We’ve all seen them; police cruisers lurking under the overpass, just beyond a sharp curve in the road or over the crest of a hill, or even the old cinematic standby, behind billboards. As we zip by going well in excess of the speed limit, we see them standing there with their beady little radar guns pointed right at us. Yes, most of us have fallen victim to speed traps, and those who choose to ride motorcycles instead of driving cars are no exception. Plus, many cities are now placing cameras in intersections to catch you running that red. George Orwell may have been off by a couple of decades in his estimation of a future where your every move is tracked by the all-seeing eye in the sky, but it seems that Big Brother is now watching you, at least on the roadways. Luckily, someone is watching Big Brother, as well. And the Trapster app for your iDevice of choice aims to let you know when you’re about to have a brush with the law.
While you can certainly use the internet to pre-plan your routes, using websites that map cameras in intersections, there’s no guaranteeing that they’re comprehensive and up-to-date, and they won’t tell you when officers are lurking in the ditch along your route, just waiting for you to speed by. Trapster, on the other hand, uses input from multiple sources to help you avoid known trouble spots. For example, the app shows a map of your area complete with all known traffic cameras, but it also allows users to note speed traps as they appear. So when the driver a mile ahead of you passes a parked police cruiser and enters the info into the app, you will receive an alert so that you can slow down and avoid getting nabbed. It’s like a fuzz buster for the modern era.
Now, as a motorcycle driver, you might be a little concerned about how this app can really help you. It’s not like you can follow the map as you go to spot potential problem areas in the vicinity. While visual features like the day and night display and the instant update map are certainly handy for the average driver, they won’t help bikers. The good news is that the app can also be set to deliver audio alerts in a slew of languages (English, French, Russian, etc.) as well as a variety of sound effects so that you’ll always know when you’re approaching a speed trap or traffic camera. All you need is an ear bud jacked into your phone to receive alerts.
And the app does one better; thanks to input from a live traffic center, Trapster also provides you with real-time traffic information en route. If congestion or road hazards lie ahead you’ll know before everyone else. And you can also search points of interest along your route and get directions, although you should probably do this before you hop on your bike if you want to avoid the need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. And the very best part about this handy and ever-improving app? It’s totally free.