Do you use the popular traffic app Waze? I've told you about the extremely popular and must-have app before, but let me fill you in just in case. Purchased by Google for $1 billion back in 2013, Waze lets its 50 million users in 200 countries see traffic jams in real time so you can skip the headache that is rush-hour traffic. It also notifies you about accidents, construction, detours, accidents, potholes and police radar locations. Handy right?
The National Sheriffs' Association doesn't seem to think so. The group is putting pressure on Google to change that last feature I mentioned: Police radar locations. It says that the feature puts the lives of police officers at an unnecessary risk.
I would expect criticism like this out of a video game like Grand Theft Auto, but Waze? How can a traffic app be a threat to police officers?
The National Sheriffs' Association is complaining that because Waze displays the location of roaming and parked police cars, it's providing a road map, so to speak, for potential cop killers. So it's trying to pressure Google to disable this feature.
This is very big stretch. The Waze app has never been used to hunt down a police officer, much less harm one. And study after study shows that when drivers are alerted to nearby police, enforcing speed limits, even using radar, drivers simply show down. Which is what the police are after in the first place. Isn’t it?
Google should stand its ground.