Technology By Ryan White 143 Views

Google Maps begins warning motorists of speed trap locations and speed limit changes

Officials with the Calgary Police Service say Google’s new technology that warns of speed enforcement locations further removes any excuse to speed.

Google Maps users have begun receiving an audio notification when the speed limit on a road or highway changes or when a vehicle approaches a speed trap or photo radar.

The technology was implemented in Canada Tuesday but Google has not indicated how the data regarding speed enforcement is collected. Similar apps, including the Google-owned Waze, rely on submissions from drivers indicating where speed traps are located.

Law enforcement agencies across Canada, including the Calgary Police Service, are encouraged by the new feature and believe it will improve safety and result in drivers becoming more mindful.

“I don’t have an issue with it,” said Staff Sergeant Colin Foster of the Calgary Police Service collision reconstruction unit. “If people are still speeding, even if it is on Google Maps, then they’ve got no excuse for getting caught for speeding. Anything that will reduce speeds is a good thing.”

When informed of the technology update, Calgarians interviewed by CTV on Wednesday were divided on the merits of the warning system.

“I think it’s a miserable idea giving people an opportunity to break the law, speed, and then only slow down where there’s actually traps,” said Trevor Wieler, who often uses Google Maps to get to remote job sites.

“It’s a great idea,” said Bill Kline. “It’ll save me well over $100 a month.” Kline sees the benefits in being notified of locations where the speed limit drops including westbound Memorial Drive west of 14 Street Northwest where the maximum limit reduces from 70 km/h to 50 km/h. He says he has been ticketed twice at that spot.

Motorists are reminded to use the app hands-free to avoid a potential distracted driving ticket. To ensure your Google Maps application will notify you of speed enforcement locations, verify that the app is up-to-date.