- Getty/ Future Publishing / Contributor
- Google Maps is rolling out a new feature that will let users with any type of smartphone easily report the location of police speed traps, which will be visible to other drivers.
- The feature resembles apps like Waze, which have been harshly criticized by police organizations in the past for giving people a tool to easily track cops’ operations.
- Users will also be able to report crashes, traffic slowdowns, lane closures, and objects on the road.
- Android users were already able to report some of those incidents using on the Maps mobile app, but the feature is being newly rolled out for iPhone users this week.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It will soon become much easier for Google Maps users to track the location of police, thanks to a new feature for reporting and viewing cops’ speed traps on the app.
Google announced Thursday that people using Maps on Android and iOS will be able to report incidents including speed traps, crashes, traffic slowdowns, lane closures, and objects on the road starting this week.
Apps like Waze, which is also owned by Google, have previously drawn harsh criticism from police organizations for allowing users to share cops’ location.
The NYPD, the nation’s largest police force, sent a letter to Google in February asking the company to pull Waze’s feature that let users report police sightings, arguing that it hindered officers’ ability to nab drunk drivers. The LAPD and the National Sheriffs Association made similar statements.
Like Waze, Google Maps’ new feature doesn’t let users distinguish between different types of police operations to report. The only incident label related to law enforcement that’s available in the new Maps update is “speed trap.”
A Google spokesperson told Business Insider that the company believes the feature helps make roads safer, arguing that “informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they’re on the road.”
The new feature will roll out for all iPhone and Android users this week.