile out to 5 miles notification, and
you can also set this in minutes rather than distance.
So compared to the trusty Euro 550, how did we find TrafCam ? TrafCam is a good product. A lot of people may at first be
put off by the display, as it is very basic, but once you start using TrafCam,
you'll find it's true potential. If you want the ultimate protection, then
you would probably want a radar detector and TrafCam as this will give you the
best of both worlds, and TrafCam would be a nice complement to it seeing that you can
change the distance you will be warned of a camera which gives you more of a
notification than a radar detector would give you. However if you're in
the market for a low cost camera warning system, then for the annual
subscription price of £79, TrafCam really is a bargain.
Mobile GATSO / Laser
with speed warning set
With TrafCam you can set a speed restriction so that if
you are driving along a road and you think it's a 40mph limit, you then pass
a road sign which quotes 30mph, all you need to do is drop your speed below the
speed limit (eg 28mph), and if you have the Speed Warning Round-up option ticked, it will
then set a red warning on screen for 30mph. You can bet yourself, 2 miles down the
road you would have forgotten what the speed limit is, and TrafCam can help you here.
TrafCam will not however warn you if you are driving over the limit, which would
be a welcomed feature in a future update that can be toggled on or off both
visually and audible.
TrafCam does allow you to set a WAV file so you
can pick or choose your audible notification. We set a WAV file that said "WARNING WARNING", and found
this more than adequate for alerting us.
You can also report new cameras by pressing the
centre keypad on the iPAQ and you will be greeted with an Add New Camera
Position database which can then be emailed to TrafCam for inclusion in
The one thing that TrafCam doesn't currently do
and that's allow you to run it along side another GPS program that is occupying the
GPS Receiver. So you can't currently run it whilst you're running your A-Z
mapping program, but TrafCam does have this feature planned for future
updates of the product.
We tested TrafCam on an iPAQ 3630 with a Navman
3000 sleeve, an iPAQ 3850 with a Navman 3000 sleeve and an iPAQ 3850 with a Leadtek 9531 GPS Receiver and we couldn't
fault this in any way.
All you need is a Pocket PC and a GPS receiver.